Annie Clarke, yoga teacher and blogger behind Mind Body Bowl, helps you discover what balance means to you.
We all know that each of us are so different from each other but when it comes to our search for balance and wellbeing, so often we forget to consider ourselves as an individual. It is all too easy to attach ourselves to a plan or programme that worked wonders for our mum, sister or best friend, or to try to replicate the positive, healthy lifestyle that we have seen someone else enjoy. The trouble is, if we struggle to keep it up, or it doesn’t leave us feeling great, it can trigger a negative feeling towards ourselves or the idea of balance in general. What’s more, by trying something new to help us feel our best, we can often loose our sense of balance in a different area of our life.
To really begin to find a sense of balance in our lives, the best place to start is to begin tuning in with ourselves. So in order to help you begin to connect, here are 5 of my top tips to help you start to recognise your own sense of balance.
Write A List of The Things You Like
Be real. Really take a moment to think about the things you enjoying. Do you ENJOY them or THINK you should enjoy them? This is all about connecting to yourself and trying to remove the fuzziness of the world and people around you. Begin to tune in to what it is that you, as an individual, love to do, hear, read etc.
It can actually be a really difficult exercise, and can take some practice to really distinguish between the two but over time it can be a really helpful way to start learning how to spend your time and energy better in order to create your sense of balance.
Let go of expectation or judgement
There is so much inspiration out there to help guide us but it is so much easier to remain positive about ourselves if we learn to accept exactly who and where we are at any time and appreciate our own limitations without feeling disheartened. If we tell ourselves that we are going to meditate for ten minutes a day, or go to the gym 5 times a week, or eat really well then that is really positive. However, on the days where you forget, or get distracted, or are just too tired to workout, finding a way to accept that as part of the process rather than to criticise ourselves for ‘failing’ to achieve what we set out to, we are able to take a much more holistic and nurturing approach to the way in which we seek balance.
Spend Time With People That Make You Feel Good
Friends, family, a stranger, a colleague, a teacher, a mentor or your dog! The people around us can not only provide us with guidance and support, but can also help us to learn more and more about who we our ourselves. Take a moment to write down a list of 3 people that really make you feel good. Then send each of those people a message, give them a call or pay them a visit. Even if you are short of time, just a quick hello can make all the difference to help ground you if you are feeling wobbly and refresh you if you are feeling as though you are spending too much energy on things and people that don’t serve you so well emotionally.
Spend Time Alone
The idea of spending time by ourselves; it can be pretty scary for some people and a total dream for others, but it is in that time that we can start to get to know ourselves best. Whether it is meditation, going to see a movie, going for a run or just sitting in the park with a good book. Take that time for you, without the need to please anyone else. It can be hard at first, but over time you may start to notice how you begin to enjoy your own company more and more.
Embrace Change and Uncertainty
Balance is a dynamic process. Just because something feels good right now, that doesn’t mean it always will. With each day, week, month and year, new challenges are presented to us. What makes us feel great one minute may not be the same as the next. Treat balance as a dynamic process rather than an end goal.
More from the Journal