Finding Balance; The Compartmentalisation Conundrum

Life is balance. Everything you see as life, everything that you see as yourself is beautiful only when it is in balance.

-Sadhguru

Recently, I have been learning a whole lot about finding and maintaining balance in life. Balance between career and/or school, personal goals, faith, relationships, emotions, unexpected rollercoasters, highs and lows, failures and disappointments, successes and triumphs…the list goes on.

I have also learned a few things along the away about effectively compartmentalising (this word is a mouthful huh?) various aspects of life. Compartmentalising (do not bite your mind’s tongue, lol) in the sense that you learn to put different aspects of your life in their separate place and are able to give a good amount of attention to one aspect even when another aspect may be negatively affected (this can be so so tough in practice).

Life really is all about balance. There is tremendous amount of beauty in balance and being able to effectively devote different amounts of time and energy to separate aspects of life so that when one aspect may be lacking, other aspects still have the chance to thrive. Where there is an upset in balance, this may result to a decrease in productivity and creativity generally.

If tend to be quite an emotional person or perhaps you feel things very deeply like me, chances are, sometimes you have issues with finding and maintaining balance in life. This could be because each aspect of your life may drain you emotionally, mentally and physically. Some days you find that you are too overwhelmed with everything going on around you that how you function in important aspects of your life may be negatively affected. Your productivity and creativity dwindles and you find yourself getting less and less motivated or giving your barest minimum at work or at your goals because you are emotionally drained.

Say you are dealing with a hard break up, the loss of someone close to you, a betrayal in a friendship, family drama, relationship drama, depression or any other mental health issue or you are just trying to get yourself out of a toxic situation. It may just be a nasty mood swing you may be in. You find that- and let us be frank here- if you are negatively affected by any of these scenarios, you may not be in the mood to be productive, creative, chase those dreams, smash those goals. In fact, getting out of bed in the morning could be the hardest part of your day. The reality is that sometimes, this happens to the best of us…no matter how put together “that person” looks to you.

It is however important to remember that finding and maintaining a healthy balance in life is not only essential for your happiness, but for your productivity and creativity. The good news is you have all it takes to find and maintain the much needed balance.

Emotional balance is facilitated by practicing emotional regulation and distress tolerance. Emotional regulation relates to identifying the emotions that are being felt in the moment, and observing them without being overwhelmed by them. Emotional regulation skills include self-soothing activities that help to reduce emotional intensity and provide a calming effect, such as: meditation, intentional breathing, yoga, listening to music you enjoy, progressive muscle relaxation, taking a walk or a hike, reading something pleasurable or spiritual, singing a favorite song, exercising, visualizing a comforting/relaxing image, journaling, etc

Psychologytoday

So, how can you find and maintain that much- needed balance and learn how to also effectively compartmentalise aspects of life so other parts can thrive while one part may not be doing well?:

Become aware of Self: It is not surprising that alot of people are becoming more self aware in learning to handle and deal with life internally and in relation to other people. By becoming more aware of yourself, you are aware of your emotions, responses and reactions to certain situations. You are purposely conscious of your character, personality and feelings. You then have the ability to effectively manage these feelings and emotions in different circumstances so you do not get overwhelmed.

One way of digging deep in becoming more aware of Self, as I have learned, is to practice the “why” technique. By doing this, you ask yourself a series of questions until you get to the root of why you feel the way you do, especially when it negatively affects your productivity. So if you are in a foul mood, you ask yourself “why am I in a foul mood?” and if your answer is “I don’t know” then you ask yourself “why don’t I know?” and on and on until you hit seeming roadblocks or the root of the issue.

Identify the emotions and Put it in words: By doing this, whenever new feelings pop up that threaten to throw you off balance, you focus on what you exactly feel and how it affects your body. It could be helpful to close your eyes and try to figure out which body part you feel tension.

After you have identified the emotions or feelings that could be triggering an imbalance, be ready to admit and say to yourself or a trusted person “I’m anxious.”, or “I’m feeling sad.” This helps you to take a step back from your automatic reaction and respond more consciously. An important thing to remember is when you feel a certain way, it is okay to not know how you feel or why you feel the way you do at a certain time. Take some time off and revisit your feelings in some hours and get answers.

