Stress has become a common part of life, maybe even an expected part of life. When did it become so normal to be stressed all the time? Was it this way for past generations too or is this a modern symptom? Either way, stress is a big part of most of our lives and we have to take control of it if we don't want stress running our lives.
Finding balance and managing stress is critical to our physical and mental wellbeing. While some stress can be helpful and motivating, too often we live every day in a highly stressed state. And living stressed out day-to-day, or even hour-to-hour, has physical and mental consequences.
I struggle with keeping my stress in balance too. This past year, I have allowed outside circumstances and stress to have too much control over me. Life happens. And if we aren't careful, we will one day wake up and realize that stress has been running the show.
I was thinking about my own need to balance my stress when I found these acronyms that I had jotted down a long time ago, M.E.D.S. and B.A.L.A.N.C.E..
What are M.E.D.S?
M.E.D.S. are modern everyday stressors that, if allowed to get out of control, will lead to health problems, such as heart disease, hypertension, depression, and anxiety, just to name a few. And these health problems then can lead to the need to take meds (abbreviated form of medication) in order to manage one's health.
In short, if there is no balance then Modern EveryDay Stressors= MEDS.
So how do we achieve balance every day?
I believe that BALANCE can be found by being mindful of these 7 areas every day.
Body- how are we caring for it?
Attitude- is it positive or negative?
Lifestyle- is it go-go-go or is there room to reset and refresh?
Appetite- are we intuitively fueling our bodies?
Needs- are we caring for everyone else's and neglecting our own?
Care- are we practicing self-care with our actions?
Exercise- are we moving our bodies in a purposeful manner every day?
I believe that if we make an effort to address these 7 components of BALANCE every day then we can achieve a more balanced life. And a well-balanced life leads to a healthy and happy life.
It doesn't have to be a big extra activity to squeeze these components into your already packed day either. Balance can be tended to by simply taking a few moments throughout the day to check in with how our mind and body is and by noticing our actions and thoughts. Living with intention helps to create the balance that we seek and will keep stress in check.
What do you think? Can you think of ways in which you can apply these principles of BALANCE to your life this week? I would suggest that you start small and let your success grow and build on previous successes. That is the best way to make lasting changes.