Do you think about your life and what it takes to keep yourself well-balanced and healthy? What I've observed, as a mindset coach is the average person gets caught up with life and many responsibilities held, without thinking about if there is an imbalance in one area or another. Typically, it isn't until a time of crisis, such as a health concern or other triggering event, when someone will stop and take stock of their life.
The traditional thinking about balance is related to a work and life balance, balancing family, friends, hobbies, and whatever is important with a person's career. Yet I've found balance to sustain a healthy life involves something much more important, and it all starts with mindset maintenance. If you think of the mind being in balance, there would be a neutral state of mind, without excess negative or positive feelings. But the mind has thoughts flowing through it every second of the day, which means the mind can be in a negative or positive state at any time.
An imbalanced state occurs if the mind remains in a negative state for an extended period of time. For example, if a person continues to worry, live in fear, or focus on doubts, then this negativity will create an unhealthy mindset. This can be countered with positive feelings, such as happiness, to help restore a more balanced state. It isn't possible for someone to live in a pure positive state of mind at all times, as that would be living in denial of basic human emotions. But you also cannot survive by being overwhelmed by negativity for long either. To have balance overall, you need more positive than negative emotions, and this is done through your point of focus and making conscious choices.
Developing Your Point of Focus
Your point of focus matters for the overall health and well-being you experience. When you think of the possibility of having negative and positive thoughts to choose from, then you understand it is possible to develop supportive habits. How is that possible? If you think about something long enough, it becomes a practiced habit. The challenge for you is becoming aware of what you are thinking, and deciding to not let circumstances control what you are thinking, rather you being in control and focusing upon thoughts that help you feel good or uplifted when needed.
What's interesting about the development of a habit of thought is once it is affirmed long enough, or thought about on a constant basis, it becomes a belief. This is why it can be challenging to change the thinking of someone who has developed negative pattern of thoughts about themselves for a long period of time, and why their life is likely unbalanced, this negative mindset has become a belief. It will take more than thinking a couple of positive thoughts to make changes, and instead, it will take consistent (and reinforced) patterns of new beliefs established, based upon new-found ways of thinking in a positive manner. This goal is met with one positive choice at a time.
5 Positive Choices Needed to Sustain a Healthy Life Balance
You can sustain a healthy life balance, if you are making conscious, positive choices to support your well-being. This means you are becoming proactively involved in what you are thinking, with regards to your state of mind, instead of reactive, or waiting until there is a triggering event and you must make changes. What you don't want is to discover you have health issues and then decide you could have, or should have, been paying attention to how or what you were thinking. Or your career has become so demanding, you have ignored other important aspects of your life and now a breaking point has been reached. There are other possible triggering events as well, including those which are personal in nature to you, involving your family and those close to you. You can begin to develop a positive point of focus with any or all of these five choices.
Choice #1: Choose to pay attention to your thought patterns.
It's easy to allow a day to go by, without consideration of how or what you are thinking. Then more and more time goes along, until suddenly you find yourself in a mental rut, controlled by one (or a few) dominant negative thought patterns. The longer you allow those patterns of thought to go on, the more likely those thoughts will become part of your belief system, and this will make it much more challenging to change. You may not understand or even know how to acknowledge what the dominant thoughts are, and if so, just make it a point to have a check-in with yourself at the end of the day to determine what you thought most about. Was it positive or negative based? This can help you self-correct as needed, or at least begin to make changes to your self-talk.
Choice #2: Choose to pay attention to the words you use about yourself.
The words you use are also clues to your state of mind and well-being, and help set the stage for your life balance. Take for example a person who is always stating something negative about themselves, especially as related to their appearance, or their inability to complete a task. While it may be done in jest, or as an off-handed joke, the more it is stated, the more it is an indicator of how the person truly feels about themselves. This language, even when used in a self-deprecating mode, still can be harmful to the overall mental well-being of the person. A healthier mindset, and approach to living, is to acknowledge areas of development and then ask for guidance, assistance, and tips for improvement. In other words, a positive mindset seeks knowledge and the betterment of self, not to demean one's self.
Choice #3: Choose your work based upon a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
This is a lesson I've learned through time and I wish to share with anyone who would like to learn it now as well. I understand there are many who work to "pay the bills" and "make ends meet", yet there can still be fulfillment found in any job, regardless of the reason why you are working. It's all about the attitude of why you chose the job, and the mindset you choose when you are working as you complete the role you've been assigned. I do not believe there is anyone who works a job and is better than or less than anyone else.
