6 Steps to Go from Blah to Balanced

Woman balancing on branchToo often, false promises of magic pills, psychotropic meds, and quick fixes seem at first like good ideas, but they may lead to addictions or other side effects in an effort to “escape” and feel happier or more relaxed.

The truth is, there are simple ways to get you from feeling blah to bursting with vitality, without compromising your health in the process. Here are six healthy self-care strategies to help you restore balance in your life.

1. Be Mindful

Simply put, mindfulness is being aware of what you are doing and how you are experiencing life in this moment.

When we aren’t mindful of the physical root of the fatigue, for instance, it’s easy to turn to sugary, caffeine-laden energy drinks, energy pills, or illicit drugs rather than seek help. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the basic principles of mindfulness. Take it a step further and practice some beginner mindfulness exercises and see how it can benefit your life in both subtle and profound ways.

2. Eat, Move, and Rest

Nutritious food, exercise, and rest are “medicines” often overlooked when self-medication seems to be such an overwhelming answer to everything. Good food and rest do change your brain’s chemistry for the better. Micro- and macronutrients in food help various areas of our brains communicate properly with each other. Regular exercise also helps balance hormones that can make us jittery, anxious, and out of sorts.

3. Create Alignments

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: We become what we think. However, it’s important to also note we become how we think and act. In my practice, I help people achieve balance and happiness by aligning dreams and aspirations with daily routines and rituals. If we want to be healthy but smoke, for example, there will exist a contradiction causing negative consequences. If we want to be happy, then physical and emotional decisions must be made to achieve this driving desire.

4. Work on What Works

For the next five days say the affirmation “I am good enough for me” 50 times whether you believe it or not. You will begin to notice ways you are “good enough.” Is it that easy? You bet.Let’s say there’s a complex proposal due Monday, the kids have been swapping germs, your throat is starting to feel scratchy, and the car needs new tires. You can’t always change circumstances, but what can you do?

Dive into your memories and go to a time when you felt more empowered. How did you constructively juggle other chaotic periods? Use these memories to better cope with the current situations. Sometimes the solution to a problem is not necessarily the absence of the problem itself, but rather it’s the presence of something that worked before when things were better.

5. Find Wisdom in Problems

No need to stay at a Himalayan monastery to see that within each problem there is wisdom. I explain to people that come to me for therapy, “Instead of fearing the problem, listen and pay attention to what it may be trying to tell you. Clues to the solutions could be there within the problem itself.”

Do you know a couple who fights a lot? Could it be they’re using heated disagreements to bond or spend time together? This often happens. When that “fighting energy” is channeled into spending quality time doing things they once enjoyed together, the issues causing the fights can sometimes evaporate.

6. Train Your Brain

When talking to yourself, are you more positive or negative? Being negative at times is normal. However, problems tend to arise when our negatives outweigh the positives.

Take note of your core and most toxic beliefs. A common one is, “I am not good enough.” For the next five days say the affirmation “I am good enough for me” 50 times whether you believe it or not. You will begin to notice ways you are “good enough.” Is it that easy? You bet.

The next time you are feeling down in the dumps, remember that taking charge of your life and achieving balance starts with thinking well and making decisions in alignment with your visions. I like to say, “Balance is possible.”

© Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Dr. Lisa C. Palmer, PhD, LMFT, CHT, CRRTT, therapist in Boca Raton, Florida

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • 8 comments
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  • Gia

    Gia

    August 17th, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    The key elements to almost every success in life…
    eat, move and rest!

  • thomas t

    thomas t

    August 17th, 2015 at 3:06 PM

    I love the suggestions that sometimes you just have to go back to what has worked in the past. You don’t always have to feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. If you have been up against this before then take a step back and think about how you overcame it or accomplished something in the past. It doesn’t have to be a game of rocket science every single time something has to be done.

  • Polly

    Polly

    August 18th, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    Much of this is about getting your mind and body in sync

  • Existing on Empty

    Existing on Empty

    August 18th, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Apparently, this was written by somebody who doesn’t have kids, who isn’t pregnant and nit living with the in-laws, and can come and go as s/he pleases. At heartache author didn’t suggest prayer.

  • Kaci

    Kaci

    August 19th, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    Existing on empty- while I understand where you are coming from, and I know from experience that all of the things that you mentioned can be rough when it comes to balance and happiness, you also have to think about making just a little part of everyday just for you so that you can regain some pleasure and peace with all of the things that you have been given. It can be hard to see that when there are so many other crazy things going on in your life, but the bonus is that once you can find a little bit of that inner peace then some of those things do not seem quite so large and insurmountable anymore.

  • Tom P

    Tom P

    August 21st, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    Help me understand when you’re not sure what the problem is but you just don’t feel well. Anxious, panic, GAD. I’m not convinced these suggestions would help. But I sure would like to know what would.

  • Dr. Palmer

    Dr. Palmer

    August 21st, 2015 at 3:03 PM

    Sounds like you need a proper assessment. The root of anxiety can come from physical/health issues, relational, substances and medications, emotional reactivities due to traumas and stressors, brain anatomy and physiology or a combination of things. Sometimes our bodies respond with flashback memories or body memories because our brain doesn’t process perceived trauma memories the same as other memories then we become reactive to triggers and such. Of course the art and science of therapy changes the way one reacts and behave. But this article is really about Mastering the Basics of life as a guide to contentment and balanced living.
    Dr. Palmer

  • Nandini

    Nandini

    August 22nd, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    I can personally vouch for all the points in the self care domain. Simply following these brings a total transformation to ourself which gets manifested magically in our ability to look at life and the response of the universe. It is a wonderful feeling which is to be experienced by practscing all mentioned.

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