Giving someone a piece of your mind might bring you peace of mind, but misuse of the phrases takes away from our peace of mind. So, why are the two so easily confused, and how can you use both effectively?
Peace of mind means “serenity of thoughts and feelings” because peace means “contentment or serenity,” and mind means “thoughts and consciousness."
- How do I have peace of mind even though I’m so busy? I meditate.
- When you work a lot, peace of mind in your daily life can be hard to come by.
- It gives me peace of mind to know that my dog is healthy.
- Peace of mind and peace of the body are necessary to live a peaceful existence.
Most of the time, peace of mind is used to define a feeling someone is experiencing after overcoming stress or because some action is taken to avoid stress. This is because peace of mind implies that the alternative is chaos of the mind or agitation of mind.
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Piece of mind is a common misspelling of peace of mind.
- Incorrect: This soothing song always gives me piece of mind.
- Correct: This soothing song always gives me peace of mind.
Piece of mind is likely confused for peace of mind because homophones piece and peace are pronounced exactly the same (pees).
So, in conversation, if someone says peace of mind or piece of mind, you’re unlikely to notice a difference, but in writing, piece of mind is almost always incorrect.
The only time that piece of mind can be used correctly is in reference to the idiom, give someone a piece of your mind, meaning “scold or yell at someone about something they did wrong.”
Even then, piece of mind will only be used in niche cases, as the idiom is usually used with possession in mind, i.e., piece of my mind or piece of your mind.
- The angry customer gave the manager a piece of his mind.
- We went to the protest to give the politician a piece of our mind.
You can remember the difference between peace of mind and piece of mind with zombies from movies or television. Yes, zombies.
- Zombies are always on the hunt for a piece of mind (or piece of brain, really).
- Survivors of a zombie apocalypse are always trying to escape to get some peace of mind.
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