The quest for balance
We hear a lot about balance these days… finding your balance, work-life balance, being in or out of balance and being off-balance. But what does it mean? Balance is defined as a situation or state in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Based on our personality, likes and dislikes and life situation balance looks different to each and every one of us.
The important thing to know is what it looks and feels like to you? This is worth reflecting on so you can live a happy life with the optimal results for the efforts you put in. With more than 80 percent of employees suffering with increased stress (Mercer 2015), and the evidence of stress, anxiety, addiction, disease, obesity and so many other symptoms of imbalance all around us, the search for balance is relevant to most of us.
What are the elements of your life? For most of us, we have a work life, a home life, a social life and an internal world. We have physical, psychological, social, creative and financial needs. Or we can look at the six core human needs defined by Tony Robbins; certainty, uncertainty, love and connection, significance, contribution and growth. There are different ways of looking at things and all will help you in your quest to work out your own place of inner and life balance.
Stress, the epidemic of our times, is defined as an upset to your physical, mental or emotional balance. By this definition, the antidote to stress is naturally balance. Fear always takes us out of balance.
When we are in balance, we feel complete in ourselves. There isn’t a vacuum of anything. We feel free to be who we want to be and live the life we want. We can express our needs and focus on what we want without feeling less than or anxiety or fear. We feel happy and joyful. There is nothing internal blocking or sabotaging us. Having balance in life involves giving the right amount of time and energy to meeting all of your needs.
When you find your internal balance moment to moment, you will naturally find it easier to achieve balance in the areas of life that are important to you.
One of the best ways I know of to achieve balance in mind and body is to focus on your breath. If you would like to, try this now.
Lie down in a comfortable place. Put one hand on your stomach and one on your chest and breathe. Focus on the feeling of your stomach rising and falling as you breathe in and as you breathe out. If your mind wanders, redirect it back to focusing on your breath and the feeling of your stomach rising and falling as you inhale and as you exhale. If thoughts come, breath them out… always reverting to or maintaining your focus on the feeling of your stomach rising and falling and the physical feelings in the body as you inhale and exhale. Feel your stomach rising and falling like the ebb and flow of the tide. And repeat for a number of breaths until you are fully in it.
You can do this at the start of the day to center yourself or during the day to reset and recharge in mind and body and bring you back to that place of balance.
As life changes and as we change, balance looks different. If you are a professional sports person physical balance looks different than if you are an accountant. If you are interested in bringing more balance to your life, reflect on the elements that are important to you and devote time to all so they are in the right proportion for you to meet your needs of feeling well and balanced in the moment and investing in growth for your future happiness.
Wishing you a fun and balanced week.