For the last decade we have all been strongly advised to get in balance with our mind/ body and work/ home relationships in order to be positively healthy. And we have been trying to do just that by carving out some personal enjoyable time, doing some sort of exercise and eating nutrient dense foods. However, you might find that in spite of all this effort you experience a generalized anxiety and a vague unhappiness. Why did this happen when you are doing everything right? Perhaps, you feel betrayed by the self-help gurus whose special strategies and little rituals you are implementing because you are still negative! The solution: Challenge your balance. You need to leave your comfort zone to be truly happy and sustain it!
Of course, all of us try to coast through life by following a routine that seems to work. However, no one can remain at equilibrium. Everything and everyone is changing all around us. We are constantly changing internally before we perceive how we change externally. Even a revival theatre production or a blast from the past in fashion is not the same as the original; there are always updates or a slightly different emphasis. So, when we think that we are in balance, actually we are not! As soon as we adjust to family, friends and colleagues, disappointment or even good fortune comes along to undermine our stability; there is a shift in their lives and so in our own. We are shaken and filled with fear.
To prepare for lifeís instabilities we should challenge our balance all the time, rehearsing to become more flexible and fluid. How can we be ready when stress hits unless we train ourselves during the good times? Here are some suggestions:
- Instead of always changing into something more comfortable, try on something uncomfortable. Face your fears, doubts and disappointments. Use your imagination to visualize the conflict or difficult moment and become more comfortable with it. The more you visualize it, the more you see that it is no big deal. Come up with some possible solutions to detoxify its hold on you.
- If you feel like the pendulum has swung to one extreme in your life, let it swing to the other extreme to reach the middle. If something destructive happens in your life, go the creative route to restore your balance. Balance out loss and destruction with creation and productivity.
- When you exercise, work on your core, the center of your gravity. When you do core exercises for your body, your mind follows along. For example, if you stand on a balance pod, you feel wobbly. You need to stabilize your legs from the middle of your body and keep your eyes focused. After a little practice you become adept and can stabilize yourself anywhere. Walking on uneven pavement becomes a piece of cake and so follows life.
- When you feel heavy and overwhelmed like you are buried alive with the weight of the world on your back, lighten your load with humor. Donít take yourself so seriously and you will soar. Go to the playground and watch the children for inspiration.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com