Balancing peace and happiness amid the hectic pace of every day life can be quite challenging. Some of us are naturally happy and peaceful, yet not all of us are wired that way. We can all get in dysfunctional ruts. What practices can we include in our days to make them seem brighter and calmer in the midst of winter doldrums and/or days of depression?
The act of balancing requires focusing our attention on a desire to be balanced. How many times do we tell ourselves that we want balance, peace and happiness in our daily lives, but soon settle for our comfortable habits that pay no attention to these desires?
We might even act out and do the opposite, engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors just to prove to ourselves that we are in charge of ourselves, when the total opposite may be true. Without conscious effort it is easy to stay in a negative or depressing loop.
We may not realize it, but that is a choice we are actively making. Focusing our mental energy on the goal of balancing our life is the surprising answer to bringing peace and happiness to our life. No matter how long we might have struggled with this problem in the past, it is possible to fix this. Know that it is not impossible.
It is important to pay attention to our energy, especially to how we energize our thoughts. Whatever we think about, we bring about. If we do not like how we are feeling, it is vital we change how we are thinking. As a matter of fact, if we refuse to change how we are thinking, there is absolutely nothing anyone else can say or do that will change how we feel. Only we can do that. Yes, it is possible to do that.
We are not the victims of our thoughts. Thoughts do not think us. We think our thoughts. We have the ability to change our thoughts at any given moment. This particular point usually infuriates us the first time we hear it. However, this is a true statement and is encouraging for us to acknowledge this.
If we want to improve in balancing our lives with peace and happiness, we can ask ourselves these questions:
Do I weigh myself down with a victim consciousness, or martyr complex?
How is my self-esteem?
What messages do I constantly tell myself?
Do I find I need to explain myself to others?
Do I feel the need to justify my actions?
Do I believe in myself?
Am I a control freak?
Do I have a passive/aggressive personality, trying to solve other life issues outside of myself by aggressively controlling the inside of myself through my diet, exercise or any other means of not addressing the issue head on?
Do I allow others to speak to me in disrespectful ways?
Do I allow others to treat me in disrespectful ways?
Am I honest with myself?
How is my health?
How is my diet?
How is my weight?
How is my attitude?
How is my mental health?
How is my emotional health?
How is my spiritual health?
Do I approach life as a daily struggle, concentrating on my work load and to-do-lists, which are outside of me, rather than working on my own character development inside of my heart, mind and soul?
Do I have addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or any other addiction?
Do I live my life as an imaginary or real fight against the ideologies of others?
Do I make time for exercise in my daily life to the level that is appropriate for me, either gentle stretches, walking, going to the gym, Yoga or other forms of exercise?
Do I take time to pray?
Do I take time to meditate?
Do I contemplate?
Do I really listen?
Do I listen with an answer running, which is not really listening at all?
Do I read or listen to audio books to learn or be inspired?
Do I give myself permission to change my mind when new information presents itself?
Can I admit when I am wrong?
Do I forgive* myself when I am in the wrong?
Do I forgive* others when they wrong me?
*A quick note regarding forgiveness here is, holding on to grudges and non-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
The winter months are the perfect time for personal reflection on what can truly bring us peace and happiness, both of which bring balance to our days as a positive side benefit.