Enjoying a life of balance is a wonderful thing.
But look around you…how many people are actually living a balanced life?
Most people are overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt-out. Their relationship is struggling, work is draining, the kids are out of control, and there isn’t enough time in the day to do what needs to be done.
But there is a solution—one that doesn’t require you meditating all day either. You’ve got to understand what’s causing the imbalance to begin with.
If you want to create more balance in your life, this is where it starts:
1. Why you’re experiencing a lack of balance in your life
A lack of balance almost always comes from stressing about something. You’ve got hundreds of thoughts swirling around in your head, and they have you feeling frustrated, restless, and tense. Worst of all, you don’t feel like you’re in control of your life.
2. You worry about:
>> Finishing that project at work
>> Finding a maintenance specialist for the sink
>> Keeping your kids busy (and out of trouble)
>> The argument with your partner last night
>> How to squeeze in a workout and still get everything done
What you’re not doing is pausing long enough to figure out concrete solutions for any of it.
And that’s not good because mental chaos is the result. Unhelpful, discouraging, and stressful thoughts turn and churn in your mind with no sign of slowing any time soon.
3. Why balance is so elusive
So here’s what you need to understand: what you feel inside comes from what you think, not from what’s going on in the world around you.
It’s not the project at work that has you feeling stressed; it’s what you think about the project that’s causing the stress you feel. It’s not what your partner said that hurt you; it’s what you think about what your partner said.
It’s not your kids who are driving you crazy (they’re just being kids, after all), it’s what you think about the situation that has you feeling frazzled and tense.
So many people think that their feelings come from what’s going on around them. But that’s precisely the problem. That’s what makes it so challenging to live from a place of balance and ease. If you’re like those people, what you’re probably doing is trying to treat the symptoms of imbalance rather than the cause.
That’s got to change.
4. The key to living from a place of balance
Fighting the symptoms looks something like this:
>> A thought pops into your head
>> An unwanted feeling follows
>> You want to stop feeling that way, so…
>> You practice some form of relaxation (meditation, breathing, yoga, etc.)
While this might help at that particular moment, it rarely helps over more extended periods. This can be both frustrating and exhausting. I want to help you create permanent, lasting balance in your life.
The key to doing that is to understand this:
Feelings are not triggered by what’s happening around you (your circumstances); they always come from what’s happening inside you (your thoughts).
That imbalance you feel is being set off by the voice inside your head. And, so long as you allow her to chatter on, nonstop, you will struggle to create balance and peace in your life. The moment you acknowledge the voice, you are on your way to being free of it.
What would your life be like if you could just let go of all the stress you feel?
Imagine having a to-do list as long as your arm but without all the anxious thoughts inside your head.
How do you do that?
5. Recognize the part thought plays
This is not about demonizing thought because it’s always better to be aware of your thinking than not.
Especially when it comes to productive thoughts like:
My appointment is at 3:30 p.m., so I should probably leave here about half an hour earlier.
As opposed to harmful thoughts like:
Oh God, I don’t want to go to that appointment. Just thinking about it stresses me out. Why am I always the one that has to do these kinds of things?! I hate my life.
This kind of thinking just makes life plain hard.
The situation is the same in both. On the outside, you have an appointment at 3:30 p.m.
It’s on the inside that everything’s different.
What you think, you feel. Stressful thoughts lead to stressful feelings.
6. How thoughts shape your reality
Now that you understand your thinking’s control over how much balance you enjoy in your life, you need to know this:
That voice inside your head is the queen of exaggeration.
What do I mean?
Well, think about it. How many times…
>> Have your thoughts blown a situation completely out of proportion?
>> Has that voice inside your head led you to believe things that just weren’t true?
>> Has it convinced you that it had to be all or nothing?
The world around you is full of risk and danger, and that little voice inside your head thinks it has to sound the alarm on every single one. And it uses stressful thoughts to do it.
7. The birth of imbalance
And, yes, while life can be a risky business, 99.9 percent of the time, there’s no real reason to worry.
Still, that little voice in your head is catastrophe-focused and wants to make sure you are too.
This is how it draws your attention away from the present moment. Creating an imaginary version of the world inside your head continually impacts the way you feel.
Even if you know, on some logical level, that these horror scenarios won’t ever happen, you still feel anxious and tense.
It’s in this made-up world of thought that imbalance is born.
8. A simple solution for more balance
The solution, on the other hand, is simpler than you think.
>> Don’t take that voice inside your head so seriously
>> Don’t believe everything it says
>> Take a step back and listen with an objective ear
It’s not what’s happening around you that makes you feel unbalanced; it’s what’s happening inside of you.
Your inner voice loves to exaggerate and bend the truth. It seeks to control, and because we mistake it for our voice, we listen.
9. Beyond the chaos
Take a moment here and remember a point in time when you were truly balanced. What was that voice in your head doing? Was it chattering away at you? Or was it silent?
Chances are there weren’t many thoughts going on in your head at all. That’s why you felt so calm and focused.
It wasn’t because you didn’t have any problems to solve, your kids were little angels, and your partner was particularly loving. Beyond the chaos of your thoughts, there is always love, peace, and balance.
And here’s the great thing: it’s yours for the taking. Every day, all day—it’s up to you.
The only thing keeping you from enjoying more peace, balance, and ease in your life is that voice inside your head.
10. Dealing with the chatter
By allowing your inner voice to control your thoughts, you give it control over your emotions.
Learning to recognize that voice as it chatters away is the first step toward creating more balance. It takes time and a willingness to be persistent, but it’s definitely something you can do.
Quite often, you’ll notice the feelings first—the tension, unease, frustration, even anger—and then the chatter kicks in.
When this happens, ignore the voice and explore the feeling. Where is it in your body?
Can you pinpoint it? Can you describe it?
Now think about what set it off. Remember, thoughts trigger emotion. So, what was going through your mind when that feeling took hold?
Being able to recognize that thought will make it possible for you to change it. And by changing it, you can change how you feel.
Yes, it really is as simple as that.
Still, inner voices are stubborn things, and it takes practice to get good at the process.
Be open to it. Be patient. And know that living in balance starts with understanding what’s going on in the space between your ears. Every uncomfortable feeling is a door to understanding yourself better. Everything that throws you out of balance in this life is a way for you to grow.
When you catch your inner voice trying to run the show, see it as a sign that it’s time to step back and get present. Living in balance is not about meditating or practicing countless relaxation techniques (those are just extras).
It really does just come down to the simple fact that what you think directly affects the way you feel.