It took me until I reached my late thirties and early forties before I found my version of balance. I had always been seeking it, searching, but I didn’t really know what I was looking for. In my thirties I started to really understand myself and learnt how to manage myself and my emotions. By my forties I finally understood what it took to maintain balance in my life. I don’t always get it right, but balance for me = calmer, centred, nicer person and able to see the world through love, rather than fear. Remember I said. I don’t always get it right, but I do more than I don’t.
With the invention of social media, it’s now so much easier to connect with and learn from inspiring people and discover who that balanced version of you is. It doesn’t matter how old you are, sixteen or sixty or beyond. You can do it at any age and here are my tips.
1. Start to understand you. What you’re saying to yourself. Our self talk is a reflection of our beliefs and can shift how we feel. By being aware of what you are saying to yourself, you can stop it and learn to reframe it to something more positive.
2. Honour how you feel. Being positive and thinking positive thoughts, doesn’t mean not feeling sad or angry or frustrated. Instead honour those feelings. It’s important not to push how you feel away. It’s telling you something. Feel and move through those emotions, otherwise they’ll come back another time.
3. Learn what triggers you. What makes you really angry, annoyed etc or just pushes your buttons. These are triggers and can mean you react in the moment. It may be a person, or a situation. What is it about that that is pushing your buttons? This is about you, not the other person. You may want to react, but by having tools to be able to breathe, you can give yourself time to process the situation. Once you have learned your triggers, you can make a choice in that moment to say something or to let it go. Knowing you have a choice feels like you are in control of the situation. It’s ok to say something.
4. Coping tools for managing stress in the moment. These have been crucial for me. Especially when I was learning what my triggers were, or when I was extremely stressed. By having tools I could give myself a moment to breath and help me get back to centre. Mindfulness is a great tool for just allowing you to breath.
5. What is it you need to decompress? It’s important to understand how often you need to decompress. What is it that allows you to switch off and have time where you’re not thinking about the past or the future and you can just breathe.
6. What do you need to re-charge? We all need to renew our energy levels. A phone needs recharging and so do we. The more stressed you feel, the more you will need to feel like you need to recharge.
These are tools I still use now. Self awareness of how I see the world and having tools have really allowed me to choose how I interact with the world. I understand what I want and need to be able to live a calmer life.