When you think of balance, you might think of an acrobat on a tightrope. Or maybe you think of exactly the right amount of creamer or flavour in your coffee. In our work, when we talk about balance, we refer to the series of actions and attitudes that keep your brain performing at its best. Like the perfect cup of coffee, is your mind in a balanced state?
In elementary schools, students usually learn about homeostasis at some point. Homeostasis is the tendency of a system to move toward a stable equilibrium. A good example to discuss with school children is a seesaw or teeter-totter. A board is usually put on a fixed support in the middle and children can sit on either side and go up and down. It’s possible to balance the seesaw if the conditions are right. The balanced seesaw represents homeostasis.
Do you take time for yourself and take care of your physical body?
In the fast-paced business world, many of us try to handle work, home life, children, pets, family, friends, hobbies, social activities, and a million other things. But ask yourself if you remember to keep the balance of your own mind and body. You want your brain to be balanced, in homeostasis, like the seesaw.
Imagine someone who takes the time to relax and sips his or her coffee. Someone who sets time aside to reflect on thoughts and ideas. A person who has a positive attitude about their health, and who pays attention to nutrition. Do you think this person’s brain and body would be more balanced than someone who works feverishly with no time to stop for healthy food, or exercise, or even restful sleep?
You also have to take the chance to play and have fun. You aren’t a robot, and you cannot continue at a frantic pace indefinitely. Your body and mind will both suffer. Your brain is a remarkable thing, but it needs routine care like your hair or teeth or any other part of your body.
“The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is in emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together.”
Your brain needs to be exercised, just like any other part of your body. When you are feeling tense and emotional, learn to take a deep breath and the time to process information. Being able to sleep appropriately, and knowing when to slow down can help you maintain a balanced system.
How Balance relates to Performance
Balance is one of the 4 pillars under the competency of Performance in the . Understanding balance is key to enhancing the way you perform as a leader. Balance is often an afterthought in today's business world. You try to rush and get everything done with no regard to balancing your brain, heart and gut.
5 Tips for Balance
- Hug your loved ones
- Eat healthy meals
- Take time to “do nothing”
- Do some kind of exercise every day
- Mentally shift from negative to positive thoughts
Just like the coffee is best when you have it flavoured exactly right, your brain works best when it is balanced. You will be better able to manage situations in life if you take the time to relax and spend some time reflecting on your feelings and goals.
Maintaining your physical body and ensuring that you get enough rest are critical to maintaining your brain’s balance.