Feeling constantly exhausted, over-scheduled and overextended, and barely making it through the day is becoming the reality of modern day life.
Unfortunately, with the current pace of our lives we’re losing our balance as a species. We’re starting to function against the laws of nature, and specifically against homeostasis. Our modern philosophy of life, cultural values as well as technological advancements are pushing us to the curb. It’s no wonder we are often unhappy and succumbing more and more to illness.
Homeostasis is the body’s natural state of balance. It’s a term I learned while earning my degree in biology. Every living creature is constantly striving for balance. Homeostasis is the state you’re in when you’re not too stressed, tired or excited, but feeling good, at peace, and functioning at optimal levels. Homeostasis is your natural state of well-being.
This is when you’re getting the proper amounts of rest, nutrients, water or time for play. It’s when you’re spending enough time connecting with others as well as having time to yourself. Even ecosystems (communities made of many living organisms – plants, animals and microbes living together and interacting as a system) strive to maintain a stable balance. When certain events happen, such as disasters or accidents, things get out of balance. But have you noticed how eventually nature corrects itself? Things heal and become restored, or when someone dies, someone else is born?
Some people claim that being in balance is a myth. They say the idea is overrated and basically unattainable. It is if that’s what we believe. It all depends on your perspective or how you define the concept of being in balance.
Just think about it, whenever you disrupt the balance in your life, either by doing something to excess, not getting enough of something or allowing yourself to stagnate, things get off balance. That’s when your body or life moves out of alignment. That’s when you start getting the kind of symptoms that tell you something is off balance, something is wrong.
According to the doctor of oriental and alternative medicine and the author of twelve books on wellness Dr. Mark Wiley, “The hidden imbalances are the beginnings or the root causes of pain, illness, and disease”.
Yes, life gets in the way sometimes. But we have the power within us to correct things. Not everything is out of our control.
Many of us are high achievers. We strive for more, bigger, and better. Often this is at the expense of our health and happiness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s natural that if we own a business we want to see progress. However, it doesn’t mean success should cost us our health or sense of wellbeing!
Unfortunately our culture places such a high priority on work and achieving success that we’re riddled with guilt for wanting some rest and relaxation, to take a vacation, or just sit back and enjoy our lives. It seems so off balance. No wonder so many people are suffering from insomnia and taking prescription medications for depression. The use of over-the-counter stimulants is on the rise and undoubtedly this is the result of stress and overwork.
The Solution? Take responsibility for your health and life by consciously creating your own lifestyle. You are in charge!
It’s important to do these 3 things:
- Re-evaluate: what’s working and what’s not?
- Re-prioritize: determine what’s most important to you. What feels right?
- Re-design: live life according to your values, your needs, your vision and your desires.
I don’t believe in forcing things because when we push too hard, we break down. Enough of that! I believe in creating or allowing things to unfold and happen naturally. I believe in simply doing your best without taking on any guilt. It’s about understanding and aligning with the laws of nature. It’s about remembering that we’re humans and not machines.
Avoid having too much or too little of anything. This is the reason I love the European concept of “everything in moderation”. It’s seems so simple yet it works.
If you eat too many carbs, too much protein, or too much fat, things get out of balance. Too much of even a good thing can be bad. It’s about having well-balanced meals and getting the proper nutrition.
Not moving causes stagnation. Be careful with sitting too much. When we are sedentary for long periods of time, we lose flexibility and everything slows down including brain function. According to research done by The Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods of time can lead to nearly a 50% increase in the risk of death from any cause. Exercise is good for us. However too much exercise or if it’s too strenuous it can have an adverse impact on your body, your joints and even your energy levels. You can end up feeling exhausted instead of energized, especially if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue. Exercise, but don’t overdo it.
Activity vs. Rest
Are you feeling guilty about not working enough? Think about your car. When it runs out of gas, don’t you stop by the gas station to refuel it? Think of how much more your living body needs to recharge and refuel after a day’s work. It’s about being aware of your body’s limits. It’s about knowing when it’s too much or not enough.
Evaluate your emotions. Are you sometimes overwhelmed with negative emotions? Are you allowing too many sad thoughts to occupy your consciousness? Are you worrying too much? Sometimes, it’s as simple as noticing your thoughts and changing them to become more positive. Or instead of focusing on a problem, it’s about focusing on a solution.
In theory this formula sounds good: “One third of your time should be spent taking care of business. Then spend one third taking care of the inner and the physical you. And one third for family, friends, community, and the world at large.” That would be desirable if we lived in an ideal world.
The answer is: Simply do your best! The key is to learn to be present in whatever third you’re living in. So when you’re working, work. And when you’re loving, love. And when you’re eating, eat.
The secret is: To listen to your body, to pay attention to the signals it gives off.
When you listen to your body, you will know when it’s functioning at optimal levels. Your body will tell you when you’ve had enough sleep or when you’ve had enough food.
It’s about living more mindfully. It’s about being aware of where you are, in excess or in deficiency, and taking the steps needed to restore balance and achieve that natural state of equilibrium. Your body will thank you.
Live your values. Live your vision of a better life. When you do you will have more time, more joy, feel more relaxed, more balanced, and be successful while going with the flow.
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