Life is no walk in the park. There are ups and there are downs. One day we may feel that everything is going the way we want it, and the next day we realize the tension that has come upon us is just unbearable. And despite experiencing stress, anxiety and anger every single day of our life, not many search for ways of handling it. Often we need someone else to show us that happiness, inner peace and stress relief are all doable and attainable. We are always ready to follow an example, a role model that has shown us the practices that can help us reach a harmony in life.
Who do we hear about the most? Who from the 7.5 billion people can share their experiences with the world and actually be heard? Yes, the people that are already listened to. The famous, popular and successful. They are the ones that, based on their own experience, can show us that happiness, inner peace and stress relief can all be in abundance. However, there is one catch – one has to work for it really hard, which is the part that most cannot overcome.
Tim Ferriss in one of his podcasts had the privilege to interview Arnold Schwarzenegger, where apart from all the bodybuilding and career questions, he asked Arnold about meditation. Arnold replied that he doesn’t meditate today, but he was heavily into it in the 70’s. The meditation he practiced is called Transcendental Meditation.
Arnold explained that at a certain point in his life he had way too many things piling up on top of each other. He had his bodybuilding career, movie career, the documentary that he was part of, his investments, etc. All of them grew into one big problem, with which he didn’t know how to cope. He wanted to learn how to keep all of them separate in his head.
Then Arnold explains that he decided to practice Transcendental Meditation. He did it for about a year, meditating daily for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. Transcendental Meditation helped with stress relief fast enough, and soon Arnold learned to disconnect his mind and become calm about the challenges he was facing in life. It helped him find that inner peace tremendously. And even though he doesn’t practice it today, Arnold says that he benefits from its effects up to this day.
For those of you that don’t know, Oprah is so big on meditation that she has even created a whole meditation program together with Deepak Chopra, an acknowledged master teacher of Eastern Philosophy in the Western world.
Together with Deepak, Oprah offers a 21-day meditation challenge that anyone can join through Oprah’s website.
Based on the Transcendental Meditation website, Russell Brand has been meditating since 2009, and it has successfully allowed him to stay off drugs. Today, Russell is “happier than ever before”.
Russell starts his day with meditation, and says the following about it: “It’s really good if you’ve had addiction issues. It’s highly psychological, and very beautiful, and overwhelming, and real, and trippy!”
Apart from meditation, Russell Brand practices Yoga.
P.S. I have myself practiced different types of yoga for many years. I think yoga has a real potential in bringing happiness, inner peace and stress relief. It is very unfortunate that yoga has become almost like a sport these days. People think of yoga as a way to lose weight. In reality, that is not at all what yoga is about. I highly recommend yoga to anyone stressed out or looking to make their bodies more flexible.
Christina Ricci says the following on the Redbook website about her ways of stress relief: “I put on music and dance with my dogs, which is quite embarrassing and I try not to get caught by anybody.”
Simple and effective, I think.
On the dalailama.com website, an interview can be found where Dalai Lama speaks to scientists about the meaning of stress. Dalai Lama says that “poverty or abuse leads to negative emotions such as fear, jealousy and anger which turn into violence”. Dalai Lama has the belief that peace in the world can be reached only when people find peace first within themselves, as well as tolerance and compassion.
Dalai Lama also points out that if people have troubles understanding the true meaning of compassion, then they can look, for instance, at a nurturing mother. “People must work hard, make an effort and be united to make a difference”, he says.
According to Feeling Success, Steve Jobs went on a 7-month long trip to India, from which he returned as a completely different person. Steve did a lot of spiritual work in India, during which he got to know the Buddhist philosophy. He claimed that Buddhism had changed the way he thought, and that spiritual people that he was studying had increased his level of intuition.
When he returned back to the U.S., Steve continued his meditation practice. Soon enough, he met Shunryu Suzuki, a Zen Buddhism teacher, monk and author of “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”. Based on Walter Isaacson’s famous biography of Jobs, Suzuki and Jobs spent a lot of time together, often going on meditation retreats.
