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  1. You should consider backing up your file for your peace of mind.

My concern is that if I translate "peace of mind" directly into my language, it sounds like "finding peace in my soul", which might fit better in the following examples:

  1. I tried to avoid all my troublesome friends for my peace of mind.
    (Why do I feel like "for your peace of mind" sounds right, but "for my peace of mind" sounds wrong"? Is it all in my head?)
  2. You should do meditation for your peace of mind.

Is the first example correct? I also wonder if "for your peace of mind" equals "to feel secure".

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  • Broadly you've got it right. In my country there is currently advertising for "Peace of mind" insurance. In other words, insure yourself with us and you'll never have to worry about anything. We've got you covered. Your computer and meditation examples make sense to me, but not the stealing habit. So maybe there's a translation difference. Commented Jun 21 at 4:38
  • Oh yeah I've just read the stealing example again and found it pretty silly. I'll try another one. Thanks. Commented Jun 21 at 4:50
  • We more often say "for my own peace of mind". Commented Jun 21 at 8:03
  • And for your peace of mind, check the integrity of the backup file.
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 21 at 10:29
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    @LeLetter Maybe what you're sensing is: "for peace of mind" is often used when there's no other obvious reason. It's used to justify precautions that go beyond the minimum. Like, I don't put gas in my car "for my own peace of mind"; it put it in to make it go. But I might insist on a full tank, when a half tank would do, "just for my own peace of mind." Obviously, avoiding worry is not the only reason to back up files. But it could make sense if, say, we insist on four or five redundant backup solutions. Commented Jun 21 at 19:44

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Peace of mind as an idiom means to not have to worry about something specific that might be making you uneasy. The uneasiness usually won't stop until you take some specific action, like backing up the file. So you are correct about backing up the file, but it should be your own instead of "your":

You should consider backing up your file for your own peace of mind.

If you back up the file, you won't have to worry anymore about losing your data. But until you do that, you might worry about it every day.

The next sentence makes absolutely no sense. If you mean "I stopped stealing for peace of mind," that's not right. But you might say:

I installed a new burglar alarm for my wife's peace of mind.

meaning that your wife won't have to worry any more about being robbed because you put in a new alarm system. But until you put the system in, she would constantly (or at least ocassionally) worry about it.

In the third sentence, I think you're using peace of mind literally, not as an idiom. I would change it slightly:

You should meditate for peace of mind.

But it's a different kind of "peace of mind." It's literally bringing peace and tranquility to your mind to make it calm. It's not about eliminating a specific reason for worrying. I'm not sure it really matters because it's such a subtle difference, but I do think it's different.

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  • @AnIELTSLearner There are other idioms and phrases that are often used for having a peaceful mind without focusing on "worry," like "You should meditate to achieve inner peace." Commented Jun 21 at 15:21
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"Peace of mind" means "freedom from worry". Backing up files for your peace of mind makes perfect sense: you back up files so that you don't have to worry about losing your data because of a hardware problem or mistake.

It's not the same idea as peace in your soul. If someone said that he is seeking peace in his soul, I would understand that to mean that he is praying or meditating or trying to get right with God. Or maybe trying to fix damaged relationships, like patch things up with his father with whom he had an argument years ago and they haven't spoken since. But if someone said that he is backing up his file to find "peace in his soul", that would just sound ... silly. Peace in your soul is much too profound an idea to be linked with backing up files.

This is exactly the sort of mistake that non-native speakers often make. If you looked up dictionary definitions of the words, or tried to translate from your native language, you might miss this kind of connotation.

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The phrase peace of mind is used this way in Collins:

If something gives you peace of mind, it stops you from worrying about a particular problem or difficulty.

and defined in M+W:

a feeling of being safe or protected

There are no mentions that it can't be used for mundane matters. Neither is finding peace in my soul mentioned or implied.

It's fine to use it on that file backing up discussion. (Besides, whether this activity is considered important is a matter of opinion.) Yes, used in this example, for your peace of mind is similar to to feel secure.

I have not encountered the usage in the troublesome friends and the meditation examples.

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