The world tells us to go, go, go. We feel important when we’re needed and always on the move.
When I talk to people I often get the sense that being busy is a competition–as if the busier we are, the more our life has meaning. But we can only run so much before we start burning out. Busyness often robs us of the time we need to create a healthy life.
We feel good when we’re healthy. But feeling good and being healthy doesn’t happen on its own. It takes effort.
There are four areas of our lives that need attention:
- Body – physical: exercise, rest, healthy and mindful eating, being more active during day and less sedentary
- Brain – mind: reading, writing, learning new things and skills, teaching
- Heart – social/emotional: building friendships, making meaningful connections with others, identifying and being able to manage or eliminate toxic relationships, volunteering, helping to better the world around you, ridding ourselves of gossip and envy, develop a sense of humor
- Soul – spiritual: prayer, quiet time, worship, spending time in nature, journaling, serving others
Think of a table with four legs. Each leg needs to be strong and secure in order for the table to stand properly. If one leg is weak and wobbly, your dinner could end up on the floor.
Same with the four areas of our being–if they aren’t strong and tended too, our lives aren’t balanced.
We hear the word, balanced, quite often. I’m not certain if our lives can be 100% balanced at all times. There are seasons we go through where one area may receive more energy and attention than others. The goal is to tend to all four areas over time, being mindful as to when an area is lacking.
Having one area of our life unattended to can have a negative impact on the other areas. If we ignore our physical health, then feeling crappy isn’t going to motivate us to be socially involved or interested in spiritual growth. You will be overly focused on how crappy you feel. If you haven’t worked on cultivating friendships or a social network, that feeling of isolation saps your energy and leaves you uninterested in other areas of life.
Tending to these four areas takes awareness. We can’t be sleep walking through life and expect to experience self-renewal. It takes time and effort.
When we are mindful in taking action toward renewal we will experience growth and a greater sense of well-being.