We think about balanced lives. What a balanced lifestyle means to you and for those around you. You look around and see busy people. You are one of those busy people. There is always something demanding your time and attention. Everything from keeping up with social media news on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to demands at work and home plus feeling compelled to honor social invitations and regular visits to the gym. Your time is limited and the demands continually grow.
How often when you ask someone how they are doing do they reply honest and openly? I’m guessing, seldom. This is often because the busier we get, the harder it becomes to find dedicated time to sort through all the feelings and reflect. Being introspective means finding quiet, finding time, and doing some deep listening. When you begin deep listening next comes weaving through the inner dialog to sort through what is real and true and discard anything from your inner critic that is no longer serving you. While it’s harder to pause the inner dialog that may be keeping you down and holding you back this is necessary and can be learned.
There are so many influences that can impact your life from words from family and friends to messages seen on television or read in books. The thing to remember about these influences and finding the balance you crave in your life is each influence must serve you and your goals. When the influence no longer serves you, it is time to release it. If an influence triggers a thought or feeling that makes you feel unworthy this is an influence that you should move away from.
When something heavy is coming on it’s time to practice being present. One way that works well is through meditation. Meditation can happen anywhere, at any time. Close your eyes. Lay your head back in your chair or if it’s more comfortable lie down. Focus on your breathing. Deep breath in. Hold. Slow exhale out. Be with yourself in that moment. Bring yourself back to how you’re feeling right now. Breathe. You know the importance of breathing. Take another deep breath. Really get the air deep in your lungs because when you are feeling stressed you will feel like you’re racing around, like you are so busy that there is no time. But we know this isn’t true. You do have time. When you’re stressed you’re breathing shallow but a relaxed breath is deep and fills your lungs fully. And let the breath out slowly. Feel the transformation that is taking place in your body.
This type of meditation doesn’t have to take place for a long time to be effective. As few as 10 minutes can have an impact and bring about a sense of balance to a previously chaotic moment.
Quieting the Inner Dialog
Don’t be surprised if in these meditative moments your inner critic may try to speak. Continue to breathe through the dialog and then rescript this conversation towards a more positive statement. You can change the dialog. You can acknowledge the statement but tell yourself that you know this to be a falsehood to be replaced instead by this true statement.
The more you practice this process the more you will find yourself sorting through whatever negativity you’re finding in yourself. You will recognize thought patterns you need to work on and finding positive statements to replace these thoughts. You are igniting change. You are moving towards greater balance in your life. Keep moving. Keep breathing.
We all have triggers. What is done with those triggers is what matters. As you’ve discovered how to replace negative dialog with positive, it is time to express gratitude. This may seem odd but gratitude is directly related to feelings of happiness. Whatever it is, whatever that thing may be, being able to express gratitude for this experience will allow you to move through it and onward towards the balance and happiness you desire. Be grateful for the fact that you came through a challenging experience and you are stronger for having done so. You are enough. You are capable. You are better for the experience.
Discover much more about balanced living and quieting the inner critic by listening to my full podcast with my guest Dr. Colleen George. Remember, I’m here for you to help guide you in any way I can. Reach out to me to schedule a 1:1 Consulting session. This action step brings you one step closer to balanced living.