Every person has an ability to shine and live their full potential through any job chosen. What makes a job unique is the person and their state of mind. My students know this to be true based upon their interactions with me. It doesn't matter if I am ever recognized by my manager for the work I've done. What matters is that I find meaning through my interactions with students. When I observe developmental progress and learning, then I have found fulfillment. This is how I want you to establish your mindset as well, from a positive perspective.
Choice #4: Choose to prioritize what matters in your life.
While traditional thinking about a work and life balance dictates a certain language about how much time is to be spent with your career and family, I believe this is a personal decision. You should always be able to choose what matters most to you. There are always going to be circumstances in which you are going to have to weigh your options, and make choices based upon your needs, and this is understandable. Just be certain you understand your priorities well enough to make an informed decision. Your needs may intersect with the needs of your spouse or significant other, along with your family, and if so, their healthy life balance may also depend upon decisions you make. This is why prioritization becomes an important step to take, and one to keep from a balanced mindset perspective.
Choice #5: Choose to make your health and well-being something that deserves your attention.
When I've written about a healthy life balance, the healthy aspect is very important to your well-being. Again, I believe this is something personal, with regards as to how health is maintained. I don't believe in dictating mandates as to what should or shouldn't be done, with regards to eating and exercise, as this is beyond the scope of my specialty; however, what I can tell you is that it can be a conscious choice you make to think about being healthy in some regards.
What I can share is the little choices you make now do add up in the long-term. For example, I decided to change how I eat and within the course of approximately one and a half years I lost almost 90 pounds. It wasn't due to exercise, because of other health issues, just a result of food choices made. How you sustain a healthy balance is up to you, just make it a conscious choice and perhaps you'll avoid something more serious later in life, especially if you have made routine visits to your doctor part of your life balance plan. Whatever you decide to do, keep it in mind and be proactive.
Your Mindset, Your Results
The choices you make have a direct impact on your healthy life balance. If you are making choices that create a healthy life balance, you are more likely to feel good about yourself, which should always be your goal. There are always two choices as to the types of thoughts you can focus upon at any time, and they are positive or negative. If you are proactive in what you choose to think about, and how you address circumstances, then you can keep yourself focused on a healthy or positive frame of mind. Should you practice this long enough, you can create a healthy mindset habit.
While any day may not start out as hoped for or go according to plan, or you find yourself facing challenges not yet experienced, there's always one step you can always take: Change your mindset. This isn't about making general affirmations, rather it's about making a mindset shift away from negativity, towards something more positively focused. You always have an ability to choose and think a better feeling thought, and turn your attention to something that is affirming in nature to your well-being. While you may not be thinking about a balanced life now, the more proactive you become in maintaining your mindset, the less likely you'll find yourself having to be reactive later when triggering events occur. With the right choices made, a strong mindset can help lead to a healthy life balance.
About Dr. Johnson
Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles including Faculty Development Manager, Core Faculty, Doctoral Mentor and Committee Member, and Faculty Development Specialist. Dr. J's background also includes work as a Human Performance Improvement Consultant, and prior to 2005, he was a Manager of Training and Development.
Dr. Johnson is an inspirational author, writer, and educator. His life mission to teach, mentor, write, and inspire others. He has earned a PhD in Postsecondary and Adult Education, a Certificate in Training and Performance Improvement (TPI), a Master's in Adult Education, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
As a scholar practitioner, Dr. J was published in a scholarly journal and he has been a featured presenter at an international distance learning conference. He has published three books related to higher education, including two about online teaching. Dr. J has also published over 230 online articles about adult learning, higher education, distance learning, online teaching, and mindset development.
Come join Dr. J's new group, Motivation for Transformation:
• Any time of the day, visit this group to find your source of motivation, to be inspired and more importantly, have your mindset transformed: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9108352/
Dr. J offers the following transformative resource:
• New: Mindset Tune-Up Inspirational Card Deck. Start your morning or transform your day with words of encouragement. These are more than affirmations; these cards are personal self-empowerment statements. Mindset Tune-Up Inspirational Card Deck Set
Dr. J also offers the following resources:
• Transform Online Teaching: Expert Strategies and Essential Resources Every Educator Needs
• Getting Down to Business: A Handbook for Adjunct Faculty Who Teach Business
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