Photo by Joe Flobrant
We’re all told, “Balance is important,” and that it is something we should be doing. But what does that mean exactly, and how can we apply it to better ourselves physically?
Balance – this is one thing in life that many of us overlook quite easily. Yet, balance is an essential part of life, a necessity for a healthy life. What does it mean to have balance, especially physically? Well, some think it means to have an equal amount of specific things – for example, rest and movement, stretching and strengthening, stretching and resting. I believe balance is different for us all, for we are all ourselves and no one else like us. No one’s body is the same. While I may need more stretching in an area, someone else may need strengthening. Balance is working to keep continuous harmony – this means paying attention to the things that are out of balance instead of adding equal amounts to both. If my body is tight, more so on the right side, I will not stretch both sides equally because this will bring zero change.
Let’s think about low back pain that is brought on by leaning to one side. If I lean more to my left side, I probably need to correct it by going to my right side.
Think of balance in your emotions – if my spirit sees more of the shadow side of life, I do not need equal light and shadow. Depending on where I am, I will need more light to achieve balance. Let’s apply this lesson to our mental health. A journal by Noakes (2012) explains how fatigue is a brain-derived emotion to protect the body from over exhaustion and keep balance. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, and you begin shutting down, listen to it and rest.
This lesson also helped me understand the injustice and racial problems today – paying attention to the things that are out of balance instead of adding equal attention. If we play neutral and give attention to everything equally right now, there will be zero change. Right now, this is out of balance, and it is what needs more attention now. But that’s for another conversation.
Stay safe and let’s continue to heal together!
Erica Ware – Founder and Owner of Holistic Bodywork