Balance … what a great word.  What do you see when you say that word to yourself?  It often changes, based on our own life experiences and needs.  Here are some of my visualizations:  a teeter-totter; the scales of justice; a person on a high wire; even the bubble in a carpenter’s level.

Whatever you see, connect your visualization to your sense of self.  You can feel a sense of balance as you focus on your breathing as you visualize:  inhale through your nose (fill your belly) and exhale through your mouth, taking twice the time it took to inhale.  Do this three times as you are viewing your mind’s picture of balance.  This is a simple exercise to start to right the ship when you are feeling yourself off-kilter.

Balance of the self takes into account these life areas:  physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.  Each area requires attending to in order for us to maintain that delicate state of balance as human beings.  Let’s look at each one of these.

Physically, take care of yourself.  The simple prescription is to eat right and exercise.  Although you can subscribe to a weight management program like Weight Watchers or work out at the local gym, the formula simply includes eating in moderation and moving (walking, swimming, etc.).

Mentally, stay active.  Use your brain cells.  Learn something new every day.  Have an opinion (whether you share it or not).  Studies show that the theory, “use it or lose it,” applies to those cells under our skullcaps!

Emotionally, be sure to be the adult you are when you are experiencing and/or expressing your feelings.  As adults, emotions are kept in appropriate perspective so we don’t overreact in situations.  Keep in mind that emotions are to be used as messages to the self, from the self, about the self.  They are not to run the show and dictate our thoughts and behaviors.  They are to be used purely for information about the self.

Socially, it is important that we have connection with other adults in our lives.  We are social beings.  That said, we don’t have to be social butterflies.  But, we do need to have that adult interaction regularly.  This can be met by contact with coworkers, family members, friends, and/or more formal social groups (bowling league, softball team, book club, etc.).

Spiritually, we have a need to know what life is all about; what our purpose is; where we are headed; why things happen the way they do; etc.  This life area is personal.  Each of us defines what spirituality means, whether it is participating in an organized religion, feeling a connection to the universe, or defining your higher power internally.  Throughout our adult lives, we will experience our personal spiritual journeys.

Balance.  What a great word.  Know that we can all get there.  Staying there requires daily maintenance of these major life areas.  So, take care of you … the enrichment balance brings to life is immeasurable.