Have you ever had those days when you are so overwhelmed with life that you just want to do nothing? Your brain is a foggy mess of anxiety and all you can do is think about the never-ending to-do list. So you opt to sit on the couch and scroll or binge watch your favorite show. We’ve all been there. But learning how to overcome this overwhelm and balance our lives will bring us greater satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.
The Basics of Balance
I loved watching my gymnast sister at her competitions when we were younger. Seeing her floor or high bar routines was enjoyable, but the balance beam was jaw-dropping. Every time she would do a jump or prepare for a handspring, I’d hold my breath for just a second. I’m more of the clumsy type and even the thought of walking across the beam seemed impossible. But my sister had trained every part of her body to accomplish these feats—especially her core. Having a strong core gave her balance and freedom of movement, and prevented her from being injured.
Your spiritual core also provides strength and helps you balance the day-to-day demands of life. Often we find ourselves engulfed with to-do lists and struggling to understand how to prioritize work, school, family, spirituality, health, socialization, goals…. the list goes on. But as you train your core through regular spiritual exercises, you’ll find your soul provides the strong foundation you need to find balance and stability.
Just a few minutes a day of simple soul-fueling exercises will expand your spiritual core. Gradually, over time, you’ll develop the ability to center yourself and more easily navigate those challenging, seemingly overwhelming tasks.
Oneness of Mind, Body, and Soul
When I’m off balance, my day is filled with anxiety and emotional rollercoasters. I desperately need peace and direction and motivation—but if my balance is off, I’m a wreck. I used to think I was the only one that experienced this, but I’ve discovered that it’s not just me! “The link between mind, body, and soul is a scientific fact. Research reveals we have three separate neural pathway networks, leading to the head, the gut, and the heart. These have been dubbed the three brains, all capable of controlling how we feel and how we react” (Hunterlink). Our brains are wired to thrive when we appropriately balance mind, body, and soul. But how do we best achieve this interconnection?
Reflect on a normal day and mentally categorize your tasks. Does your mind, body, or soul get more attention? Is one area of your life feeling neglected? After some evaluation, pick one simple step to focus on. For me, I often need to make a change physically—get up and move my body or eat something to give me a little energy. Your simple step will likely be different. Only you can understand how your mind, body, and spirit work best together.
Often, we desire immediate change. Our world of high-speed internet and answers at our fingertips has programmed us to “need” quick fixes. But patience is required to learn the art of balance. Incorporate these mental evaluations throughout your day and make gradual changes. Some days, I only need one reflection in the middle of my day to revamp my balance. Other, more chaotic days, I take several breaks for self-evaluation.
Now, take it one step further, and allow your mental evaluation to take physical form. This could look like sticky note reminders, goals in a bullet journal, or a well-planned day outlined on your calendar. Start with your thoughts and put them into action. See, your brain and your body and your soul really are connected.
Don’t Over Do It
Sometimes we can get obsessed with discovering balance. We all want that zen energy. In a world of constant change and chaos and overwhelm, we just want to feel peace. To sit in the stillness. To just breathe. But what if the stress and the noise all around us could be a positive thing? I think the anxieties that often overwhelm are just part of life. It’s when we let them consume us that they become harmful.
So, let’s learn to balance, but not obsess. Your imperfection will always be there. Train your spiritual core and be better prepared for handsprings and jumps—and stumbles—of life.