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Lifestyle - Creating Balance

Having balance in our lives will keep us rounded and complete as individuals, and will enhance every area of our lives; in our homes, and anywhere else we may go.

Setting goals, planning schedules, etc., and following through or sticking with them, will no doubt alleviate stress and anxiety. We cannot completely eliminate stress, as unexpected events, such as, a family member becoming ill, or an accident, or other similar situations beyond our control, may occur, but the more equipped we are, the better we will be able to cope.

Socialization, education, meditation, laughter, and forgiveness are all factors that affect our well-being and help to create balance.

Socialization is important in every area of life. Surrounding ourselves with family members and friends on whom we can rely in times of trouble will greatly eliminate anxiety and improve our health. Discussing a problem with a family member or friend, is often enough to put the problem into its proper perspective. By the same token, a person can attain great satisfaction and feelings of self-worth from supporting another, in times of stress; acting as an adviser, helper, or just a good listener. Being involve in community activities can also be rewarding for all parties. Let us get back to basics. Let us reach out and connect with our families, friends, and neighbors; even if we feel we do not need them, they may need us.

Education is a necessary tool for human existence. It is the process of imparting knowledge or skill, and is the first step in the right direction, towards existing as individuals, sharing one dwelling - the earth. There are three (3) levels of education. These are primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary education is basic; identifying the letters of the alphabets, identifying the sounds they make, forming words, and ultimately reading and writing. This level of education is very important, as this is where the foundation for the future is laid. Secondary education is one step up from primary, which is between elementary and college. This is where specialization takes place. This is where individuals decide on what they want to pursue, and focus their attention on the curriculum, and know-how, to get there. Tertiary education is advance learning, which takes place in colleges and universities. This is where the advancement of an area of study is made possible.

Without education, we would not be able to effectively relate to each other. Even the basic level of education is needed, if we are to function normally as people. We need to be able to read and write, which is the basis of everything else that has to be accomplished, if we are to survive in our world.

Meditation involves focusing on a thought, word, phrase, or object to calm the mind,and relieve tension. During meditation our bodies undergo physical changes, such as slower heartbeat, or lower blood pressure, which indicate a state of deep relaxation. Some meditation techniques involve breathing exercises, but what constitutes an effective method of relaxing, depends largely on personal preference.

Whatever technique you choose to use, be sure to set aside quiet time on a daily basis to meditate. We need to pause and self reflect. We need to examine ourselves. We need quiet moments.

Laughter increases your heart rate; stimulate circulation; exercise your diaphragm, abdominal walls and other muscles; and increase production of certain hormones that serve as your body's natural painkillers. Laughter provides psychological relief from tension, anxiety, anger, and emotional pain.

Taking trips together and even planning vacations together, can be enormously fulfilling. When closely knit family, and true friends come together, caring, and sharing experiences, delighting in the moment, feeling free to be who they are, insurmountable joy is experienced. Our bodies gain strength mentally, emotionally, and even physically. In spite of our busy lifestyles, let us set aside time for family get together. Watching fun-filled movies, reading comic books, telling jokes from past experiences, etc., on a daily basis, will boost your laughter quotient.

Forgiveness is giving up the wish to punish or get even with; not demanding payment for. We need to forgive and we desire to be forgiven. Being angry drains us. It is strenuous on our bodies, internally and externally. Our organs work twice as hard to maintain ill feelings. The benefits of forgiving, far outweigh the burden of carrying around ill feelings, and the wish to punish. The space inside that is taken up with hard feeling can be used to house something more beneficial, such as love for an animal.

Of course, when people offend us, we are left with the hurt and pain, while they, the offenders are off having a good time, and most times forget all about what they did to us. However, we cannot and will not be completely happy and healthy, until we let go of our hurt and baggages. This may seem impossible, but it really is not. So, do it today. Forgive yourself, and forgive others. DO IT for you.

Eating right, exercising, sleeping, and practicing good hygiene, are all important factors that contribute to our health; but socialization, education, meditation, laughter, and forgiveness, are also of utmost importance as they help to create balance in our lives, which is necessary for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

CONTRIBUTED by Empowerment Coach Eugénie Nugent

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