My second post in this series about A2Z of Physical and Emotional Wellness is about Balance in Life. Its meaning as applicable to each of our lives might differ because we are at different stages of lives, careers and so on. However, there is one fact that applies equally to everybody, irrespective of gender, age, life stage etc. This fact is that everybody needs a certain amount of balance in life if they have any hope of ever living healthy, happy, fulfilled lives.
The idea behind this balance in life is an old one. Yoga talks of balancing the seven chakras that govern various aspects of our energies. Ayurveda believes that a person can be healthy only when the three Doshas or elements called Vata, Pitta and Kapha are in balance. Unfortunately, a lot of us these days are knowingly or unknowingly living lives that are out of balance. We have lost that precious balance in life.
Too often, due to pressures of the outside world, we end up living our lives as dictated by others. Our priorities should be based on the things that are important to us; instead, they are defined by things like competition at work (and hence the need to spend more time and effort at work), money or health problems (and the need or desire to spend time worrying about them), children’s school events calendar (and the pressure to be super-parent each time), peer pressure (keeping up with the Vermas?) and so on. We spend too much time on the superfluous, and not enough on the deeply important.
A life that is based solely on the expectations and desires of others, and is therefore out of sync with one’s own inner self, cannot be a balanced life. Career and societal expectations do have their own place in life, but they cannot and should not be the guiding force for a life’s journey. A life based on satisfying others’ expectations of us, will only lead to regrets in the end.
The three elements of balance
In general, one can look at balance from three aspects, all of which need to work well in tandem for perfect balance to be achieved.
- Physical – We create a physical balance in our bodies by healthy eating, getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs, getting regular exercise and so on.
- Emotional – Emotional balance is created and sustained by developing and maintaining relationships, spending time with loved ones, feeling cared for, etc.
- Spiritual – Ways to create spiritual balance include meditation, Yoga, and just spending some quiet time with yourself, maybe even with a hobby like writing.
How to create balance in life
So what does one need to do after taking a look at one’s own life and deciding that it could do with some, um, rebalancing? Again, there isn’t a single way to go about this, but one possible way to approach it is this way:
- Figure out what is most important: This will depend on what one’s priorities are and what the current stage of life is. Is more effort required for improving health? Does the relationship with spouse and/or children need more time and attention? Is a return to a full-time career on the cards? Asking questions like these can help define priorities.
- Pick some, chuck some: People who say you can do it all, don’t know what they are talking about. If you try to do it all, you’ll either do it all with very low-quality output, or you’ll kill yourself in the process. Therefore, after deciding priorities, one must spend more time and effort on those and drop or postpone the activities that were lowest on the priority list.
- Get family/partner buy-in: Getting the family/significant other involved in the process will make it easier. One might also able to get their inputs on things one might not be aware of. Plus, it’s good to have a buddy in this kind of activity.
- Circle back and review: Every few weeks or months, it is important to review progress and tweak things if needed.
- Don’t try to be a perfectionist: Aim to get things done, not to get them all done perfectly. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartaches.
Because the concept of balance will keep changing as a person’s life-stage and circumstances change, this “balancing” and “prioritisation” might have to be done at regular intervals.
When you have achieved balance in life, you have decided the optimum commitment of your time and energy between career, relationships, health, finance, personal and spiritual growth. You are not only happy and at peace, you are also more productive and efficient. It is the most basic condition that needs to be fulfilled in order for a person to be the best possible version of himself or herself.
If you wish to read more about simple ways to achieve more balance in life, you can read additional articles here: