Nagarjuna, the first century founder of the Madhyamika stream of Mahayana Buddhism asserted:
Dissolving your fixations is itself peace.
As you watch events including your thoughts and emotions, you may notice thought patterns that closely repeat themselves. You find you react in similar ways to certain situations. These reactions do not so much reflect the situations as your conditioned wired-in responses to these situations. Psychological literature is full of references to the historical origins of these relatively fixed reactions.
As you repeatedly observe these mental activities, the apparent connection between your reaction and the event it purports to represent dissolves, leaving you free to experience reality directly without the familiar mental constructs your mind generates. The constructs – ideas, concepts and beliefs, still come and go but without their usual emotional impact. This is freedom.