I have always known that having a balance in life is a healthy and efficient way of living and that it may lead to greater happiness. What I did not know that the balance is not just about physical balance, or balance between work and home – it is also about the emotional and spiritual balance. In fact, everything is connected – if you worry too much or focus only on one thing – it does not matter if your schedule or regime is equally divided between different things.
If you do not have a balance, your mind will continue wondering around or stressing about one thing only. There needs to be a mental/emotional/spiritual balance as well. When there isn’t you will see moms attending their kid’s concerts while checking their work email to see if their manager approved another project (because the mental balance has shifted towards work).
Mental balance is like a scale, if you focus too much on one thing,
it will lean only towards one direction while compromising others. So how to create a balance within your mind?
It all depends how you program your mind. The more anxious, fearful or stressed you are, the harder it is. True power comes when you have the ability and capacity to control it.
Capacity comes from physical forces and your energy levels: if you do not get enough sleep (less than 7-9 hours), if you are constantly tired or sick, and you need a coffee to wake up every single day, then chances are that you will be more prone to stress or anxiety as your mind is not rested enough. It also can be affected by poor diet, lack of exercise and your general inability to focus on one task and/or calm down/relax.
Your ability to control your mind depends on what you believe is possible, how you plan and your ability to overcome barriers.
For example, if you surround yourself with people, books, shows, articles, music that focuses on self-pity and how bad this world is – it will also affect your beliefs in your own abilities because many of us are product of our environment.
To plan well, you need to learn to break down all spheres of life (e.g. family, friends, work, hobbies, travelling, etc.) into equal parts and plan and do things for each. For example, if I tell you that I value a balance between my work, my husband and travelling but when you open my to-do lists or long-term plans, everything on that list (or majority of things) belongs to only one category (e.g. work) then you can see that I do not distribute my focus equally.
Some tools that help to develop capacity to control your thoughts are: keeping a diary/blog/reflecting, writing to-do lists, creating vision boards, writing plans or wish lists/resolution for the next month/year – in other words, all aspects of planning. I noticed that once you put your thoughts or ideas on a paper, it is like you engrave them forever and this is what you end up remembering. It may be also because I learn best when I write – for some it may be talking out loud and recording your ideas, or drawing images of it – whatever it is, learn to control it. The reason why it is important to have balance during planning stage is because planning is like formalising your project- once you have established your to-do list/resolutions/other planning products – your mind will focus on achieving them and so to avoid gaps and have a balance, make sure to include all aspects of life you want to improve in there. I know someone who would tell me she’d want to move up in her career, redesign her new home, travel, save money and have better relationships but when I asked her to develop a vision board she only focused on her son’s accomplishments. That’s a big indicator that this is what her focus is on.
Your ability to overcome barriers is also worth considering. Barriers are different for everyone – for some it is the past, old beliefs and assumptions, self-pity and lack of confidence or self-awareness, for others it is fears, negative thinking, relying too much on others and their opinions/approvals, or inability to adjust to change. Your barriers depend on your history, childhood and experiences. Each one of us has their own barriers that we need to identify and overcome to truly control our minds and move forward.