In case you haven’t noticed, the world is a disheveled mess. We have war, disease, political turmoil, diminishing natural resources, broken relationships, strained economies, and a high degree of uncertainty about what the next day, year, and decade holds for all of us.
Yet balance is a key component of mental health, which raises the question: How can you maintain a balanced mental state in an unbalanced world?
What is a Balanced Mental State?
The first order of business is to define a balanced mental state. One definition suggests mental balance is “the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment.”
According to Melinda Smith, M.A., of HelpGuide.org, people who are mentally healthy or balanced possess, among other things, a sense of contentment with life, the ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity, an even division between work and play, and self-confidence and high self-esteem.
Five Tips to Help You Achieve Balance
Having a balanced mental state doesn’t mean you’re unaffected by whatever happens around you, or that you’re always happy. It does mean you rebound and don’t let minor issues throw you into a tailspin.
Want to know more about what it takes to achieve mental balance in a crazy world? Here are five practical tips:
- Spend Daily Time in Meditation
In order to achieve mental balance, you have to slow down occasionally and turn some attention to your thoughts. Spending just a few minutes of quiet time in meditation each morning and evening will help you find yourself.
- Strengthen Your Positive Mental Muscles
It’s helpful to picture your brain as having different muscles. Just like the muscles in the rest of your body, the more you train, the stronger these muscles get.
In order to achieve mental balance, you mustn’t let your negative mental muscles get too much exercise. Instead, you must work on strengthening your positive mental muscles.
Speaking practically, this means forcing yourself to think positive thoughts whenever negative ideas surface. For every negative thought you have, try to call up at least two or three positive thoughts. Eventually, positive thoughts should arise naturally.
- Don’t Neglect Your Body
Most people don’t acknowledge that the mind and body are closely connected. In order to achieve mental balance, you have to attend to your physical needs. Thankfully, it’s possible to achieve balance with simple exercises that aren’t rigorous or overly demanding. Mother Earth Living suggests walking, yoga, swimming, jumping jacks, biking, and dancing.
- Recognize Your Stress Triggers
Everyone has triggers that cause stress or anxiety. For some, it’s work and money. For others, it’s the relative stability of relationships. Still others become stressed when they run into heavy traffic on the way to work. Whatever your stress triggers are, it’s imperative to identify and minimize them as much as possible.
- Cultivate Healthy Relationships
A final tip for maintaining a balanced mental state is to cultivate healthy relationships with the people around you. It’s nearly impossible to be mentally balanced if you don’t interact positively with others.
Healthy relationships enable you to recognize differences in the world and grow as a person. Don’t seclude yourself and try to live life on your own, solitary terms.
Learn to Let Things Go
Ultimately, we all have to learn to let things go. The fact that we live in an unbalanced, chaotic world means that events will regularly go wrong.
It’s how you deal with these challenges that determines the impact on your long-term mental health. If you’re interested in topics like health and medicine, maybe a career in health care would be right for you!