The Balancing Act Called: Life
Maybe you have heard of the term balance and equated it with a physical component or ability, such as balancing a book on one’s head, or a gymnast having balance on a high beam. But, did you know there is another type of balance? This type of balance is more all-encompassing and is applied to all aspects of life. Balance, in this sense, is about reaching a happy medium with our lives and trying to avoid extremes.
When you think of this balance, think of moderation. By applying the principle of moderation and balance in our lives we can often find a level of peace that is hard to come by when living a life that is out of balance.
A good place to begin when talking about balancing aspects of life is to explain why balance is important. Without balance we can often be living at the edges of our lives, or the extremes, as opposed to in the middle.
“Living life on the edge” is a saying that also has a connotation of stress and hardship. There is a reason for this! For example, on one end of the continuum (or on one extreme) is obsession. Becoming completely obsessed and inundated in what you are doing. Someone who is on this edge with their work life may work 14-hour days and make no time for themselves. They may sacrifice sleep, eating, and time with their family. Clearly, living on this edge is unfair to oneself and to friends and family.
On the other end of the continuum is someone who gives no time or consideration to what they are doing. Sticking with the work example, someone on this edge may not prepare for work, may show up late – or not show up at all. Living this way is also doing a disservice to oneself (not giving one’s best efforts and underachieving) and to others (friends, family, co-workers).
A balance can be found, where one works hard and dedicates oneself to the job, but for a moderate amount of time. At the same time, while still working hard in their job, the individual makes time for themselves and for those around them. Finding a balance gives benefit to not just you, but also those around you.
Some good reasons to incorporate balance into aspects of life include:
- Slowing down in a fast-paced world
- Reaching a state of peace and bliss
- Making more time for ourselves
- Making more time for those around us
- Allowing ourselves to prioritize our lives better
- Reducing anxiety
- Diminishing stress
When Should One Use Balance?
There is never a bad time to find balance in one’s life! The idea of moderation and balance can be (and often should be) used at all times. As a general rule, it is a good idea to avoid the extremes and find a space in the middle of the ends of the continuum.
Think about the famous childhood story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears. In the story she finds three bowls of porridge and tests all three. She finds one to be too hot and another to be too cold. Then, she tries one that is just right. A simple story that illustrates balance perfectly.
Living in the extremes can do more than just burn your tongue, it can lead to burnout in our lives. It is a good idea to monitor our lives and different aspects of our lives to make sure we are living a balanced life and not doing too much of any one thing. This balance can be applied to almost anything such as our habits, diets, activities, work life, family life, and other areas of our personal life.
How Do We Achieve Balance?
With all of this said, it is clear that balance is an important aspect that we should try to bring into our lives and focus on incorporating into our daily living. Here are several ways that we can bring this idea of moderation and balance into our lives:
Having awareness of what we are doing and how we spend our time can alert us to if we are living out of balance.
Be open to change
It can be difficult to change around our schedule when we have been used to doing something a certain way for so long, but to achieve balance you may need to be open to changing the way you do things.
Make a list of your priorities and see how much time you give each one, it may be eye opening how much time you spend on priorities that aren’t at the top of your list (or how much time you dedicate to one thing on your list as opposed to others).
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
Often times, we run into problems with a lack of moderation and balance because we fail to plan out our days or weeks. If we set a schedule we can plan out how much time we want to spend on each of our priorities (made from the list above) and work towards not being consumed by one or two things.
Stick to the schedule!
It’s easy to make a schedule and then not follow it. Making a schedule is great, but if you do not stick to it, it will not be helpful! So, once you make a schedule, hold yourself accountable to it
Abide by These Rules….
By following these ideas and embracing a balanced life you could see great changes in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being! Get out there and get balanced!