In this maddening fast paced modern life everyone has to deal with more than one human dimension, – as psychology teaches us – each requiring our fullest and undivided attention. So that, it is of no surprise that many of us find it difficult to function properly and efficiently in a society that asks us to fulfill so many roles. Recently, scientists have recorded an unprecedented number of people suffering from chronic or acute sleep deprivation, depression (mood) and burnout syndrome. But how can we find the right balance between these powerful and demanding life forces? How can we find peace of mind and equilibrium?
1. Give outdoors a chance
Spending time outdoors offers us several major benefits, beginning with the psychological ones: it releases the tensions built up during the working week, it prevents and reduces stress, it paves the way to spiritual reconnection and growth, and it even taps into our creative side by allowing us to enter the contemplation process. Whether we just go strolling through the park for a breath of fresh air or go hiking in the mountains, outdoor activities act as catalysts for a better and healthier body. They improve our cardiovascular and muscular fitness, boost our immune systems, and exposure to sunlight promotes vitamin D synthesis – essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.
2. Watch out for the blue light!
Recent studies have shown that the way we spend our last hours before going to bed has immense impact on our circadian rhythm and, thus, on our health in general. The light or the lack of it regulates our sleep cycles by influencing the secretion of melatonin in our bodies -the sleep hormone. Specifically, it has been discovered that the blue light, commonly known as the light emitted by our TV or computer screens, limits the production of this sleep hormone. Logically, the presence of the blue light will enable us to stay awake and alert; however its absence will make us feel sleepy and tired.
3. Stop the self-criticism cycle!
Auto-critique can be constructive when there is something that we can learn from our own train of thought or our behavior, but if done excessively, it becomes harmful to our own well-being. The most notable damage is done to our self-esteem and our sense of confidence, so that we will soon start doubting our own judgement and worst, our capabilities of making the right decision when the time comes. However, this cycle feeds on itself; it feeds on recurrent negative thoughts and the only way to stop it is to allow ourselves to make mistakes, to be wrong once in a while, in other words, to be human.
4. Remember to be thankful
This horrifyingly complex life throws many challenges our way, but that is no reason to quit seeing the positive side of things. One way of finding strength and balance when things fall apart is remembering that we have more than others have, that we are blessed with a family and a life that we personally have the power to create and shape. Make a list of the things that put a smile on your face, which you are thankful for and see how the world looks like after that. And remember, it’s all about perspective!
5. Find time for yourself
Whether you are a full-time mom, working a 9 to 5 schedule or 2-3 jobs in parallel, the first rule is that you have to dedicate at least one hour to yourself every day. This alone time is the key to reconnecting with our inner selves and it is a gift. So use it wisely! You can dance until exhaustion or be more creative and write a poem, sing a song or make a collage out of your favorite magazines; you can meditate or if you don’t know how, just close your eyes in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing, while clearing your head of any thoughts.
In this article we have had the opportunity to go over some of the most important principles to achieving peace of mind and inner balance.In many ways, it is a never-ending project that we must diligently work at every day.