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How to Create a Balanced Life: 9 Tips to Feel Calm and Grounded

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As a Libra, my sign is the scale, which signifies balance. I’m not sure how much my “signage” plays into my desire to live a balanced life, but I do know that the more balanced I feel, the more free I feel.

In my work I am often reminded that what works for some people does not necessarily work for others; and that one person’s idea of balance may not constitute anything remotely balanced from another person’s perspective.

So I wanted to address the various elements of life that can require balancing and offer some suggestions to find the mix that works best for you.

To start, what does it mean to be balanced?

To me, it means that you have a handle on the the various elements in your life and don’t feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. More often than not, you feel calm, grounded, clear-headed, and motivated.

How do you find your balance?

The elements in life that require the most balancing can be divided into two categories: internal and external. Oftentimes, people focus on one more than the other.

For example, you may find that you focus on external things–like work, relationships, and activities, and that you pay very little attention to what is going on inside your heart and mind.

On the other hand, you may find that you spend so much time being self reflective that you sometimes miss out on the experience of living.

Other people may be fairly balanced between the two but might want to balance out some specific elements within each category; so I created this little outline to help us better understand the beneficial components on both ends of each spectrum.

Internal (Mind, Heart, Health)

  • Mind: Challenging yourself intellectually vs. creating opportunities for your mind to rest
  • Heart: Giving love vs. receiving love
  • Health: Eating, drinking, exercising properly vs. resting and treating yourself to some extra yummies

External (Work, Social, Family, Fun)

  • Work: Pushing yourself to achieve goals vs. seeing the bigger picture and enjoying the ride
  • Social: Satisfying your social desires vs. taking time for yourself
  • Family: Fulfilling your familial responsibilities vs. creating healthy boundaries
  • Fun: Allocating time for things you enjoy doing vs. making sure you don’t overdo it

As you can see, both ends of each spectrum are actually positive; but if either side is taken to an extreme, something that is intended to be positive can end up being detrimental.

It’s helpful to check in with yourself to see if you feel balanced.

If you feel pulled in any one direction and uneasy about it, these steps may help you get your life aligned:

1. Acknowledge.

Take some time to really look at your life, your state of mind, and how you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself and notice the areas of your life that you’re neglecting.

2. Examine.

Notice if you’re leaning more toward an internal or external focus, or if there are areas within each category that you would like to be more balanced.

3. Set Goals.

Look at the outline to help you decide which ways you want to balance your life. Make a list.

4. Plan Tasks.

Make a list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that you will need to do to achieve each of these goals . What have you tried in the past? Did it work? If not, what can you do differently?

5. Reflect.

What is the most important thing you’ve accomplished in the past? How did you stay focused toward this goal? How did you handle your fears, doubts, anxieties, worries, and negative self talk? How does it feel to know that you accomplished the goal in spite of these parts of yourself?

6. Prepare.

What is your inner “stuff” that will try to keep you from sticking to your plan? (i.e. fears, worries, doubts, negative self talk etc.) Can you specify the things you will say to yourself to push you off track? (i.e. “just one more bite, I’ll start eating better tomorrow”) Make a list.

7. Empower.

What do you need to remember in those times? What are things you can say to that self-sabotaging part of yourself? Be kind to yourself. Balance won’t feel good if you’re cruel to yourself in creating it!

8. Connect.

Is there a person or a tactic you can use to keep yourself supported, motivated, and focused in those hard times? I highly recommend connecting and sharing your inner process with someone. Find someone who can help you challenge your inner demons, and celebrate your little accomplishments.

9. Plan.

Just like accomplishing any goal in life, it takes time and effort to overcome your habitual patterns and create new ones. If you stay on track with this detailed and intentional process for three whole months, then there is a good chance you will create new habits to enjoy a more balanced life going forward!

 Photo by MiiiSH

Avatar of Jasmin Tanjeloff

About Jasmin Tanjeloff

Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist. She integrates psychology with eastern practices to help people minimize anxiety, sadness, body image concerns, work difficulties & relationship issues to feel balanced, peaceful & empowered. To schedule a session visit www.JasminBalance.com.

