January 21, 2015

The Living, Breathing, Balancing Act of Life.


At the very core of our being, from the moment we’re born, it becomes apparent that not all things are alike.

There are good and bad, hot and cold, lazy and relentless, and so on. Life, from the moment we’re born to the day we pass, becomes a balancing act. The concepts of choice, freedom and will power are what define our every move. We choose our destiny, define our action and live with the results.

The beauty of a human being is that he or she has the capability to understand and analyze choices as they play out in life.

Balance—when demonstrated on such a grandiose and high-level approach—may appear daunting, confusing and uncertain. However, when broken down, balance can become much more manageable. When applied to our daily experiences, balance represents the handle and organization of various elements within our lives, both internal and external.

On a purely physiological level, balance can be understood through homeostasis—the process by which our bodies maintain internal stability. However, balance scales far beyond our internal bodily systems.

Each and every one of us is presented with questions, concerns, thoughts and dilemmas on a daily basis. At times, we all find ourselves juggling matters related to diet, work, family relationships, social life and schoolwork. As I sit here writing about balance, the following thoughts run through my mind: I’d like to finish a book I recently started; I need to get into the gym; I need to buy presents for my family’s upcoming birthdays; I’d like to improve my diet. It’s a lot to consider at once.

Life may feel like a game of tug-of-war at times.

When we don’t acknowledge, prioritize and analyze our circumstances, our health and wellbeing suffers due to lack of balance and stability. These external elements—work, family, diet, social life—require balance. Through examination and reflection, we can begin to understand how the various pieces fit together.

It is vitally important to spend at least an hour each day allocated simply to yourself—no books, no TV, no conversation. This sort of “me” time can be invaluable in considering questions, contemplating answers and creating a do-able timeline for all external question marks. For those who have difficulty allotting themselves “me time,” it can be helpful to rope in a buddy to keep each other committed and accountable to the process.

On an internal level, beyond homeostasis, balance is the connection between our body and mind. Mind-body connection speaks to the way our emotions and feelings interact with our physical health and behaviors. It’s no mystery why our bodies suffer at times and health ailments arise. While socioeconomic, lifestyle and environmental elements play a role, a lack of balance presents an opportunity for health ailments to persist.

Our bodies respond to the way that our minds feel. It’s our body’s way of telling us that something isn’t right—balance is out of order. Anxiety, headaches, change in appetite, weight gain and sweating are just a few examples of how our bodies may react to our mind’s process. All in all, our immune system is a good indicator of our emotional health.

In order to achieve and maintain balance in our lives we need to make it a priority. It is vital to maintaining a foundation in mental, physical and spiritual health. With it, we are able to do more than merely exist—we afford ourselves an opportunity to live and grow.


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Author: David Gelfand

Apprentice Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Pixoto

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