When people talk about “balancing” their lives, I can’t help but imagine a scale. Decisions and consequences, or risk and reward, or some other direct straight-line correlation. For whatever reason that metaphor has never worked for me.
To me, life is like a circle. Every decision or action pushes or pulls at that circle and distorts the other side. Press in on one side, and the other side bulges out. With that visual metaphor, in my mind’s eye, all of the little individual aspects of life work for and against each other simultaneously, as opposed to scales tipping and rising out of sync.
To truly “balance” your life you want to maintain as round of a circle as possible. I don’t say “maintain a perfect circle” on purpose, because let’s face it – our circles will never be perfect.
These are my tips for Maintaining Your Circle
1. Turn off Your Phone
Disconnecting from the world is never a bad thing. I know it seems impossible, but it isn’t. Take the time to experience what is all around you instead of focusing on everything thing else outside of your world. Our connections to the world put undo pressure on our circles, and that extends into our lives.
2. Spend Time Alone – and Be Comfortable That Way
Aside from disconnecting from our phones, disconnecting from people is a necessity in life as well. People push and tug at our circles every single day, so taking time to be alone, and focusing on ourselves in crucial. I’m not suggesting that you become a hermit though, that leaves a serious part of your circle deflated as well. Again, this is about balance.
3. Minimize Binges
Whether it is food, alcohol, shopping, sex, or a combination of all of those, living to excess has consequences. Every one of those consequences throws our circles out of whack, and therefore our lives. Sure, the occasional comfort food binge is okay – hell, it’s even good for you, but remember that when you push in one area of your circle, another part pops out.
Cutting down on the number of external and internal elements that effect your circle is one of the easiest ways to keep your circle relatively round. If you have 100 things pressing in on you, you have 100 bulges. It’s all relative. A few years ago, I started what I call a “worry list”. I wrote down everything that I was worried about, and as time went on, I crossed things off of that list. The lower the number got, the better I felt.
5. Pay Attention to Relationships
Every relationship in your life is a part of your circle. Some relationships pull, some push, some even help you pull or push your own circle back into shape. Paying attention to which relationships do what is another key to keeping everything in balance.
6. Be Aware
Open your eyes. There are things affecting your circle that you don’t even realize. Media, consumerism, politics, religion, all of it. Giving in to social pressures just to be part of the crowd can severely throw you circle out of shape.
Nothing on this planet eases the tugs and pokes on your circle like laughter. Laughter is the reason why I get out of bed, because at the end of the day, you can’t take life TOO seriously. That in and of itself throws your circle out of shape. The opposite is true as well, just going through life a giggling idiot isn’t any way to live either – trust me, I’ve tried.
Related: Emotional Balance: Why it is So Important in Our Lives