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  • Eric Roberts

    This was exactly what I needed to read this morning, I’m glad I fixed the internet to stumble upon it.

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  • http://twitter.com/arielauthentic Ariella

    Ooof, I think you’ve missed the mark. External stuff happens on its own as a result of the inner work. Focusing on the external “hows” will just spin you in circles. :)

    1) “To me, it means that you have a handle on the the various elements in your life and don’t feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. ”

    Balance means you’re free from having to control or handle anything. Your life is in harmony with who you are and you don’t have to externally shift much if anything. Seek balance in your internal, and there will be nothing to handle on the outside.

    2) “The elements in life that require the most balancing can be divided into two categories: internal and external.”

    No. The external is illusory and reflects the internal. There is only one category: self. Lack of balance means lack of honest expression and creativity from soulful intent. When you’re being yourself, honestly, and expressing that, you create balance. And that leads me to 3…

    3) “How do you find your balance?”

    Who you are is not found, but created. You’re not a limited pre-defined set of boundaries that you have to bump into, although you may have created those illusions previously. Create yourself as balance, visualize and manifest that experience, and then you’ll have it. The universe is not so cold as to let you fumble around until you “find” yourself. You are yourself living in the universe with is also yourself. Therefore create the focus for balance, which is always available as on your limitless resources to pull from.

    I hope this helps. :) When I experience balance it’s because I’ve:
    1) Decided I had balance as a part of my universal pool of infinite resources for creation.
    2) Pulled the balance out from within and expressed myself outwardly as balance.

    THEN the external world starts changing so that the experience of balance can be physically observed, as a reflection of the balance I had already attained without it. Managing tasks and whatever all happen automatically and effortless when I’m BEing balanced.

    A generous person doesn’t give and then becomes generous, they are generous first and then demonstrates it through giving.

    Best wishes,
    Ariella

  • http://twitter.com/arielauthentic Ariella

    Ooof, I think you’ve missed the mark. External stuff happens on its own as a result of the inner work. Focusing on the external “hows” will just spin you in circles. :)

    1) “To me, it means that you have a handle on the the various elements in your life and don’t feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. ”

    Balance means you’re free from having to control or handle anything. Your life is in harmony with who you are and you don’t have to externally shift much if anything. Seek balance in your internal, and there will be nothing to handle on the outside.

    2) “The elements in life that require the most balancing can be divided into two categories: internal and external.”

    No. The external is illusory and reflects the internal. There is only one category: self. Lack of balance means lack of honest expression and creativity from soulful intent. When you’re being yourself, honestly, and expressing that, you create balance. And that leads me to 3…

    3) “How do you find your balance?”

    Who you are is not found, but created. You’re not a limited pre-defined set of boundaries that you have to bump into, although you may have created those illusions previously. Create yourself as balance, visualize and manifest that experience, and then you’ll have it. The universe is not so cold as to let you fumble around until you “find” yourself. You are yourself living in the universe with is also yourself. Therefore create the focus for balance, which is always available as on your limitless resources to pull from.

    I hope this helps. :) When I experience balance it’s because I’ve:
    1) Decided I had balance as a part of my universal pool of infinite resources for creation.
    2) Pulled the balance out from within and expressed myself outwardly as balance.

    THEN the external world starts changing so that the experience of balance can be physically observed, as a reflection of the balance I had already attained without it. Managing tasks and whatever all happen automatically and effortless when I’m BEing balanced.

    A generous person doesn’t give and then becomes generous, they are generous first and then demonstrates it through giving.

    Best wishes,
    Ariella

  • http://twitter.com/MenopauseChat Menopause ChitChat

    When I need to find my balance, I remember to breathe.

  • Anonymous

    I love this post..I think balance is so important. I left hectic New York for a peaceful life in Az where I learned to create more balance in my life. Thanks, Jasmin, for your words of wisdom.

