Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Maintaining A Balanced Life

Maintaining balance in life is an always changing process, just as our lives are constantly changing. Balance is not some static goal that we achieve and then move on. We achieve balance in the moment, understanding that in the next moment everything may change.

Try standing on one foot for a period of three minutes or until you lose your balance. What did you notice about your body while you were trying to stay balanced? Your leg and foot muscles are working to keep you still. You might crunch your toes to try and grab onto the floor. You'll feel the muscles in your leg flex if you start to lose balance. You might even have to throw your arms out to the side, teeter from side to side, or bend forward to keep from falling. Your body was making adjustments, some small and possibly even bigger ones to keep you balanced. Mastering life balance is handled in the same way. When you feel yourself feeling stressed and unbalanced, it's time to make an adjustment in your life. Here are some time-tested tips or adjustments you can work on to maintain a balanced life.

Know What You Want

Balance occurs when who you are, what you want to do in life, and what you value are aligned with your thoughts, activities and choices. To honor your true self, you must know yourself well. Identify your values, communicate your needs and respect your priorities.
Pay attention to what's important to you and align your life with the desires of your heart. Formulate a crystal clear vision for your life and set goals to achieve this vision. Living a balanced life may require you to make changes in your life. If you are not satisfied with a particular area of your life, it means your choices and activities do not support your priorities. It's hard to feel balanced when you're not living your life in integrity with who you are.

Simplify Your Life

The more activities and the more possessions you have to manage, the more unbalanced your life will feel. Too much of anything can lead to stress so learn to live with the basics. Fewer clothes make laundry much easier. Clean up is much faster with only a modest amount of toys. Avoid over committing. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are constantly on the go, rushing from one activity to the next. By simplifying your life, you can avoid the frenzied state so many of us live in.

Recognize and Manage your Internal Conflicts

Our internal balance is disturbed when we are in conflict with ourselves. Whether it's guilt over making a mistake or worry about the uncertain economy, we must recognize and manage our internal conflicts so we can experience peace of mind. Tell the truth about who you really are and don't be afraid to be different than the norm. Keep an open mind to different perspectives, but choose which perspectives feel right to you. Internal conflict occurs when we aren't clear about who we are or when we are not living our life according to our core beliefs. So be crystal clear about what you believe and honor your beliefs.

Live in the Moment

Worrying about the future and dredging up the past for the purpose of reliving pain will block your energy. To stay balanced, you need to keep the energy flowing in your body. Practice experiencing the moment and everything that it entails. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up for you. If you feel angry, feel the anger. If joy is your primary emotion, embrace it wholeheartedly. Do not stuff your feelings or try to make negative feelings go away. Just be in the moment and you will naturally move through the feelings. Balance requires flexibility and the ability to roll with whatever life hands us. Fighting with life will disrupt the flow.

Make Choices that Move you Toward Balance

For every YES you say in life, you are saying NO to something else. If you say yes to sleeping in, you may be saying no to working out or taking quiet time alone. If you say no to cleaning up your house, you might be saying yes to spending time with the children. Say yes to the tasks, activities, or situations that make you feel more alive and no to the ones that drain you. Pay attention to the choices you make and how they affect all areas of your life. You might choose to take on a promotion at work, but do it only after you've assessed whether or not it will affect the balance in your life. Make decisions in your life by weighing the effects these choices have on your entire life.

Nurture your Spirit and Embrace Love

We all have an innate need to love and be loved. Through the ups and downs of life, we experience an array of unsettling emotions from sadness, anger and fear. Love is the emotion that balances it all. By connecting to and nurturing our spirit, we can experience peace and calm when the storms of life are raging all around us. Nurture your relationship with God - He will give you peace. Spend time in nature - it will ground you. Practice meditation or yoga. Do community service work that enables you to give love to the world. Keep your soul filled with positive and inspiring activities, and you will experience spiritual balance.

Balance is a fluid state - it changes from day to day. So assess balance in your life over a period of time. One or two stressful days does not mean you are living out of balance, but if chaos is the norm for you, you could be yearning for some life balance. Just like the tide moves in and out, look at whether your life is moving away or towards balance.