Monday, June 9, 2008

Creating and Maintaining Balance in Our Lives

The following article provides excellent examples on how to create and maintain healthy, positive balance in our lives! Please enjoy! This article is sourced from the following website:

The Spiritual Health Journey
Health Topics on this page
Time Out and StressHow can we get more Self belief?How do our emotions affect us? How does Anger affect our wellbeing?The Power of MeditationReligious Belief
There has been since the beginning of this century, a shift in health consciousness in the West. A growing number of people are beginning to see and treat their lives as, above all else, a spiritual journey.
These people are not particularly religious, hold down regular jobs, and probably don’t attend church, but they probably know instinctively there is something more to life.
Connecting back to nature can be a very uplifting thing to find meaning in life. There is nothing like the peace and quiet of a garden, the new leaves on a tree in spring, the sound of the sea, the sight of a carpet of bluebells in a wood.
It is also very reassuring and spiritually rejuvenating to realise that nature carries on with her cycles regardless of what we do or what is happening to us.
Making time for reflection in a garden or other kind of quiet place can help to root us in a very literal way-and for people who live in the city who may see nothing but concrete, a park or garden in some peace and quiet can provide real spiritual health and rejuvenation.
Time out is a much used phrase. We all know what it means, but not many of us take it seriously enough to make a space for it in our lives. This is a shame as you can only make real changes and progress in your inner life when you step out of ordinary life long enough to figure out where you want to go, and how you are going to get there.
By reflecting on a regular basis you will get the chance to imagine that maybe you COULD do something about what is troubling you – or maybe that you CAN follow your dreams. Sometimes it helps to look at problems in a different way by turning them on their head or looking at them from a different angle.
Time out and Stress
The most precious commodity we have now is time. It’s a fact that workers of this generation have less free time than any other time in history. The reason is the communications revolution. The speeding up of communications like emails mobile phones and faxes has given less spare time to workers – and a more unhealthy stressful working environment.
We are all very busy, on a tight schedule and stuck in more traffic jams than ever, but on the upside, our standard of living has become much better than it ever was years ago. Throughout your journey through life, stress cannot be avoided –all you need to do is change the way in which you deal with it.
Stress happens within us when our perceived demands threaten to outweigh our perceived resources. It is simply a reaction to a perceived inability to cope. I use the word perceived with an emphasis because that is a clue about the nature of stress; as no amount of rationalizing on my part will do anything - your stress is personal to you.
Stress is something that is highly subjective – what YOU may find stressful someone else will cope with, for instance. Stress can work for us or against us and we all have the power to determine the balance.
Anxiety stress before a job interview can go in one of two ways: it could motivate you into a shining performance or it could make you too nervous to show your best side. Therefore the answer is getting increased self belief in your abilities.Top of Page
How can we get more self belief?
We as a society are losing our sense of self-belief. A form of spiritual stress occurs with a lack of purpose and direction which drains our self confidence and hence our ability to cope with things. How can we increase our confidence?
Stress boils down to fear that we can’t cope with certain conditions. The stress we feel is not so much caused by the event as the feelings you’ve associated with it. When you repress feelings you may have felt at a stressful time and never work through them, they’ll eat away at you long after and cause more stress on an ongoing basis.
A classic scenario is someone who was hurt once in a relationship and refuses to get involved ever again. After a time, the problem now is not so much the breakdown of the relationship but the feelings that are associated with it.
At the end of a hard day, or before you go to sleep, give yourself a bit of space and quiet to just hear yourself deep down and re-contact the real you. Be in harmony with yourself. Through knowledge of ourselves and how we tick, and doing things that make us feel happy on a regular basis, we will all be much calmer, more healthy and able to cope.
Another very good reason to spend some time in reflection is that it does wonders for your health. Stressful situations can be managed better and this leads to a healthy mind. And a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Our mind and body through our emotions and spiritual health are more closely linked than anyone may realise.
Whenever you feel stressed a good solution is to write things down! Get a diary or notebook and write down your feelings. Write out what you see the problem to be in a logical way and then what you can do about it.
Stress can so often be a case of making mountains out of molehills. The very essence of taming stress is to live a happier life.
Keep a focus on the big picture. Whatever happens in life, you will deal with it. You’ll adapt and prevail just like always, and problems often have a way of becoming opportunities.
If you are threatened with redundancy for instance, you may decide to do something that you’ve always wanted to do, like start a business instead of trying to find another job.
Whenever there is a big decision to be made ask yourself “Will this make me truly happy?” If you let this be your guiding light through the hard times and keep a clear procedure about how to go through life, stress will be in retreat.Top of Page
