by Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.
Our bodies are a biological miracle of balance engaged in a constant search for homeostasis or internal equilibrium. But when we apply the concept of “balance” to the entirety of our lives, what does it mean? A sense of inner peace and calm? Contentment with the moment? Feeling harmonious with our environment? Whatever it signifies for you, balance is essential for functioning at our full potential. Like dancers or athletes, we all continually move in and out of balance throughout our years. How smoothly we make those transitions can vary. So many life events take us out of balance…worry, fatigue, fear, yearning for what we don’t have, unrealistic expectations, sickness and loss of faith in ourselves. All of these issues, and more, get in the way of our ability to function at our best. When we are in balance, our bodies work the way they should. Conversely, when we are out of balance, we place ourselves at risk for illness and disability. Unfortunately, the older we get and the longer we have been out of balance, the greater the risk to our health. Body, mind and spirit all suffer. So, how do we prevent loss of balance? In truth, we can never completely avert it. It’s a natural part of life. All of us come in and out of balance at various points throughout our time on this planet. But, we can recognize when we’re losing it, and just like the gymnast on the balance beam, we can try to hang on tight with our toes. If we do fall off, we can pick ourselves up and get right back on the apparatus. So, get your pencils ready, because here are the key ingredients to manage balance in our lives:
- Engage purposefully in life. Pay attention. Make choices with awareness.
- Focus on what you can control, not what you cannot control.
- Create a routine that includes equal parts, work, exercise, rest, meditation/prayer and fun.
- Allow simultaneous acceptance of both the good and the bad.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Maintain Flexibility.