Balance. If there was one word that could sum up how to live a good life “balance” could be the all encompassing term. Balance never says never. It never says always either. It tries not to emphasize one area of life over another. It tries to understand everything, tries to take the middle road often, and always ends in equilibrium. If this is too metaphysical, allow me to bring it to you in a manner that can be applied to your life.
Balance is the force that tells you to to see your friends every now and again, but which prevents you from being round at their house all of the time neglecting your family. It is the force that tells you to take a day off, but stops you from quitting your job. It is the one that, when respected, leads to a fruitful and fun person that can also barter and bargain with authority. Balance can be applied both internally and externally to your life, and the result will never be an unadulterated extremity. Balance is perhaps the single most important force in life; when functioning properly, everything exists in equilibrium.
Being physically balanced is the fundamental starting point for all balance in your life. If the body lies in a state of equilibrium it will function without lethargy, and without burning out. It will have abundance of energy, and will use this energy at a sustainable rate. Physical balance is simply looking after the body. There are several ways to achieve physical balance, and all will be needed in some way or another.
- Diet- Need I ramble too much here about the importance of a balanced diet? An abundance of research shows the need to eat a healthy diet that has high nutritional value per calorie. Scientists debate still on certain foods, and research is always changing current food trends, but what is important, I think, is to eat plenty of vitamins and minerals from a largely plant-based diet. When you eat too little, or are suffering from malnutrition, you will feel drained of energy, and unable to function at 100 percent. Similarly, but at the other end of the spectrum, too much junk food leads to a lethargic drain, known as being “full.”
- Exercise and Rest- Everybody needs to get exercise. This is a crucial part of a balanced body. There are many ways to get exercise and I would argue that you can never have too much. Some people may get it from the work that they do, or from sports and hobbies that are physically demanding. If you don’t get any from work or play, then you will have to deliberately implement exercise by taking a jog, a walk, or going for a swim. Whatever is best for you.
Exercise is the opposite of rest. Both are needed for physical balance. Whether you are physically exhausted from exercise, from work, or from mental strain, it is very important to get rest. Continuing to push yourself when you feel very tired is always counter-productive to a balanced life. Allow yourself rest.
Work/Play and Some Time Alone
Everyone has different inclinations when it comes to the work/play balance. Some are naturally more career driven, whilst others enjoy the company of friends and spend a lot of time with family. There are no right or wrong answers in life, but everyone could benefit from balance.
For people who work very often it is important not to totally neglect the people around us who make us happy; who are there for us. They are surely important. Most busy people know this, but finding time is a different matter. Make time, even if it means making sacrifices, or saying no to your boss every now and again.
Those who like the company of others, the social butterflies of this world, may not be the most career driven. This does not mean that you should not enjoy personal goals, and aims. Everyone should do things for themselves; the people we love are there to support us, not to hinder our own progress in the world. Balance, once again is key.
Whether a social butterfly, or a career driven business person, or anything in between, everybody needs some time alone. Time to reflect, to contemplate, to analyze, and just to relax. Here is where external balance meets internal balance. Time for yourself is truly valuable on the quest to become a balanced person. In order to spring-clean the mind, to know yourself well and to live a balanced life, have plenty of time for yourself.
Balance is an interesting word, and a wonderful force. Much as the external decisions of life must be balanced, as must the internal world of thoughts, and emotions. Indeed, the external life has to be balanced with the internal, as is the all-encompassing nature of “balance.”
Internal balance is a personal journey of self-exploration, and constant re-adjustments. It begins with awareness, which can be cultivated through spending time alone. When we monitor out thoughts and feelings we gain a better understanding of our own workings. Spend a little time free of distractions, and contemplate yourself at your own pace. This is the first step to internal balance.
When you notice imbalance in your own mind, or on an emotional level, you will need to rebalance. This may involve making physical changes, in diet or exercise for example, or could involve dealing with an emotion that has not yet been overcome. Talk to trusted love ones, and analyze yourself gently overtime. No one else can do this for you, which is why it is important to allow yourself time, and to understand the value of internal balance.