We seem to have a steady diet of stress these days. Similar to controlling our food intake, we need to find solutions to the stress we ingest into our bodies.
Stress occurs when we have issues with finances, work, relationships or with ourselves. Life can be messy, so there are always opportunities for stress to surface up. None of us has perfect lives. Yet we have plenty of opportunities, on a daily basis, to decide whether to increase or decrease the stress in our lives.
Health, finances, work and relationships — the mighty foursome. These areas make up the bulk of our lives. At any one time, one or more of them can put us into a tailspin and add a dose of stress into our lives.
I had a health challenge two years ago and I’m still releasing stress around this part of my journey in life. I’m better, yet the memory of that year lingers. Each day I decide to be healthy. I’ve also had financial challenges through it all, and today I’ve found a better niche and am happier with the work I’m doing. I still have financial concerns but I’m working on them, making better decisions for my well-being.
So how do you strike a balance between the different areas of your life? The operative word here is “balance.” We all know that balance amongst all the areas of our lives doesn’t exist. What does exist is our awareness when one area is off balance. That is our journey in life…working on our own personal brand of balance. We share some common stress factors when we have to deal with a health or financial issue, yet our reactions to the same situation can be different.
It is a consistent effort on our part to strike a balance, not something you do once and it’s done. Rather, it’s listening to yourself on a daily, and sometimes moment-by moment basis to get a true reading on where you are.
It does sound like a lot of work, doesn’t it. Yet, having low energy, feeling out of sorts and not very happy is also a lot of work. What would you rather be doing?
Don’t you feel you are happier when you are growing? I know I feel lighter and more relax when I’ve made a decision to eliminate a stressful situation, person or thought in my life. When we are stagnant it adds additional stress to our lives. Even if you are doing something small in one of the areas in your life, you decrease stress. When you decide to say “no” to stress and “yes” to a change in action or attitude, you feel better already.
What does balance look like
Balance is personal. We all journey through our lives in a different manner. I remember a friend shared with me the difference in people’s lives.
For some, life is a mile wide and an inch deep. Where others need a mile deep and an inch wide. Where do you see yourself?
I’m probably more the mile wide and inch deep kind of person. Even though I have many routines in my life, I like variety in my work. At this wonderfully mature stage in my life, I finally have it. Others need to specialize and make decisions to limit other areas of their lives.
Balance is not a cookie cutter image for all. What’s your stress level? Check out the stress quartet and evaluate the importance of each – health, finances, work and relationships. In different stages of our lives we have different needs.
You know what is “working and not working” by listening to yourself to insure you are living the life that works for you.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky
Why Make Yourself Crazy – 400 Strategis for a Stress-Free Life by G. Gaynor McTigue