Practice gratitude: This is another way to find and maintain a healthy balance in life. Find at least one thing that you are thankful forThis could be difficult especially if you are experiencing sadness, anxiety or going through a tough time generally that is affecting all other aspects of your life negatively. However, try to find at least one thing, even if it seems small, to be thankful for. This will ultimately help you become aware of the fact that life is not just composed of bad and unfortunate events and it encourages you to look at the bright side.

A bad day, month or year does not necessarily mean a bad life. 

Compartmentalise:

By doing this, you remind yourself consciously that certain aspects of your life do not affect other aspects negatively. A bad day at home or with your emotions should not necessarily transcend to a bad day at work where you snap at your colleagues or deliver low quality work and vice versa. A break up should not necessarily transcend into a total change of your character for the worse or you giving up on your goals and personal development as a whole. This is easier said than done but with constant practice and reminders, it can be achieved.

Respond, not react:

Learn to respond to situations instead of reacting. By doing this, you take some time to process the emotions and how you feel by practicing tips #1 and #2 above. You then figure out the best and appropriate way to respond to a certain situation. This helps to reduce any feeling of overwhelming-ness, as it were, or taking decisions based on emotions.

Follow Through:

If you say you will do it, do it! No matter what! No matter how you are feeling! If you say you are going to take that course, get to it. If you are going to work on your personal development, get to it. If you want to get that summer body (this does not apply to me as “calories are not counted in heaven”), get to it! If you find that you sad and anxious for whatever reason and it is threatening to cause an imbalance- I know this may sound weird or funny- but allocate time to feel that way, like 6-7pm. After that, follow through! I am learning the true meaning of “time waits for no one”, so if you want to spend two months wallowing in a pity party instead of getting to what you have committed to do, then time would not wait for you. So if you have committed, follow through!

Remove yourself from the situation: This is absolutely worth a shot in trying to find and maintain a balance in life, although not so easy. When you feel intense emotion you try to press the pause button, go and splash some water on your face and think about protecting emotional distance as much as you can. This could be helpful in that makes you more objective in your thinking and making decisions.

Acknowledge the not-so-great moments: While it is important to stay positive and focused to achieve a healthy balance in life, it is very important to acknowledge the not so great moments. Life is full of ups and downs and it would be unrealistic to expect yourself to be positive in each passing moment. Sometimes, life is full of it and we get swayed by negative emotions, but admitting it is the first step to being able to do anything about it and have that positive balance.

"The truth is that sometimes, life sucks and the healthiest thing you can do is admit it. Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life's problems-problems which, by the way, if you're choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you."

Spend time alone: Last but not the least, and this does not have to be said in too many words, spend some time alone. Get to know yourself, your likes, dislikes, your emotions, what triggers you, what makes you feel imbalance. Spending time alone boosts immense levels of productivity and creativity as you are not constantly drowned in the noise of others.

Afraid of spending time with just you? Then you need to look into you and confront that fear.

“You are the only person who will be with you your entire lifetime. Build an intimacy with you.”

I hope these tips are super helpful! They have been and are still helpful to me currently in my journey. If you have any other tips to find and maintain a healthy balance in life, please with me in the comments below! You can also subscribe to my journey by simply inputing your email address below and hitting the subscribe button!

Thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “Finding Balance; The Compartmentalisation Conundrum

  1. Another great post. Sometimes life throws things our way and it is so easy to allow it drown us. Have learnt to take about an hour 6-7 to ‘FEEL’ ( very weird indeed) but move on and let go.

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading mama! I appreciate the comment as well and agree with you. The most important thing is the moving on and letting go aspect.

      Like

  2. It’s necessary for people to adopt a host of the strategies discussed in this post. However I think in any part of their lives they feel the need to compartmentlize, then they have to be “intentional” about it. Being intentional could be likened to following through, but the difference comes in when one is intentional about the various departments of his/her life. I have come to realize that being intentional is key in our everyday life, so no matter how bad things are for a person in his personal life and they are very intentional about their job, there will be no chance of that affecting the quality of work. Your post addresses a lot of things, but if we sprinkle a little “being intentional” into it I believe it sweetens things in its entirety. Great write up Ms. 👏🏿

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading! Thanks alot for this comment and sharing this helpful tip too! Being intentional and purposeful really is key so one is not just coasting along life. I am also learning the importance of this. Thank you!

      Like

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