by: Michelle L. Casto
The World Health Organization has called stress a modern day epidemic affecting every person of every culture, educational status, and financial level across the world. Too much stress is the reason we end up sick and burned out. We know there must be something more than the hustle and bustle of modern-day life and yet forget to take the time to find our unique sense of balance.
Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” This is even more true in the modern world. It is essential then that you discover what will bring you a harmonious and balanced lifestyle. There are many ways to bring more balance to your life. Here are 10 ways I have found that work, which should get you thinking of even more uniquely suited to you.
Voltaire once said, “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” Having faith in a higher power helps you face even the darkest hours. Faith gives you peace of mind and an open heart. It lights the dark tunnel and allows you to walk forward courageously.
Action Step: Choose a favorite inspirational quote about faith and put it in your wallet.
2. Assess Your Life
Human beings are similar to a computer: we both operate on programming. What we put in, we get back. And if we put in or take on too much, we get overloaded, and then burn out. Assessing where you are now will help you to know what to do, where to go, and what to leave behind.
Action Step: List all the stressful events that have happened to you in the last year.
3. Live By Your Values
Choose to make life choices that stem from your core values—those things that feed your soul. Values are intrinsic beliefs and feelings that develop from our experiences, backgrounds, and culture. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that when your orient your life around your values that life is much more to your liking.
Action Step: Identify and define your top 5 values.
4. Develop Boundaries
Boundaries are physical, emotional, and spiritual barriers that keep us safe, protected and nurtured. Having healthy boundaries empowers us to say no when appropriate and attract what we want into our life and keep out “garbage.” Boundaries show others that you love, care, and value yourself.
Action Step: Set a clear boundary with someone close to you this week.
5. Change Your Self-Talk
Balanced living requires balanced thinking. When negative thoughts come up, shut them out and focus on the positive. Your personal operating software is often running off of outdated and old tapes. Consciously create a new tape and upload it to your brain!
Action Step: Choose an affirmation that you love and say it out loud ten times every day.
6. Take Control
You are in control of your own life. Nobody makes you stay in bad situations. If you are in a job you despise, an unhealthy relationship, do not wait until you get fired or dumped. Choose to change. Recognize the cause of your discontent and take action.
Action Step: Make a change for the better starting now.
7. Clean up and Clear Out
Your physical surroundings have a major impact on your sense of balance. So if you live and work in chaos and clutter, you will feel off center. Cleaning up and clearing out your personal (mind-set and relationships) and environmental (home, office, car) spaces brings instant rejuvenation.
Action Step: Tackle a drawer, closet, or garage by the end of the week.
8. Eliminate Tolerations
If you are like most, you are tolerating way too much. A toleration is anything that is stressing you, for example: things that are undone, incomplete projects, and toxic people, places, or situations. Eliminating tolerations is a great way to unleash stored energy and power.
Action Step: Eliminate 3 tolerations from your life today.
9. Practice Wellness
Wellness means having a holistic program (mind, body, and spirit). Take care of your body by eating healthy, getting regular exercise and enjoying rest. Nurture your heart and mind with good friends, fun adventures, and learning new things. Refresh your spirit by reading inspirational books, attending church, spending time in nature, etc.
Action Step: Do 3 extra things to take care of yourself this week.
10. Simplify Your Life
The key to live more simply is to downsize and release unnecessary things from your life. Simple living is about living deliberately. You choose your existence rather than sailing through life. It is about finding your unique balance. Simplicity asks: Is it right for me? How do I want to live my life?
Action Step: Write your philosophy of an ideal life, incorporating elements you most cherish.
There are many ways to bring balance to your life. It starts with making smart decisions and becoming more aware of what makes you happy. Stress is not going away anytime soon, so you may as well start today by creating a program to manage it. Discover what works best for you and commit to doing it on a daily basis. You will quickly learn that balance is not just a nice idea, but an actual reality!