4 ways to achieve balance
People are often too busy to take the time to think about how they want to live their life. They just go with the flow and do what feels right. The problem with doing this is that it leads to living in a state of imbalance. This can make your life very stressful and unfulfilling at times.
When thinking of balance, we may visualize someone in a relaxing pose or picture of someone who seems to have it all together. We need to reframe how we think of balance as an action we choose to take rather than a passive state of being. Balance is something we must create for ourselves.
The goal of balance is to feel good in our body, mind, and spirit. To have a sense of calmness and peace that comes from within, not from external things. It is important for people to find a way to balance their lives in order for them to live a more satisfying life. But what does balance mean? And how can you achieve it?
The first step towards having balance in your life is acknowledging that you are out of balance, which is easier said than done. Most people don't like having problems or admitting that they have them because it makes them feel vulnerable or weak. But if you want change then you need to be willing to admit when things aren't going well so that you can fix them!
Here are four ways to achieve balance in your life:
1 Practice healthy habits
When we're stressed out or tired, it's so easy to just keep going without taking care of our energy levels or health. But taking care of ourselves is important because only when our mind and body are healthy can we truly be present with others and do our best work.
When we begin to notice ourselves out of alignment, our bodies will give us clues, and the clues will become more apparent the more we fall out of alignment. A daily movement practice, such as a morning walk or yoga class can help us stay connected with our bodies so we can notice when something isn't working for us anymore. We also cannot underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep!
2 Cultivate routines
Honor your commitments to yourself by practicing a morning and evening routine that inspires you. If you are pressed for time, work within the time available. A cup of hot tea and a sentence in your mindfulness planner can help ground you into reality and set your intentions for the day. Leave your "living a fulfilled life" deck on your nightstand and flip a new card each morning so you can begin your day with mindfulness.
The actions are not as significant as the intention behind them: set yourself up for each day for success as you define itBalance is not about doing everything equally or perfectly — it is about finding where you most want to spend your time and energy so you can be the best version of yourself at all times. Self-neglect or burnout is often glorified, but there is freedom in prioritizing yourself.
Think of yourself as a pitcher full of water and each different area of your life: your family, your job, your home are all empty cups that need to be filled. If you’ve poured the entire pitcher into one cup, you are now empty and need time to refill before you continue trying to pour into the other cups.
3 Prioritize self-care
We need time to be mindful and present in our lives in order to be happy, but we also need time to focus on our goals, dreams and ambitions as well as taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally. We need time to be alone but also time spent with others; we need work but also playtime. Often there is an underlying fear that if we let ourselves enjoy too much rest or playtime, we will never go back and finish what needs to be accomplished.
We need to shift our mindset to remember that we are capable of so much more if we stop to take care of ourselves first. If productivity is a struggle, GRADO offers the Productivity Deck to help you manage your time, trust your intuition and decisions, and remain focused on the task at hand.
4 Adopt a non-judgmental attitude
You can maintain a positive relationship with yourself, recognize that not everything is as you’d like it to be, and notice room for improvement. We cannot force our bodies or minds into a more balanced state, nor will one appear from a fearful or shameful mindset. We must approach ourselves with grace and understanding to achieve the proper balance we desire.
Balance is a state of equilibrium, or stability. It’s a dynamic process that requires constant attention and practice. As awareness increases, we move in and out of acceptance of our circumstances, like waves rolling in and out of the shore. When we practice mindfulness, we bring our awareness to the present moment as we release attachment from the desired outcome.
Do not confuse this with indifference; it takes significant focus and intention to release attachment from a specific outcome. A mantra to repeat in difficult times: “things are just as they are.” Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening right now without judgment; observing the present moment without analyzing or reacting to it—and accepting all experiences equally.
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” -Jana Kingsford
Change always starts with awareness. Mindfulness is not to eliminate challenges or difficult situations from our lives but to help create balance through consciousness. It can be easy to picture mindfulness as focusing only on positives, but there is freedom in being grounded in the reality of challenges and triumphs. Mindfulness teaches us to stay balanced, no matter the circumstances.
In life, we are constantly in a balancing act: a balance between work and rest, abundance and scarcity, conflict and peace. While it may feel desirable to eliminate the discomfort and focus only on what we perceive as good and easy, balance strengthens us to grow into our highest potential.