How to Increase Serenity

True serenity comes from within, but even Buddhists can use a little jump start now and then.


Up next in How to Relieve Stress (11 videos)

Feeling a little tense? Learn how to relax with the stress relief tips in these Howcast videos. Advice includes how to cope with panic attacks; how to de-stress like a celebrity; how to eat to reduce stress; how to stop obsessing; how to reduce stress with aromatherapy; and much more.

You Will Need

  • Opportunities to laugh
  • Time for family and friends
  • TV-watching time
  • Absorbing hobbies
  • And a gratitude journal
  • A new job


  1. Step 1

    Laugh often

    Laugh as often as you can. It causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop dramatically, leaving your feeling profoundly relaxed.

  2. People with a strong sense of humor are less prone to depression and anxiety.

  3. Step 2

    Find time for friends

    Find time for friends and family. Researchers who studied very content people found that every single one was extremely outgoing and reported strong social bonds.

  4. Step 3

    Take charge

    Take charge of your life—even if that means standing up to a controlling loved one or finding a job that gives you more freedom. Confronting a troubling issue now will ensure more serenity later.

  5. Step 4

    Do what you love

    Start a career doing what you love. A Swedish study found that people who work hard at something they find fulfilling are more satisfied with their lives.

  6. No matter how much you love your job, take vacations: people who don't are more susceptible to heart attacks!

  7. Step 5

    Don't feel guilty

    Be a couch potato without guilt. A study of women who kept a daily mood diary found that watching TV at night was their daily relaxation peak.

  8. Step 6

    Sleep more

    Get more sleep. A major impediment to serenity is fatigue due to lack of sleep.

  9. Step 7

    Return to nature

    Go for a hike, take a walk on the beach, or garden—just get outside. Scientists believe that we're actually hard-wired to relax when we're in the presence of the natural world, including plants and animals.

  10. Step 8

    Go with the "flow"

    Go with the "flow," which is the state of intense well-being that occurs when we are so immersed in an activity that we lose all track of time—researchers say this is a key to contentment.

  11. Step 9

    Keep a gratitude journal

    Keep a gratitude journal. Studies show it helps us want what we already have — the true key to happiness.

  12. The well-known "serenity prayer," attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, says, "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."