Many people speak of “Life Balance” and look at things as having your cup filled. What we are really talking about is happiness. Are you satisfied with who you are and where you are in your life, right now? There are many that say "No, but I am just waiting until I get to this point in my career", or "until I have my babies", or "when my partner finishes this project then we can go on vacation and it will all be a little bit better".
What is it that stops us from doing the things we need to bring relaxation, joy and passion into our life?
Sometimes it is as simple as: we are overwhelmed in this moment. When we are stressed we go into a different mode in the brain and body that does not allow for creative thinking. Our hormones change to stimulate heart rate, oxygenate the blood and narrow our vision. Literally. Tunnel vision enables you to identify threats. This reaction is to make it easy to fight your way out of the situation, or run away. The famous Fight or Flight reaction. This happens in all animals, and does not involve the section of our brain that is unique to humans, the cortex, that is responsible for planning, logic and understanding consequences.
With chronic stress you are always on high alert. If you are in a constant state of stress, either low level or high, the wonderful things that help us to enjoy life are suppressed. Your ability to connect to others and see things from their point of view; your ability to think creatively; and your ability to learn is impaired. It is no wonder that so many of the clients that come in to see me have progressed through anxiety and end up in depression, with a difficulty finding enjoyment in life and relationships. Some people refer to it as being ‘burnt out’ or ‘broken down’ depending on how far along the path you get.
So when is it time to make a change? When you get to the point of break down? When you feel so stressed the problems of your children, friends or partner feel like a burden? When do we realize that we are unhappy with life as we live it? Life can change at any moment, if you are willing to try something new.
In preparing for a change you can take all the time you need to vision it, think about it, get comfortable with it. While you begin your process you need to find a way to relax so you can think clearly. What helps you clam down? A walk in nature? Exercise? A massage? Meditation? Golf? A day with a loved one where you put away your phone and disconnect from your problems at work could do wonders. This will give you the time and space you need to start looking at the difficulty with fresh eyes. Talking it over with a confidant that helps you feel safe is always a good idea. There are many ways to change your mindset from being stuck in a problem to a growth experience. You might need to be willing to try something new.