Marcus Aurelius, a Roman philosopher, once said, “Stay calm and serene regardless of what life throws at you.” It seems easier said than done.

According to author John Sellars, living a meaningful life requires keeping calm. To be able to pause and think before acting, rather than merely reacting emotionally, we need to be in a calm state of mind. People use a variety of techniques to achieve this. For example, the sound of a rainforest serves as a universal metaphor for a peaceful environment. The sounds that each of us finds relaxing are, by definition, personal; there is no one soundtrack that will help everyone de-stress. One viewer’s serene, introspective experience can also be found in visual art. Last but not least, haiku, a traditional style of Japanese poetry, is well-known for calming the reader. Since the haiku form has a fixed word limit, it forces the poet to focus on a particular image or moment, which has a relaxing effect.

The path to peace involves a mindful challenge, not mindless detachment. Every person finds their sense of peace and flow in their own particular way.