The need to find balance is something that operates in many areas of our lives: balance within our body, the food we eat, levels of activity and rest, thoughts and emotions, within relationships and in our work and personal lives.
Our ability to maintain physical balance is one of those things most of us take for granted on a daily basis. Physical balance involves a range of different sensory systems working together: our vision, proprioception – the awareness of where our body is in any moment and the vestibular system in our inner ear. So, physical balance is something worth being grateful for.
There are times when we’re dominated by thoughts and other times by emotions. Both have their place. However, we respond more skilfully and make wiser decisions when we balance thinking and feeling. There’s also an internal balance within thoughts and emotions. Are our thoughts critical, limited and negative, or creative, expanding and positive? And are our emotions intense and overwhelming, or stable and balanced?
Our busy work and personal lives are often so full of activities it’s hard to maintain a sense of balance.
When our work becomes unbalanced, we can end up neglecting our personal life. Although we can have fulfilling careers, we work to live, not the other way around. A poor work-life balance can damage your mental and physical health. The burden of working long hours for a sustained time can lead to stress, depression and eventual burnout. Recent research found that the average family in the UK spends as little as 36 minutes a day in quality time. And around half of the people in the survey said that their work-life was out of balance.
Thomas Merton, the writer, monk, and social activist, said, “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” To recover balance means regularly taking stock of your needs and priorities.
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