Overcoming Obstacles to Balance

You may experience any of the following symptoms when your life is out of balance:

  • You feel the events in your daily life are out of control.
  • You work hard without feeling a sense of accomplishment.
  • You do not have time to do the things you enjoy.
  • You feel your professional life is suffering.
  • You feel your personal life is suffering.
  • You feel something is missing in your life.
  • You feel you spend the most time on the things that matter least.

A balanced life is comprised of several elements:

  • Your daily life reflects your values. To feel balanced, the activities you complete on a daily basis should reflect your views on what is truly important in life.
  • You have a sense of control in your life. Nearly everyone wants to feel control over what they do in life, and without this sense of control, it is nearly impossible to find fulfillment.
  • You are happy in the present. You cannot feel balanced if you dwell on events from the past or if you orient yourself completely around the future. Being overly focused on the past or future can turn your present life into an unsatisfactory experience.

There are numerous obstacles that can interfere with your ability to maintain a balanced life. Some of the most prevalent problems include:

  • A lack of clearly established priorities
  • A high level of stress
  • A lack of time

Why should I examine my priorities?

To maintain balance, it is essential for you to examine your priorities. If you have not established clear priorities in your life, the decisions you make and activities you complete on a daily basis may not represent what is truly important to you. However, even if you have established some priorities, it may be necessary to reexamine those priorities so they truly represent what is important to you in life.

When your priorities are firmly established, and they reflect your inner values, you are more likely to find fulfillment in your life, decisions will be easier, and your actions will reflect the things you consider important in life.

Why should I be concerned about the amount of stress I experience?

A high level of stress can lead to unhappiness and an inability to accomplish tasks. You must manage your level of stress so it does not produce symptoms that will cause you more stress and frustration.

Experiencing too much stress, or chronic stress, can negatively impact your life in three ways:

Physical effects

When you are feeling stressed, you may experience any of the following physical symptoms: difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping, weight gain or loss, lack of appetite or overeating, fatigue, headaches and backaches, or gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach pain or indigestion.

In addition, chronic stress can be detrimental to your immune system. By decreasing the effectiveness of your immune system, stress can be a contributing factor in the development of certain illnesses and diseases, including migraines, cold sores, hives, ulcers, allergies, skin problems, heart disease, hypertension, and kidney disease.

Mental effects

High levels of stress can cause any of the following mental effects:

  • Difficulty making decisions, even minor ones
  • Feeling left out, isolated, rejected, or misunderstood
  • Feelings of insecurity, anger, sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety
  • Feeling rushed or constantly under pressure
  • Exaggerating your importance to yourself or others
  • Over-personalizing events or being overly sensitive

Behavioral effects

Stress can cause any of the following changes in your behavior:

  • Problems with authority
  • Forgetfulness of important commitments
  • Withdrawal or deteriorating relationships
  • Neglect of appearance and hygiene
  • Need for perfection
  • Excessive gambling or spending
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Avoidance of responsibilities, even those you once liked

Why should I be concerned about time management?

Time management allows you to focus on the most important activities in your life. The ability to organize your tasks within an allotted amount of time enhances your overall productivity. An increase in productivity will increase the quality and quantity of things you are able to accomplish in your personal and professional life.

Time is a highly valuable resource that people frequently mismanage. Increasing your ability to manage time successfully will help you have more control over the events in your life and help you be more satisfied with your life in the present.