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  • MaynardKing

    to me success means having balance, and following the heart.
    Remember to fall in love , and that success is not simply financial but mental, physical, spiritual, and it breaks down walls.

    success is an art:
    http://tenmillionslaves.blogspot.com/2009/08/art-of-success.html

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  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    Great insight Ariella. If everyone could live with such intention and faith, that would be great. Sometimes we just need some baby steps to help us reach reach that point (ie. clean your room to help you find whatever was hidden under your laundry pile!). All the best to you…

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  • http://www.millionsofpages.typepad.com lexie

    I’m a Libra too and I need balance constantly. I know when I am tipping out of balance because I notice when I start to feel overwhelmed. Being organized helps me 90% of the time, it keeps my mind at rest and it free’s up time to focus internally. Anytime I’m scattered or unsure, my balance meter tips and I exert all my energy on external things. Those are times when I feel the most mentally exhausted.

  • Daisy

    Your post made me smile…as I left the hectic life of Az to find a peaceful life in Missouri….balance & peace are certainly in the eye of the beholder…Namaste

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  • LadyTamborine

    I too am a Libra and can’t tell you how much BALANCE plays a role in my everyday life.  In fact, I’m with the belief that without balance there is no need to proceed.
    So many people worry about putting as much as they can on their plate of life.  They accumulate for various reasons… fear that it will go away, self-validation, show others they are important, greed, etc. But…if you don’t know how to manage what you have on your plate…your plate is going to tip and it all will fall to the ground anyway. 
    Prioritize=balance.
    Thanks for the great post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelicalprincess23 Lisa Marie Hunt

    Such honest truth and depth in your words! That is 100% exactly what I am learning through books I have been reading. I have come to understand that as we are ready to know and accept this truth, we see the truth for what it is and it is made into our reality! I love the Conversations with God books-all of them and have recently read the book, “I Am The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are”-very deep stuff. This information is stuff I have been searching for all my life. The answers were there but I rejected and ignored my own truth. Until recently, my mind has been opened and I am receiving so much information! I love how creative human beings are!

  • http://www.kevinfadler.com/ Kevin F. Adler

    Very salient for tonight’s conversation at the fireside potluck: http://bit.ly/firepot3

  • tinybuddha

    DE:ETE

  • http://www.kevinfadler.com/ Kevin F. Adler

    not meant as spam at all. read the article, hosting a potluck around this topic, and thought i’d share the inspiration i received.

  • zifn4b

    This is new age baloney. I can tell you from my own life’s experience that no matter how much balance and positive energy I’ve had that “Murphy” still comes around and creates chaos in your life. You then have to direct your positive energy towards resolving those things and putting your life back into balance.

    If you seriously think how all of us collectively “feels” creates the contents of the universe then might I ask you why the universe existed when we were not here? Or are you going to tell me that science is a bunch of hokum? Science is more likely to be true than your new age drivel.

    In order to achieve balance, you must become a person that is more capable of accepting and dealing with chaos and has the personal abilities to create balance in their own lives.

  • BE Creating

    I think of it as events happen… experience is created.

  • http://twitter.com/Trulypresent Diane

    Enjoyed the post Jasmin. Finding balance is very much about self-awareness, isn’t it? I find that the more mindful and present I am in my life, the better choices I make around where my energy goes – giving my life much more balance. Liked the external/internal – great reminder that both need attending to.

  • Sfdude

    I had been feeling stressed and after reading this realized I was not in balance with myself. Great post.

    Two areas I’ve added to external balance are finances and environment. That is, paying bills vs setting long term goals and seeing the bigger picture. Keeping a clean a d organized environment vs. Creating an area of peace and relaxation.

  • Tips for Balancing Health

    Great tips, i Love the post, balancing is health is so important and i think these Tips for Balancing Health are enough to keep our body healthy.

  • taylor

    i wish i can have balance life, but i always overdo things, it’s hard for me to find balance *sigh*

  • rahul

    i could find that there absence of conciousness and awareness while handelling certain situation or being along with people around , could you suggest certain measures to be adopted so that i could be more concious and aware of situations .

  • Kamile Ko

    I follow all these tips almost every day and they helped for me :) What I do more? I often go to such an events like- concerts, thatre performances, so for that reason my life is even more balanced. But everyone should understand that it is better to not go to event at all than to go anywhere. For that reason I strictly monitor all events that is happening :_ I am glad that there is such a page- renginiai where they offer only good and high quality leisure time activities :)