Find Balance IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD

To find balance in our lives can be downright difficult. In so many aspects of daily life, we can feel that we are wobbling precariously on a tightrope between one extreme and another.

To avoid feeling permanently off-kilter, we need to find ways to stay sure-footed most of the time, or at least develop excellent balance-recovery skills for when we notice we are teetering.

FIND BALANCE EMOTIONALLY

This can be especially true in respect to keeping a generally positive outlook without slipping into the habit of suppressing and denying negative emotions. We need to find balance in our lives that allows us to acknowledge and deal with the obstacles and stresses that we face, as well as noticing and appreciating the blessings and opportunities life offers.

OPTIMISM vs. DENIAL

While trying to look for the good in everything, it is important not to start trying to convince ourselves that certain events, people’s behavior, or circumstances don’t bother us when they really do. In trying too hard to be positive all the time, we can easily fall into the trap of pretending that we are ‘fine,’ when we are not.

If we try to smooth over, or avoid acknowledging, that certain things seriously annoy us, or make us angry, or sad, or frustrated, or confused, or scared, we are bottling up our emotions, and this never leads to anything good. Emotions need to be acknowledged, expressed appropriately, felt, and then ultimately released. If we do not take the time, and make the effort to process emotions in this way, they will eat away at our well-being.

NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ARE ALSO IMPORTANT

Having negative emotions and reactions to events in our daily lives does not mean that we are failing to be optimistic, or to learn and grow and live joyfully. In fact, our negative emotions can be very good teachers, and indicators of what areas we need to work on in our lives and in our selves. Working on, rather than ignoring, these areas is vital in helping us find balance, and creating a life that works.

Experiencing a whole range of emotions is part of being human, and the key is to experience them consciously, not allow them to take control of our whole lives or our reactions. Keeping things in perspective can help to find balance. Overreacting and under reacting are equally unhelpful to our well-being.

FIND BALANCE WITH REACTIONS

You may be boiling mad at something that has just happened, and if this event is a fairly minor occurrence, such as someone beating you to the parking space that you were trying to maneuver into, then a few minutes of ranting and raving is justified and healthy. After those few minutes though, when you have vented your anger, try to get back to looking at the bigger picture of your life. Dwelling endlessly on every minor incident that upsets us is just as harmful as suppressing our natural reactions.

Keep in mind that it is important to allow yourself the ranting and raving or whatever alternative of venting works for you. When you are mad, trying to avoid being mad is going to result in bottled-up feelings. You don’t necessarily have to vent the feelings at that very moment. If you have your elderly grandmother in the car, perhaps it would be a good move to hold your tongue until you get home and can rant and rave freely in privacy.

SUPPRESSING EMOTIONS DOESN'T WORK

Just don’t think that because you have temporarily suppressed the feelings they have gone away. When we experience strong reactions, the feelings will be there, waiting to be taken out and given their chance to be heard. Do it as soon as you can. Get the feelings off your chest, and don’t give them time to fester.

Unless you are far more enlightened than I am, telling yourself that the space was not meant for you, and that the other person somehow needed it more than you did, and trying to immediately feel happy, loving thoughts towards that person just isn’t going to work.

To find balance we need to express, not suppress our emotions, but also let them go once they have been expressed. This allows us to clear and open our hearts and minds to embrace, and deal with, the new wonders and woes that will come our way as surely as the sun rises each day.

getting real

People do not always behave in ways that we can agree with, justify, or even accept, but the trick is to accept the person without feeling obliged to accept the behavior. If we are really honest with ourselves, we can even realize that sometimes the selfish, thoughtless, rotten scoundrel didn’t do anything we haven’t done or wouldn’t do in certain circumstances. Acknowledging and taking time to understand our reactions is the vital thing.

Being realistic can be a great antidote to becoming unbalanced in our reactions to the ups and downs of our lives. Life is not an either/or experience, nor are happiness and joy all or nothing. If you notice everything that is going on in your life, you will see that there are blessings and frustrations, problems and pleasures, dreams and dramas. You don’t need to go veering wildly from one extreme to another. Be aware that these events come and go.

KEEPING PERSPECTIVE

In a single day you can experience a huge range of emotions. So long as you don’t overlook the good and magnify the bad, or suppress the negative in the idea that being positive must be a 24/7 endeavor, you will be in good shape to step lightly along the tightrope of life, and find balance as you go.


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