Are there too many demands upon your time? Do you have that panic feeling as though you can’t get through that long to-do list? Does your mind feel as though it’s going to explode? I assure you, there is a way to restore balance.
The downside of being too busy.
The stress that comes from being over busy is a big drain on your energy. It may start to impact all areas of your life including your work, your relationships and your health.
When overstretched we seek comfort and distraction, perhaps in a nice a glass of wine, a big bag of chips or too much surfing online. Some resort to pain relief medication. Anything to numb the pressure and relive stress, but the relief is only temporary.
Constant activity without rest will sooner or later take it's toll. Tiredness is an obvious symptom, as are aches and pains, headaches and mood-swings.
When we’re constantly worrying about what we have or haven’t done and feeling as though we're underachieving, we lose enjoyment of life.
Many years ago, I read a book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. Written in the 1970's it was about how people will cope psychologically with a future where change happens too fast.
That future is now and his words were extraordinarily insightful because here we are running around like crazy trying to keep up with this momentum of change.
It feels as though we don't have a choice, but we do, and we must choose a different way, if we are to avoid physical and mental imbalance.
So, even though you and I have a long list of things that must get done, ask yourself, does doing it all at 90 miles an hour get you there any faster, or does it just create more stress?
We are far less efficient when stressed
When you remain calm, you are far more productive and efficient. However, in today's fast-paced world staying calm doesn’t come easily as we get sucked into the busyness of the day.
As soon as stress levels are elevated our mindset changes and we put more pressure on ourselves. Yet this inner pressure is really self-driven and becomes habitual.
By learning new health-driven habits, we restore inner balance. We're also able to recognise when stress levels are rising and do something about it.
So, next time you find yourself flying around getting all stressed out and putting yourself under unfair pressure, stop for a moment and try one or more of the following ways for restoring balance in your life.
Three ways to restore balance in your life:
1. Breathe from the heart:
Close your eyes, take a deep breath in and bring your focus of attention to your heart area or the centre of your chest, and breathe out. Now imagine that you are breathing in and out from this heart centre and repeat at least five times or for as long as you are enjoying it!
Pick one of the following words to repeat silently as you are breathing: Calm. Peace. Happy. Blessed. Joy. Relaxed. Quiet. Repeat it silently. When you are ready, open your eyes.
2. Get grounded
Stand upright, let your arms hang by your side and close your eyes. If you choose to sit, let your hands rest in your lap. Bring your focus of attention to your feet. Imagine your feet have roots, and like a tree they are growing down into the earth, creating stability and strength. Give these roots a colour (allow whatever comes to your mind be the colour energy you need).
As you breathe slowly, draw in the energy from the earth. Feel it drawing up into your legs and throughout your body. When you feel calm and peaceful, open your eyes.
3. Notice nature
The idea that nature is an antidote for stress is now widely accepted. It is such a simple and easy way to restore inner balance and promote well-being and can be done anywhere, anytime. Simply observe something in nature.
- Stop, look up at the sky and feel the vastness. Day or night.
- Watch how the clouds move and the shapes they make.
- Look at the contours, colours and textures of a tree.
- Feel the sun and the air on your skin.
- Observe the intricacies of a flower.
This mindfulness exercise takes you out of your head and expands your awareness. Nature is naturally healing and restoring, and this exercise allows us to experience the bigger picture of life. Be curious and just observe without judgement.
It may seem a woo-woo exercise to some but just try it for a few days. Let me know in the comment section below what you enjoy most about this exercise.
Here’s a question for you…
Which one of these three exercises do you like best?
I hope that you've found this useful, leave your comment below.
Janice Bowles is a life coach and hypnotherapist who specialises in stress management and helps men and women recover from the debilitating effects of burnout and go on to create a deeply rewarding and meaningful life.