We often believe if you are taking care of your body physically, then we are nurturing our health. Perhaps you believe you are living a well-balanced life. You work hard, play hard, and enjoy life with regular social interaction. Yet you may still feel overly tired, run-down, depressed, negative with little joy or love. Possibly you are out of balance in different areas of your well-being. So, what are these areas and how are they to be balanced? The four areas to recognized for optimal health are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. All these facets are connected to our overall health. Each is affected by the other and absorbs energy, direct our thoughts, and influences our emotions. Let’s look at each area to see how we can promote better balance within our life to engage in optimal health and happiness.
Physical balance covers a large area of health. From exercise, nutrition, rest, and self-care; this section of finding balance can and is often misunderstood and neglected. One area you may want to focus on when considering physical balance is literally balance work. Most of us don’t even think about adding balance work to our exercise program, but balance begins to decline around the age of 40 to 50. The National Institute on Aging reports that one in three people over the age of 65 are more than likely to have a fall, and that risk rises with age.
Taking care of your physical health can help with balance overall. Staying active with exercise that improves muscles and flexibility may also help slow bone loss from osteoporosis. Balance exercises can be as simple as practicing standing on one foot. Other areas that you may want to look at are learning Tai Chi and Yoga that incorporate physical and mental balance into their practices.
We can incorporate more physical balance by looking at what we put into our bodies. Perhaps you need to drink more water, less alcohol, or look at your nutrition intake. Another area is getting regular check-ups for preventive health such as mammograms, prostate, blood pressure, vaccinations, vision, and dental.
Balancing our emotions plays a large part in physical health and well-being. This past year has been challenging emotionally for many of us. At times, we have all experienced fear, worry, anger, depression, and anxiety. These negative emotions can play a large part in our health as they can escalate, control our thinking, and cause poor decisions. Recognizing emotions can help you put them into perspective and allow you space to respond with intention and clear purpose. Learn to put your emotions into words to better understand how you are feeling and respond. Learning more about your emotional triggers can help with finding more stability and balance.
We have a choice with our thinking. We can focus on all the negative aspects of life or the positive. This focus on negative or positive thoughts can be cultivated into a habit. An emphasis on one over the other brings on an unbalanced outlook on life itself, and the brain begins to develop lopsided mentally. Our brain is a muscle and needs exercise but also rest.
Additionally, it’s important to stay mentally sharp to plan our activities, awareness, response time, and choices. Prioritize your time and learn to assert yourself to protect it. A few areas to work towards include surrounding yourself with people who provide positive influence and support. Unplug from technology whether it is social media, television, news, or work. Take time for yourself by enjoying a hobby or taking a class that gives you enrichment. Look into journaling for self-discovery, and meditation to add more to your mental balance. Learn to enjoy your own company, find respect for yourself, and cultivate your own interest.
Values, community, and spiritual areas come from a perspective within. Tapping into your deeper self will help you discover who you are, what your life purpose may be, and how you best interact within your community. Once you find these important elements, you can make a shift in life to change course and move in a new direction discovering who you are, what you want and need. Finding what you truly value can help you become a more cherished and respected partner, parent, team member, and leader in your world.
Each day you can nurture more balance into your life by working on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. Start small with areas you know you can easily build upon. Take a moment to look at where you may be missing balance in your life and how a few adjustments could make a big difference. As with any change in life, take small steps to develop habits that will grow over time to enrich your experiences and give you more well being and overall balance.
Related Article: As a gerontologist, the two most common questions I’m asked almost every day are, “What is gerontology?” and “What does a gerontologist do?” Once I explain, people always want specific answers about aging more vibrantly. Read more about what to ask your gerontologist for optimal health and happiness.
About The Author
Robin Anne Griffiths is a certified master development coach, personal trainer, behavior change consultant, and yoga instructor. She specializes as a movement instructor for senior populations. Her mission is to help with living a fuller and healthier life as you age. Her Better You Series is three unique programs tailored to help with positive changes in diet, fitness, and life direction. She works with groups and individuals on life transitions to create personal balance – physically and mentally. You can find more information at her website and read her blog.