Balanced Living: How to Stay on Track
Posted on 10 August 2011
“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” ~Winston Churchill
I declared myself a mess a long time ago. I lived in a constant, dull state of fear and anxiety. My emotions were more volatile than hurricane season, and not even I could predict how any given situation would affect me.
I may not have known it at the time, but I was miserable. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t and fit into a fast-paced life that I just wasn’t made for.
I was constantly overwhelmed by just about everything—being stuck in traffic, waiting in lines, driving long distances, folding the laundry, working a full day, even doing my hair.
It seemed like life was a struggle and a whole lot of effort that didn’t really get me anywhere.
I didn’t crave the life I was living. I craved balance. And I lacked passion. Something had to give.
It did, almost by mistake. I found myself poking around Tiny Buddha about a year ago, and the rest was history. Over time I discovered newfound energy by changing my internal perspective on daily living.
I challenged my toxic thoughts and actions and found peace in the present moment. I uncovered new ways to look at emotions, relationships, and situations in my life.
Instead of continuing to fight it, I made a decision to accept and flow with the monotony, bustle, and pressure of life. I made a list of what was truly important to me instead of living by someone else’s rules. Also, I stopped sabotaging my body with distorted eating habits.
I realized that I was okay, that I was enough, and it was actually pretty cool to be me.
As a result, I feel more settled. I also feel more direction and balance than ever before in my life. I still get wound up, but my lows are nowhere near as low as before.
Clearly my drive to find balance came directly from an overwhelming and painful mental imbalance.
Does this sound familiar? Have you also started to find more balance in your life?
Maybe you had destructive ways of dealing with stress, but you’ve learned new ways to release it. Maybe you were drowning in a pool of debt, but you’ve started getting a hold of that. Or perhaps you finally made a big change in your life that you’ve been meaning to for years.
If you have made major improvements for your well-being, congratulations! Finding balance amid all the pressures in life and making a dedicated attempt to change can be a struggle, and more work that many of us are willing to bear.
It must feel incredible and empowering to regain your life and focus some time on you.
The question is: what now? How can we continue this positive momentum now that we’ve found it?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to find a deeper sense of balance, promote well-being, and keep re-gaining your life.
1. Get better.
There are always new and different ways we can improve our way of living. Life is just one long progression, right? The key is to keep progressing positively.
Do some digging and research fresh ways to enhance your life. Bookmark or RSS all of your favorite sites, and make time each week to read the latest on living well.
A quick and easy change you can make right now is to focus on living moderately. Practice planning ahead in all areas of your day-to-day life. Pack a full water bottle before going out for three hours. Get better at pre-planning for future expenses.
When we avoid unnecessary extremes and learn to anticipate what the situation or our bodies will call for, that’s a huge part of balanced living.
2. Explore what makes you passionate.
If you’re reading this, chances are you have a passion, maybe many.
It’s easy to forget that lots and lots of people walk around without any sense of purpose or direction in their lives. And they probably believe that they just weren’t meant to find one.
The reality is that anything can be a passion. Pets. Gardening. Watching planes come in at the airport. Finding something that you love that feeds your true self can be incredibly freeing and refreshing.
If you’re just starting out, brainstorm. List everything and anything that interests you and then think about how you can develop one into a hobby. Even if it never turns into anything more than that, at least you have a new outlet to help you find balance when you’re off work.
3. Spread the word.
When you find ways to enrich or change your life, a natural extension of that is to share with others.
This was exactly my intention when starting my blog. I have yet to find anything more rewarding and motivating than knowing what I have to offer has helped someone. When you feel good about what you do, balance and fulfillment come so much more easily.
4. Go au-natural.
How can we feel balanced if we feel like crap?
Start to be mindful of the products you are putting in and on your body. You will be surprised how tolerant we become to harmful chemicals and ingredients, and even more surprised how much of an impact the constant accumulation of icky substances has on our well-being.
Start small, like avoiding foods with artificial sweeteners or replacing your face wash and body lotion with all-natural alternatives.
5. Find the balance that’s right for you.
Don’t try to be anyone else. Make a conscious decision each day to just be you, and to make no apologies for that.
Find comfort in the fact that it’s okay and even ideal to not fit into someone else’s idea of what’s right: the right work, the right work/life balance, the right feelings, the right way to live.
Focus your energy on determining what’s right for you. It can feel easy to simply go with the flow. But when you discover ways to live your life that fully align with what is in your heart, the reward of balance is unparalleled.
6. Create balance in your interactions with other people.
Do your part to maintain stable, positive relationships, instead of sweating the small stuff and creating drama.
Who wants to waste a day being irritated with something or someone? When you cast negativity onto the world, you will always feel bad inside.
If you aim to maintain balance around you, it will help you maintain balance within.
What helps you maintain a balanced life?
Photo by aeu04117
About Amanda Snow
Amanda Snow is a marketing professional who has decided find more purpose and balance in life. She has recently started making her own all-natural protein bars, with only 9 ingredients or less! She resides just outside of Boston with her boyfriend and dog Lucy. Follow her on her journey at 36broadway.