Whether we are overwhelmed or underwhelmed with life, there are well-researched strategies that can help our overall mental wellness. People that deal with anxiety, depression, or feelings of “Is this all there is to life?” can often see significant changes when lifestyle is addressed.
A centered life is based on finding the balance between work and play, social and personal, energy and relaxation.
Here are a few starting points for the lifelong journey of finding a place somewhere in the middle.
Most Saturdays I have a large breakfast with my family, sit around and drink coffee, and do nothing related to work.
I don’t check my Facebook, post to LinkedIn, do much needed website development or brainstorm about expanding my business.
Rather, I fight against those urges and remember why I work hard and seek to enjoy time playing.
Having a rhythm to your week and month helps to allow your body to start to find a center.
Their issues are rarely your issues
When other people treat you poorly, it is rarely about you. Yet most of us will internalize, process and blame ourselves. Often, other’s poor emotional reactions have more to do with where they are, or are not, in their own self-discovery. Of course we always play a role in how we escalate or de-escalate situations, but when we internalize other’s reactions and allow them to define our emotions, we lose control over how we want to feel.
Every person has value, talents, and unique characteristics to contribute to the world. Yet we all get wrapped up in the nuances of daily life. When we seek to create deeper meaning through projects that help our community, volunteering, being involved in spiritual growth and finding things outside of us we can’t help but be changed.
Through having rhythms to center our emotions, realizing that other’s emotions and reactions have little to do with us and creating deeper meaning, we start the journey toward a more centered life. In doing this, we each begin to fight against the tendency to personalize other’s dysfunctions, we grow in our ability to find happiness wherever we are, and we see that the world desperately needs our talents to improve it. Through this we will find a more centered and happier place to live.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, is a licensed counselor and the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI, where he helps families and couples find deeper emotional connection and happiness. www.mentalwellnesscounseling.com.