A balanced life is the key to peace of mind and a happy and successful life. There are things in life that we have to do and things that we simply enjoy doing. The challenge is to learn how to balance those things. When you are living with balance, you are living with peace and harmony at all times. Balance comes in physical, emotional and spiritual forms.
Let’s face it, our lives are extremely busy. Trying to juggle money earning with nurturing and maintaining a good family life and having a healthy social life and self awareness can be challenging.
Being in balance will mean something different to different people. For most of us it is simply about creating time for the things we like to do as well as those things we have to do. It is up to each of us to create harmony and balance between our life responsibilities and activities that bring us pleasure, personal fulfilment and rejuvenation.
It took me almost half a century but finally, I think have found some golden rules that have helped me to achieve a happier and more balanced life than I ever thought was possible. Here are my Top 10 tips:
1) Be an early riser
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin
Some of the documented benefits of being an early riser include:
- Positive Outlook
- More Energy
- More time to exercise
- More organised
- Healthier eating
- More productive and creative
- Healthier looking skin
They say “the early bird catches the worm” and research shows that there may well be some truth to that old adage.
2) Meditation / Mindfulness Practice
As time goes by, more and more people in the world are discovering the life changing benefits of meditation.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind and redirecting your thoughts. It can be used to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people also use it as a way to reduce stress and to develop concentration. Meditation can also be used as a practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
3) Exercise / Move Your Body
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does regular exercise help to manage your weight and reduce your risk of developing diseases, but it can also help prevent and treat mental health problems. It can boost your well being and is a great stress alleviator. It may even help you to live longer.
4) Healthy Diet
A healthy diet or clean diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, starches, good fats and lean proteins. Eating healthy also means avoiding foods with high amounts of added salt and sugar. The benefits of a healthy diet include weight loss, better health, better mood and mental clarity.
5) Think positively
When you harness the power of positivity, it has an amazing impact on your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health. Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions and fear. If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive then you are more of an optimist.
6) Have an attitude of gratitude
“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles” – William Penn
Gratitude has been scientifically proven to strengthen your immune system and make you happier and more optimistic, as well as less lonely and isolated. Gratitude has the power to block out negative emotions. Human nature tends to want what it does not have and dwell on the negatives instead of celebrating what we do have and focusing on what is going well. You cannot pay too much attention to what you feel is missing in your life if you are grateful and focused upon the positive aspects of your life. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
7) Spend time alone
In this busy age of social networks, instant messaging, emails and other technology, we are never really alone. We are always somehow connected to the rest of the world. All of these things have overshadowed one of the most important parts of our lives – Solitude!
“Be alone – that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.” – Nikola Tesla.
Most of all, being alone allows you to be with your own thoughts and discover your own voice. It is in these moments of solitude that you discover your true identity and means of expression. You are free from any interruptions or outside opinions. It is just your own voice and you can regulate your thoughts.
“There is a difference between loneliness and solitude; one will empty you, and one will fill you. You have the power to choose”
Being lonely hurts and can negatively impact your health but the mere fact of being with oneself does not have to be bad. Spending time alone can help you build mental strength. Studies have shown that the ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction and improved stress management. People who enjoy alone time experience less depression. “
Solitude is dangerous, It’s addicting. Once you see how peaceful it is, you don’t want to deal with people.”
8) Keep a journal
The practice of journaling generally involves the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts and feelings relating to the events of your life. It is a useful tool for self-analysis, self – discovery and self – reflection. Journaling allows people to clarify and explore their thoughts, feelings, impulses, memories, and hidden desires through the written word.
“Keeping a personal journal, a daily in depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them.” – Stephen R Covey.
Some of the benefits of journaling are that it optimises your creative potential, accelerates your ability to manifest your goals, creates a springboard for daily recovery, generates clarity, clears your emotions, increases your gratitude, records your history, and unleashes the writer in you.
Decluttering is essential to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Whether it’s dirty dishes piling up or stacks of papers covering your desk, everyone is bound to experience the negative effects of clutter in their lives. When you clear the excess clutter out of your life, you will notice the positive effects it has on your mental state and overall wellbeing. The benefits of decluttering go far beyond just the tangible benefits of a clutter free, tidy home. Decluttering can become an important way to practice self care because it helps you take control of your home, your life and your “stuff” to improve your overall wellbeing.
Extra stuff is not just messy, it could also be holding you back from living your best life. Set aside 15 mins a day to straighten up one place, such as a messy shelf or drawer. This way you will feel happier and more relaxed at the end of the day, and gradually create more order as you go along. When you get rid of the clutter, you will have time to pursue what you truly love. You will have time to actually live your life instead of just managing the stuff that fills it.
Clearing out the clutter helps bring you peace.
10) Set Goals
The magic in goal setting is that it helps you plan where you want to go in life and keeps you motivated so that you are able to turn the vision of your dream into a reality. Goal setting enables you to be proactive about what you want to achieve. The results are empowering as you gain more self confidence with every new goal you achieve.
Goal setting is crucial because it helps you decide and focus on what is really important to you. Effective goal setting also lets you measure progress, overcome procrastination and visualise your dreams. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish then you can’t create a plan to get there. Goal setting is the vehicle that will drive you to your desired destination.
5 simple rules for goal setting are
- Set Goals That Motivate You.
- Set SMART Goals – Specific – Measurable – Attainable- Relevant – Time bound.
- Set Goals In Writing.
- Make An Action Plan.
- Stick With It.
Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define what exactly it is that you want and understand why you want it in the first place then your odds of success are reduced. By following these 5 simple rules you can set goals with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing that you achieved what you set out to do.
So … these conclude my 10 ten tips for a healthy and balanced life. These are the main things that have really made a tremendous impact on my life and set me up on the path to becoming the very best version of myself. Over time it is my intention to write more detailed individual blogs about each of these tips, but that’s it for now. I hope you feel inspired and find this blog useful.