Balance in one’s life is essential to functioning at our best and accomplishing the things we set out to do. Martial Arts participants, sports enthusiasts and those who meditate all know the great importance of balance to experience power and flexibility. Balance may be the most important thing we can achieve in life, giving us the ability to attain all the other dreams and goals we set. The following are some simple ways to attain a sense of balance in your life:
1. Create A Pie Chart of Your Life
Draw a circle that symbolizes your life. Divide it into 7 pie sections representing the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, relationship and the professional/scholastic aspects of your life. Allot sections according to how fulfilled and comfortable you feel about each section of your life. Now look at your pie. Where would you like to devote more attention? Where could you expend less energy? What would balance look like to you?
Sit up straight in a chair. Lean as far as you can to the left and then as far as you can to the right. Then returning to center with your eyes closed, imagine what the distance to the left would be then lean only that far to the left, followed by leaning the same reduced distance to the right. Continue to cut the distances in each time you lean to the left and then to the right. Continue, with your eyes closed, even past the point where you feel any perceptible body movement. Stop when you feel at complete center. Relax and enjoy this centered feeling. Remember this at times when you are stressed and anxious.
Spend some time each day in some type of meditative practice. A meditation is any activity that helps a person shut down the “chatter” that goes on in one’s head. Exercise, listening to music, sitting quietly in nature, contemplative meditation, yoga, breathing and relaxation techniques, mindful gardening or watching clouds change shape, are all examples of training the mind to focus or slow down.
4. Secret Giving
Do something nice for someone without them finding out who did it. Give the gift of yourself, offer your time or talent to help someone else. Do it without expecting anything in return. Send a special wish, a smile or silent prayer when you walk past someone.
5. Two Sides
Remember that “the glass is always half full as well as half empty,” and “there are two sides to every coin.” Make a list of things that are now challenges in your life and beside each one write the benefit or potential benefit each one gives you. Now write a list of things you are very grateful for, beside each one write the price you were willing to pay or sacrifice for it. Give yourself a compliment for acknowledging both sides of the important things in your life.
6. Balance to Habits
Think of one excessive habit that you would like to bring into balance, such as, overeating, overspending, gambling, drinking, criticizing, watching TV, or computer time. Then write out three steps you would like to take toward getting that habit back to a place of balance in your life (such as; writing a budget, joining OA, AA, GA or weight watchers, finding an exercise partner, focusing on giving compliments, making a commitment to someone you trust, etc.) Now circle the first step you would like to take toward your goal.
© 2017 Dr. Lois V. Nightingale, Clinical Psychologist, PSY 9503 Licensed Marriage Family Child Therapist provides counseling services to individuals, families, couples, children and teens in Yorba Linda, and Orange County, California