Zen Buddhism had greatly influenced Jobs and the way he saw the world. It had shaped his thoughts, and allowed him to attain a level of inner peace. He himself said the following:
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things–that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.”
Jennifer Aniston also practices Transcendental Meditation. She claims that she tries to make it the first thing she does in the morning, She also tries to end the day with it. “Twenty minutes, you just notice the difference!” – she says at the Transcendental Meditation website.
Russell Simmons, an entrepreneur, and the author of “Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple”, during an interview on The Couch, talks about how simple meditation is, and that anyone can do it. Simmons compares the mind meditation to a monkey in a cage. “A monkey in a cage is crazy bouncing around, but when it realizes that the cage is not opening, it will sit its ass down. The mind will do the same – it will settle. That is when you will realize that you are meditating. Anyone can meditate“, says Simmons.
Simmons continues by saying that everyone should have 20 minutes in their life. “There is no excuse not to meditate. Only when one’s mind is settled, only then they will see all the miracles. People don’t see the beauty in the future or the past. People see the beauty in the present. Only when the mind is settled people see God’s work, the beauty. This awakened state of mind is the state that should persist, and meditation is the best tool for this.”
I personally think that Simmons says some very wise things that are genuine and true.
In an interview with Oprah in 1997, Jim Carrey told her how he used to practice visualization to make himself feel better. The idea was that he would visualize how he already had the success he was after, and the people that he had respect for, were actually interested in him and saying that they liked his work. While he was visualizing these things, he would tell himself that he already has all of them, that they are out there. He just doesn’t have hold of them yet.
Very powerful, and definitely something we can learn from Jim Carrey. The clip can be found here.
“I meditate every day. I do it for 10-15 minutes in the morning.. I think it is important because it sets me up for the rest of the day… If I don’t do it, it is like I am constantly chasing the day, as opposed to being controlled and dictate the day.”
“I normally do my mindfulness exercises in the morning. It’s the first thing I do when I get up. I find that to be the best way to start the day. It gets me in balance before the business and hecticness of the day kicks off.” – says Kobe Bryant. Great words about inner peace and stress relief.
You can watch the clip here.
Robert Downey Jr.
According to Yoga Daddio, Robert Downey Jr. practices yoga to control his mind and body, and as a way to keep a balance in life. Downey has had serious problems with drug and alcohol abuse in the past, but thanks to yoga, these things can be now kept under control.
Downey tries to be as open as possible about his problems, and about what yoga has done for him. He is an inspiration to those that might be on the same path as he once was.
A member of one of the most popular rock bands in the world. He also has his place on the Transcendental Meditation website, where he says that TM was something he picked up from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968.
Transcendental Meditation has definitely influenced Mccartney:
“In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity — and I would like to think that it would help provide young people a quiet haven in a not-so-quiet world.”
“It was a great gift that Maharishi gave us. For me it came at a time when we were looking for something to stabilize us towards the end of the crazy sixties. It’s a lifelong gift, something you can call on at any time.”
Final words on happiness, inner peace and stress relief practices
As you can see, meditation is one of the most effective methods of attaining harmony and inner peace in life. The list in this blog post is meant to give you an idea of what celebrities practice. But it is only a tiny fraction of all the people that have become calm and happy with the help of meditation. I try to practice meditation daily myself, and I am a strong believer that every single person should practice at least some type of meditation as a stress relief technique. Just try it and tell me how it goes. You definitely won’t regret it. And remember, the sooner you start, the better, even if it is only 5 minutes a day.
If you liked the post, share it with someone who you think is stressed out and may benefit from this information. Also, if you feel that you want some practical tips on meditation and anger management, make sure to check my other blog post: How to Control Anger and Hate Towards Other People – Living Aware.
If you feel that you have an experience to share, feel free to do so in the comment section below. I am always happy to read about the experiences of others.
Finally, as a bonus, here is an amazing moment from Tony Robbins to give you a push and help you come a bit closer to the feelings of happiness, inner peace and stress relief: