Over the past few years, I’ve counseled numerous people regarding weight loss, proper nutrition, fitness and general well-being. It’s interesting, because as I delve deeper into the lives of people, I find a general undercurrent of worry, fear and frustration manifesting itself in many physical, emotional and even spiritual ways. At the core of many is a lack of balance in life. And, in the midst of trying to help others, I found that the very same issue was plaguing me as well. While I’m quite thankful for the nutritional, dietary and fitness wisdom I now have, I feel that it’s important to mention a hard lesson that I learned in the process – how crucial it is to have balance in one’s life.
Stress kills. But before it does so, it will knock your life out of whack. In my case, in the midst of striving to learn to be a fit and healthy person – I severely neglected the mental, emotional and spiritual side of the equation. I was eating right for health, but was not properly nurturing my soul. I soon found myself overstressed, anxious and quite literally, out of balance. I constantly felt physically ill and soon found myself worrying and stressed about everything – namely work, relationships with others AND my health. It seemed that my life was spinning out of control. The interesting thing is that the more I tried to control it – the worse it got and the worse I felt. I adjusted my diet a hundred different ways; I increased and changed the dietary supplements I was taking; I did research, perusing the internet looking for solutions for everything, including work and my health; I went to the doctor repeatedly to find out what was wrong with me; and I’m even ashamed to say, I began drinking a glass or two of wine in the evenings just to relax (which I rarely did before). Ultimately, I developed a very severe case of gastritis that was misdiagnosed, resulting in a lot of pain and unnecessary intestinal surgery.
I tell you all of this to demonstrate how lack of balance in my life completely threw things out of whack and caused me a lot of sickness, pain, worry and frustration. In case you didn’t get it,
Life without Proper Balance Isn’t Healthy Living
Life IS a juggling act. And quite frankly, most of us are NOT very good jugglers. I know I wasn’t. In the midst of my attempts, I was dropping things left and right. No matter how hard I tried to fix things, they continued to get worse and I just got sicker and more frustrated. I was missing the big picture. For those of you who are visual, look at this diagram that I created below, which I believe to represent proper balance in life:
Ideally, this is where we should be – having proper balance in life between these three main areas (Body, Mind, Soul). Imagine the above as a wheel that rolls perfectly, because all areas are in balance. If you were able to inflate or deflate one of the above areas, indicating a lack of balance, the wheel would cease to roll smoothly.
Many of us, due to neglect to our “life circle of balance”, if you will, have a deflated ball or circle, basically like what you see below – deflated, unfulfilled (lacks air or inspiration) and won’t roll or bounce. Take a look:
What you see above was representative of my life a few years ago. To put it simply, when you have a life out of balance, chances are some or many of the following issues may describe what you will experience:
- Poor health, malaise or sickness (headaches, nausea, acid stomach, ulcers, or worse)
- Anxiety or Panic
- Obesity, weight gain or even weight loss
- Insomnia or perhaps you sleep too much
- Relationship problems (have trouble relating to others)
These are but a few symptoms of a life out of balance. And, if your personal life balance is representative of the deflated, uninspired diagram above, just imagine how it must affect everything in your life.
If your life is like mine was, like the above wheel or ball that won’t roll or bounce, here are three fundamental things to remember that may help inspire you. They are not so much about action as they are about your perspective. You may not be able to change your situation right away, but these may actually add some air (inspiration) to your life (tire, ball, wheel) so that it at least keeps rolling forward:
- Stop focusing on your problems and worrying yourself sick about them. Worrying will not change one thing about your situation, in fact, it will only make it worse. Here’s what Christ Himself said about it in Matthew 6:27 – “And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?”
- Change what you can. Ok, so you can’t control everything, but there are things about your life that you can control. Many times in life we obsess and worry about things over which we have no control. Stop doing that and refocus on what you CAN control and change.
- Focus on the good, the positive, the right things about your life. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Philippians 4:8-9, ” Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Practice this and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
If you practice the above three suggestions, your ball will begin rolling in no time. Meanwhile, keep working on solving the problems in your life.
Before you know it, balance will return and success, renewal and joy will abound.