Did you know that just by changing the way you think and process the world around you, you can mitigate stress, get more out of your day, and achieve emotional balance? You become whatever you think about all day long; meaning stress is heightened when you think stressful thoughts. If your mind is always focused on feeling stress, you won’t have room for more productive thought processes. If you want to achieve emotional balance, the best place to start is with honest, non-judgemental self-reflection.
- How often do you find yourself thinking and worrying about the past or future?
- How often are you able to truly focus on what is happening in the present moment?
- How often do you practice stress-reducing activities like meditation, journaling, exercise, nature walks, etc.?
Our negative thoughts do more than just make us feel anxious; they can also create physical sensations and symptoms. Acute stress (more short-term, situational stress) can cause:
- Your muscles to become tense
- Your heart rate to become elevated and circulation to be constricted
- Your digestion to shut down and your mouth to get dry
- Your adrenaline and cortisol levels to surge
- Your sleep to become disrupted
When you carry these negative thoughts and stress long term, you can experience:
- Pain from muscle tension in the form of chronic tension headaches, tooth grinding & TMJ, restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia and other pain syndromes
- Heart disease and increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Inflammatory disorders of the gut, malabsorption, heartburn, reflux and irritable bowel
- An increased risk of autoimmune disorders
- Adrenal fatigue, circadian rhythm disturbance, sex hormone imbalance and even early menopause or menstrual irregularities
- Insomnia, memory problems and structural brain changes
In order to combat the physical and emotional threats brought about by chronic stress, we must work towards inner balance. However, to achieve emotional balance, changing behaviors is not the only step. Even when you modify your behavior and schedule, you won’t find balance until you also adjust your way of thinking. You must learn how to match your thoughts and energy with what you desire in life through intentional living to achieve emotional balance.
An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world, whether at work, in relationships, during your meditation, or in any other area of your life. To identify your intention, you must first identify what matters most to you. Once you’ve determined your intention, you can use it to help guide your actions and thoughts as you move through each day.
When you are working to find your intention, resist the urge to phrase it as something you don’t want, such as “I don’t want to feel stressed.” This will only create more stress because your focus is on stress itself. Instead, identify new desires, such as presence, hope, patience, health, trust, courage, focus, or peace. Once you adopt your desired intention, align your thoughts and actions with it throughout the day. Make it your mental focus and respond to the outside world in ways that support your chosen intention and desire to achieve emotional balance.
Maybe you’re not sure exactly what you want. One great way to start is to think about what you definitely don’t want and then make your intention the opposite of that thing. If you still need some help getting started on your path to achieving emotional balance, here are several great intentions:
- I intend to lead by example .
- I intend to be peace wherever I go.
- I intend to make meditation a more important part of my lifestyle.
- I intend to stop taking things personally.
- I intend to release judgements of myself and others easily.
- I intend to be open to success and support.
- I intend better health.
Once you’re set on your new intention, you will begin the process of realignment. This process includes the following actions:
1. Slow Down
- Begin thinking about the safety of slowing down; understand that there is safety in slowing down.
- Allow yourself to slow down in your energy, your thoughts, and your actions.
- Slow down, do one thing at a time and go about your life with ease. If you don’t do this intentionally, life will eventually force you to.
- Gabby Bernstein says, “Do less and attract more.”
2. Genuine Presence
- Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra asks himself a series of questions as he starts each day to bring forward a powerful energy: “Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve? What am I grateful for?”
- By bringing a genuine presence to your day, you will notice how your inner and outer self feels moment by moment
- The more you bring this peaceful energy forward in everything you do, you are cultivating a clearer awareness in your mind, which helps the bran from being overloaded
3. Silence is Golden
- Avoid making sure you fill every minute of your day with distraction and business.
- It’s only in stillness and silence that you can access the awareness needed for living in the now and achieve emotional balance
- You can’t think your way into your intention, but you can allow it to come through in the silence.
- The solution to stop obsessively thinking is to embrace silence.
4. Non-Judgmental Awareness
- Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Simply put, mindfulness is moment-to-moment non-judgemental awareness.”
- This time is an opportunity for us all to release judgement of one another and instead practice awareness.
- Recognize your own judgements and simply choose again. Tell yourself, “I choose (intention) instead of this.”
Consider these other tools to help you realign and achieve emotional balance in yourself:
- Set intentions that you actually believe in – it must be authentic.
- Manage your attitude.
- Meditate on your intention.
- Journal about why you’re grateful for it and how you plan to step into it.
- Breathe into and with the intention.
- Just for today, focus on setting intentions for short term vs long term emotional balance.
Most of all, as you work to achieve emotional balance, remember: “Your intentions create your reality.” – Wayne Dyer
Well-being Coach | Wellness Consultant | Retreat Facilitator
CEO and Founder of Alisha Leytem, LLC
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