How do our emotions affect our health?
The simple act of smiling or laughing triggers the release of chemical messages that travel to the brain and promotes a sense of health and wellbeing.
Smiling also maintains harmony within oneself. Heart rate and breathing also come under the influence of our emotions. Laughter is a positive healthy and vital part of our inner lives and people who smile and laugh a lot often experience better health.
The reason for this is because the immune system is boosted by a positive and coping attitude. (And in reverse can be suppressed by stress and unhappiness). Therefore a person who is happy or elated can greatly increase the amount of NK (natural killer) cells into a healthy immune system to help fight infection.
The immune system “communicates” by hormone amd chemical messages to and from the brain. This can enhance or suppress the immune system according to a person’s mood state and are transferred by chemicals called endorphins. This “messenger service” is used by the immune system to communicate with the mind, so emotions are closely linked.
Learning how to breathe properly is a definite step to controlling stress. Many of us breathe either too much or too little. Tests show that people who have changed the way they breathe become much more at ease on a regular basis.
The correct way to breathe is long slow and deep. Picture and hear a clock pendulum and try to breathe along with it. When you inhale and exhale, let it be your stomach that expands and contracts. Do this first thing in the morning for five minutes in peace with your eyes closed.Top of page
Anger - How can it affect our health?
Anger is another emotion that affects us. There’s nothing wrong with being angry – it can be very healthy and therapeutic. What is a problem is denial about anger and this is what many people suffer from. I mean, you seem to take your life in your hands driving on the roads these days!
We need to get to the root of the problem in the first place, and expose anger for what it is – so when it affects you - you can cope with it better.
When you become angry, vengeful or say nasty things you don’t mean, you are seeing your "dark side". Recognising it when you see it is a way to diffuse anger. If you don’t, it is likely to leap out when you least expect it, jeopardizing home and work life, and stop you realizing your full potential.
When you repress anger it is like energy building up that has to find somewhere to go. The place is usually spills out onto is other people in the form that’s called “projection”. We all tend to do this as some point in our lives. Anger is born out of fear. When you understand that we tend to project our worst qualities onto others, it’s easy to see just why it’s born out of fear – because we fear our "dark side".
We’re frightened by it, but instead of facing that fear, we’d rather live in denial by putting the blame on to others. If someone’s reaction to someone else or you are over the top, remember that it takes one to know one. Were you criticized all the time when you were a child? How much of that was your parent projecting their own dark side on to you? If you think back, you’ll realise that that person was just angry!
When someone is venting their anger on you, think of the pointed finger they’re effectively pointing at you. Raise your hand now and point at someone or something – you’re pointing a finger at someone else but there are three fingers pointing back at you!
Vented anger towards you is just someone saying “Look at me!” How to deal with it? Keep this knowledge with you. Arm yourself with it at times you incur anger. Pity the other party and smile, by doing that it shows they are the weaker ones, not you.
You spiritual health is found through your emotions, positive or negative. By realising what your feelings are telling you, and understanding them for what they are -this is the route to happiness in your inner life.
If you really are going through a very difficult time in your life right now then consider counseling. This is an excellent way to get your emotional health back on track. I can really recommend this approach - it helps you come to terms with what's going on in your life and helps you to get through it. Everyone needs a helping hand in life from time to time, so don't be afraid to ask for helpTop of Page
The Power of Meditation
There’s no mystery about the powers of meditation. Some may want to dress it up in set exercises but you can take a moment of quiet reflection and look within yourself for direction and focus at any time you have a quiet moment. It gives your mind a rest from all the hustle and bustle of life and can work wonders for your overall health.
You’ve done it before at moments of leisure, but please make time for meditation, on your own, quiet, and in a pleasant environment. Everything that surrounds us has an effect on our wellbeing and is constantly sending information to our all- powerful subconscious.
We are all much more than the sum of our parts. Physicians will tell you that you are indeed surrounded by energy; but whether that energy is a negative or a positive force is up to you and your surroundings.
If you find it hard to meditate on your own, joining a Yoga class can help you physically and spiritually. The vast majority of our muscles are hardly used, so yoga is a solution to this health problem and it doesn’t matter how old you are or what physique you have. I have heard great things from other people about it even though I haven’t got round to doing it myself yet – so give it a try.
You are Special! There never has been and never will be another one of you ever again and your gifts are just as unique. Once you identify your reason for being, you will quickly realise two things: Working towards your goals, whatever they may be, reinforces the best within yourself, and you will learn a lot about what satisfaction in life really means.Top of Page

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