Serenity is a sense of feeling calm, peaceful and untroubled. Expressions of this state of being are shared around the world through words and images in all cultures. In Greek, the word for serenity is ηρεμία. In Arabic it is written as سكينة الروح, راحة نفسية . In China as 寧靜. And in Japanese: セレニティ, 平静, 静けさ. Philosophers from ancient to modern times have spoken of its benefits to mind and body. In a previous post we talked about how gratitude can benefit your skin. Cited in the post was some psychodermatology research that shows how emotions, mind and skin interact. While all of that holds true, I look at serenity a bit differently. Where does it come from? How can we get more of it? Just like our skin, the answers are personal to each of us.
Can we soak ourselves in serenity each day in the same way we adhere to a natural skin care routine? I think so. If we seek it, we will find it. We may find a serenity boost through meditation, mindfulness, physical activity or the wisdom of others. Read on.
Taoist take the middle road to serenity:
“I have neither hens nor foxes.”Tao proverb
Expectations can devour serenity:
“For serenity always prefer the cottage to the palace! – Mehmet Murat Idan
Understand the boldness of belief:
“If you find serenity and happiness, some people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”
Know your sweet spot:
“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks. And all the sweet serenity of books.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
For our skin health we know to avoid certain assaults:
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
- Stress, anxiety
- Junk food
- Lack of sleep
These same things can disrupt our sense of serenity. UV rays can damage skin and cause suffering. An anxious mind compromises skin’s protective capacity. Stress sends signals to our nerves, creating hormone imbalances and chemicals that increase oil production. Cortisol disrupts dermal proteins and weakens the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. Junk food starves skin of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. A lack of sleep causes low energy and grumpiness.
Be encouraged that any assault can be assailed. Marinade your mind with comforting thoughts such as these:
“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” ― Jane Austin, Sense and Sensibility
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
“Be calm. God awaits you at the door.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” ― Lao Tzu
“Go in the direction of where your peace is coming from.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Give yourself a serenity boost every day. Poetry can reflect and instill a sense of serenity. Float with this one across the sky, under a tree, into a sea of daffodils.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
― William Wordsworth
Make serenity as natural as a skin care routine. It will sustain you and your skin. Peace. Ειρήνη (Greek), Síocháin (Irish), ᏙᎯᏱ(Cherokee), ཞི་བདེ(Tibetan) שלום (Hebrew).
To your health, YASOU!