Published on December 17, 2020

5 Ways to Get Your Life Back into Balance

5 Ways to Get Your Life Back into Balance

Life is a balancing act, and you can not escape the fact that you will always be juggling work, home, money, health, and relationships. While we doing all of this juggling we have one goal in mind—to succeed on all fronts.

Many times I have attempted to achieve this goal and have ended up paying a high price—my well-being. In these stressful times, my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being ended up depleted. My life was spinning out of control. There was no balance in my life at all, which is not a great way to live life and definitely unsustainable.

They say that you have to reach a point of desperation before you wake up to the fact that you need to make a choice—do I continue to spin out of control or do I stop spinning and get my life back into balance?

I choose to get my life back into balance. So, here are 5 simple things I did to start my journey of getting my life sorted. Follow these tips so you can get your life back into balance, too.

1. Figure Out What Living a Balanced Life Means to You

Finding balance in your life is about finding your center—the place where you can feel at peace, present, and happy. To get to this place of balance, you need to know what living a balanced life looks like for you.

In his article, How to Lead a Well Balanced Life, Gustavo Razzetti stated that:[1]

“Balance is not something we can get; it’s a state of mind. It’s the realization that life is not stable but in constant motion”.

For me, to get into the mindset of living a balanced life, I wrote down a list of all the activities that I liked doing and gave me a sense of peace, joy, and a feel-good feeling.

I then prioritized these activities to the top 5 that I would commit to maintaining in my life.

  1. Daily exercise for 60 minutes
  2. Mindfulness – 10 minutes of meditation daily
  3. Gratitude Journal – Every night, I write down 5 things I am grateful for that day (sometimes, I miss a few nights but no more than 3 nights).
  4. Don’t watch TV or go on my phone in bed.
  5. Healthy eating is a top priority – Limit my alcohol intake to 2 nights a week and my special treats (almond croissants) to one every 2nd Friday!

I knew that I had to create a more positive mindset, and these 5 activities helped me to do that.

2. Stop Trying to Multitask and Learn to Prioritize

Our brain is not wired to multitask. The more we multitask, the more stress we put on our brains. The reason we multitask is that we think multitasking is valuable and a great asset to have. However, what happens is that we end up having hundreds of thoughts rushing around at the same time and constant chatter in our minds!

This actually slows you down and instead of focusing on the “one thing” you need to do, you end up getting distracted and going from one thing to another and achieving very little. By the end of the day, you are exhausted!

Creating balance is not about cramming many things into your everyday life. It is about knowing what is important and what isn’t and figuring out how much capacity and energy you have to invest in what is important to you.

Knowing your priorities, staying focussed, and managing your time is key to you getting your life back into balance.


3. Learn How to Say No and Release the Need to Overachieve

Being prepared to say “no” is an important step to creating balance in your life. There are many reasons why we say yes when we are overcommitted and our lives are spinning out of control.

For me, saying yes to another project or opportunity means believing that people would see that I was a high achiever and successful. I couldn’t say no because that would mean people may think I wasn’t capable or successful. Go figure that one! My life was spinning out of control, but I kept saying yes.

What I ended up doing when I said yes was promising more than I could deliver and working on projects that I really didn’t want to do. I learned that by saying no, I created the opportunity for me to work on things that I actually enjoyed doing, and as a result, ended up getting my life back with so much more energy.

Learning to say “yes” without resentment and “no” without regret is the first step to you living a balanced life.

4. Create Quiet Spaces in Your Life and Mind

When you are living a life that is out of balance, you are on speed dial. A lot is going on in your life, and you have so much to do that you feel like you are running a race that you can’t seem to win!

Your body will tell you when your life is out of control. One of the first signs is poor quality sleep. You have so much on your mind you can’t sleep, and after a while, your energy levels start to drop. Your mind feels foggy, and there seems to be clutter and chaos everywhere in your life.

If you recognize these signs, the best solution is to take action and look for ways to create space in your life where you can sit quietly and calmly and feel at peace.


