Life coach Kerstin Waddell from Be Happy Life Coaching, reveals what living a balanced life really means, how to identify whether you’re in need of a more balanced life, and some lifestyle changes you can start making today!
Q What does ‘a balanced life’ really mean?
A balanced life is one where you feel satisfied, happy, content. However, you’re also aware that everything changes, including feelings and conditions that create these feelings. There’s an ongoing need to tweak and check in with your present state. Some days you will need more down time/adventure/excitement/time alone/time with people than others. This is beautifully described by Gurudev Amrit Desai (yogi), who said, ‘I exist in continuous creative response to whatever is present.’
Q How would you help someone to identify what they need to feel more balanced?
A Read your body for signs of balance vs imbalance. For example, tight shoulders and a sore neck could mean that you’ve taken on too much responsibility. Things like headaches, indigestion, constipation… You know your body well enough to sense when you’re out of whack. Listen to and respect it.
Tip: Imagine you are already fulfilled and feeling balanced; how does this feel? What physical sensations are associated with this feeling? When did you last feel like this? What were you doing or thinking? What can you do now to experience the same feeling today?
Q What kind of lifestyle changes would you advise for someone who wants to achieve more balance in their life?
A I once believed that if only I added one ‘healthy’ option (eg yoga or healthy smoothies) to my otherwise unbalanced (rushing from one meeting to the next, skipping meals, multitasking) stressful day, I would be creating a more balanced life – it doesn’t work that way. It’s far more important that you give up something from your unbalanced life before you add something supposedly ‘balancing’. The key is to create more spaciousness. Your outer world will reflect your inner world and vice versa. If you feel you can’t change your outer world, focus on making changes in your inner world by letting go of some limiting beliefs or old patterns. Meditation is very helpful for this. Alternatively, you could start by changing your outer world, by adding mini pauses between tasks and taking some deep breaths. This will shift your body from fight/flight mode into a more relaxed state. Or do both. It’s simple, but not easy, and requires that you take responsibility for yourself and your life (stop blaming others, stop making excuses) as well as firm but kind focus and practice.
Q Would you say there is a particular type of person who is more prone to feeling unbalanced in their life?
- Anyone who starts to question societal norms
- Passionate, caring people, who like being needed
- Those not used to asking for help and who assume there is no help for them
- Stress junkies who are addicted to adrenaline and the high of being super-efficient and effective (linking their self-esteem/worth to achievements).
Q Do you have words of wisdom for someone who needs to take the first step towards achieving more balance?
A Be kind yet firm and truthful to yourself – as though you were your own best friend. Take one step today. Don’t give up when you struggle to make changes – it will take time. Just think of how long you have been operating in an unbalanced mode… be patient.
For more info on how you can achieve balance in your life, visit Kerstin’s website Behappylifecoaching.co.za