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7 Things You Should Do To Stay Balanced And Happy When You’re Busy

7 Things You Should Do To Stay Balanced And Happy When You’re Busy

What comes to mind when you think about living a balanced and happy lifestyle when you’re busy? For those who have a busy lifestyle, it’s difficult to stop and answer this question. It seems like we live in a society where we are constantly moving around, needing to do things. But all this moving around leaves us exhausted at the end of the day.

With this in mind, answering the question above is crucial for your personal well-being and happiness. The more complex society becomes, the more we must focus on our internal world. This internal world is what we can control. The external world will constantly be changing, but our internal world is what will help us stay centered with all the external movement. Below I share with you seven simple things that you can do so that you can live a more balanced and happy lifestyle.

Set Priorities

Focus on what is important

We live in a society that is filled with distractions and temptations. These distractions not only take us away from what is truly valuable to us, but it has us wasting time on what is not important it. Setting priorities will allow you to stay focused on what is important in your life. Ask yourself this question, “What truly makes me happy?” Now, when I say happy, I mean internal happiness. What drives you to wake up every morning? Think about it and reflect upon it.

The way in which you set priorities is to focus on what is most important in your life. If your spouse and children are most important to you, then setting the priority of spending quality of time with them is top on the list. If staying at work after 5 p.m. is not important to you, make sure that you either go to work early or skip your lunch break so you can go home early. Whatever is most important to you, focus your attention on that.

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Write down on a piece of paper everything that you can think of that is important to you. Then prioritize each starting with #1 being your top priority. This will allow you visually see what is most important in your life in numerical order.

Nourish Your Inner Being

Develop your internal world

Being able to take care of your inner being is crucial in living a balanced and happy lifestyle. If you stop and think about it, how can you possibly perform to your greatest potential when you are constantly tired and exhausted? This is why it’s important to focus more on your internal world instead of your external world. Nourishing your inner being will not only allow you to recharge but you will feel better. This may be walking in the park or reading on the couch with your spouse. Only you can decide what your inner being yearns for. Answer the following questions to help you:

  • What activity or hobby excites me? (even just thinking about it)
  • If I can choose one place to be right now, where would that be?
  • After a long day of work, what calms my stress?
  • On a beautiful summer day, what do I enjoy doing?

Answering these questions will create clarity in your mind. With this clarity, you are more aware of what nurtures your inner being. Along with setting priorities, taking the time to nourish your being is another great way to stay balanced and happy when you’re busy.

Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

Be as specific as possible

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Have you ever heard of S.M.A.R.T goals? Let me first define what S.M.A.R.T stands for:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Attractive
  • R = Related to vision
  • T = Time frame

When you clarify and define your goals, it’s important that you refer to S.M.A.R.T. Do you know someone that says he or she will do something but never ends up doing it? It’s because it’s easier to do the “talking” part of goal setting than it is to do the actual “doing” part of goal setting. Next time you want to set a goal, remember to refer back to S.M.A.R.T.

Establish A Personal Statement

Define who you are

This would have to be my favorite one. If you are serious about staying balanced and happy when you are constantly busy running around, you must be centered at all times. Establishing and referring to your personal statement will allow you to do this. No matter what storm comes your way, you know how to handle yourself. A personal statement describes the person you want to become – not who you currently are, but the person you plan on becoming. This will help you focus on developing yourself rather than focusing on what you don’t like about yourself.

For example, part of your personal statement is that you are a great cook and loving wife. You may not feel like you’re a great cook and loving wife but because you have established your statement in a way that focuses more on the type of woman you want to become, you’re energy will start re-directing itself from negative to positive.

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Take Time To Self-Reflect

Be in a quiet place

“Step away from the crowd and step within your mind” is one of my favorite quotes, especially when it comes to living a balanced life. How can you possibly stay balanced when you are constantly in a noisy environment? Taking the time to self-reflect is necessary for your personal well-being and self improvement. Without a quiet place for you to reflect, you’ll constantly be all over the place.

Ever heard the saying,”Run around like a chicken with your head cut off?” So many of us are too busy to take the time to reflect but the majority of us are not happy and are not living a balanced life. Choose a section of your home where you can spend some quiet time to yourself, away from your family so that you can focus on listening to your inner being. If you can’t find a quiet place in your home, you can always go to the park or into the forest and sit on a log. Do whatever works best for you, as long as you find a quiet place to reflect on where you’re going in life.

Grow From Your Adversity

Challenge yourself to learn

You are constantly facing challenges and difficulties in your life. Whether it be running out of gas in the middle of the highway or finding out one of your family members has cancer, this is an opportunity for you to grow into a stronger and wiser individual. Not only do you gain wisdom from your adversity but you can use this wisdom to inspire others to do the same. Constantly challenge yourself to learn from every situation you face in life.

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It’s easy to “move on” after adversity especially if you don’t take the time to reflect upon it. God wraps his greatest gift for you in the center of your biggest problems. When one experiences a traumatic situation such as sexual abuse or drug addiction, God is presenting you the opportunity to discover your greatest gift. If you look closely within your adversity, you may just find your gift. When you discover your gift in life, you are more likely to stay focused and centered rather than just floating around. Your gift will be the light that will lead you to living a life filled with love, joy and freedom.

Re-Evaluate Your Life Map

Always think with about where you are heading

We all have the opportunity to create a life map. The only difference between a person who knows where he or she is heading in life is how detailed his or her life map is. Think about this – imagine you just found out that you have to go to Manila. You’ve never been to the Philippines so what do you do? You probably look online to find out more information about Manila and how to get their via an airplane. The more you do your homework, the more confident you are for traveling. This is the same when it comes to your life map.

When you are constantly updating and re-evaluating your life map, the more confident you will be in life. When you experience a hard day at work, you are more likely to shrug it off because you know where you’re going in life. If you have no map to refer to, stressful days will become even more stressful and eventually you become exhausted.

Create a life map that is in alignment with your deepest values in life. Imagine yourself on your death bed and you’re reviewing how you’ve lived your life without the words “woulda, shoulda, coulda” mentality. What do you envision? What does your life map look like?

Living a balanced and happy lifestyle while constantly running around is a challenge. But like I’ve shared with you, challenges and difficulties will only make you into a stronger and wiser individual – as long as you grow and learn from it. Implement these seven pieces of wisdom into your own life and start living a more balanced lifestyle.

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Tiffany Mason

Tiffany is a life coach empowering women to unleash their feminine essence & design a meaningful life & marriage.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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