Be aware that you won’t reach this state of calmness and clarity straight away because your mind and your body are wired for chaos, clutter, and constant chatter. It is a step by step process.

Here are 3 things I did that helped me create the space I needed to be calm and at peace:

  1. I downloaded the app Calm – an app for sleep and mediation. I committed to an end of day ritual where I would take a shower, have a cup of calming tea, and then meditate using Calm.
  2. I scheduled a massage every 2 weeks for 3 months and paid ahead for all the sessions. There were no excuses for me to put off making an appointment because I was too busy and had no time. If I had to postpone, I had to reschedule straight away because I had paid for the sessions.
  3. Journaling – this is a practice that takes minimal commitment. However, the results for me had a tremendous impact. Journaling allowed me to create space in my mind and a sense of calm in my body. I was able to acknowledge what was on my mind, and this meant that my thoughts and feelings left my brain and my body, and I felt at peace.

5. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle—Healthy Diet and Regular Exercise

A healthy diet fuels natural energy and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the chemicals in our body that make us feel good.

I scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist to figure out what healthy food plan would work best for me. I paid for a 2-month consultation up front, which meant that I would be less likely to stray and make excuses as to why I couldn’t stick to the program!

I have always been very active. However, since turning 50, I found that my body no longer required high-intensity training, but it needed low intensity and body strength workouts instead. I gave up my running and gym membership and took up yoga, pilates, and walking!

I am 100 percent convinced that having a healthy diet and exercise regularly are the foundations from which I can sustain living a well-balanced life.

My Thoughts on Self-Discipline

When my life starts to feel out of balance, I know that I am lacking self-discipline. I have learned that self-discipline is one of the best tools to help me get on top of things in my life. Without self-discipline, I waste time, procrastinate, and fail to follow through on things I know I should do. As a result, I feel guilty, overwhelmed, and out of sorts with myself. This is not a great place to be.


Following these 5 steps to get my life back was key to me committing to living a well-balanced life where over time, self-discipline and procrastination no longer became a major issue for me to overcome.

Living a well-balanced life isn’t just crucial for your health, happiness, and well-being but also essential for boosting your productivity, managing stress, and living your life to your fullest potential.

So, go get your life back into balance right now!

“We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.” —Francis J. Braceland

More Tips to Get Your Life Back into Balance

Featured photo credit: Jakob Owens via


[1] Liberationist: How to Lead a Well Balanced Life

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on March 17, 2021

How to Start Living in the Moment and Stop Worrying

How to Start Living in the Moment and Stop Worrying

We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the moment and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the present when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or planning for the future?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of learning how to live in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

The Importance of Living in the Moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

Better Health

By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present in the moment can also improve psychological well-being[1].

Improve Your Relationships

Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them is extremely difficult. How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

Greater Self-Control

You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions when you are living in the moment. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

Why Do We Worry?

Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.


3 Steps to Start Living in the Moment

Follow these simple steps for more balance and clarity.

1. Overcome Worrying

In order to overcome worrying, you need to do two things:

Calm Your Mind

When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

2. Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

Racing Mind

Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

If you find that you’re easily distracted, you can begin to tackle this with lifehack’s Free Guide: End Distraction and Find Your Focus.

Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

None of us want to be in unpleasant situations or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

So, how do most people cope with painful emotions? By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.


In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

A Wandering Mind

From the moment we are born until the time we die, our body and mind are actively performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

Outside Influences

Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy, which does nothing to help us learn how be present.

3. Practice Mindfulness

How can we start living in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

What Is Mindfulness?

The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.


You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day, and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

This practice is highly effective and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

Mindful Breathing

While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity.

You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

Here are some breathing exercises you can try to learn to help you: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

Mindful Walking

Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking, but are we really?

Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.


Mindful Eating

Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

Live in the present with mindful eating.

    Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

    So, how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

    • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
    • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
    • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

    You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

    Mindful Activities

    Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

    Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

    You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

    Final Thoughts

    Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness as you start living in the moment. 

    Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

    The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. 

    More About Living in the Moment

    Featured photo credit: Smile Su via


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