By Leslie Holley, MA, LCPC, NCC
At my private practice, I often work with clients on finding balance. Many of us are programmed to live from one extreme to another. Going into the new year, we all could focus more on finding balance.
As you're identifying your goals, remember these seven tips: B.A.L.A.N.C.E.
Many of us focus on the past or the future. But we often forget that the present is all we really have. It’s easy to get caught up on what’s next. With hectic schedules and busy lives, stress and anxiety become a way of life. This fast-paced mentality to hurry through each moment to get to the next starts to become natural. However, focusing on living in the present is good for our psychological, physical, and emotional health.
Actualize Your goals
This year do a vision board to be constantly reminded of what you’d like to achieve. Be sure to place your vision board somewhere in your home that you pass often. I like to post mine on my bedroom closet door. It is a constant reminder of what I’ve achieved and where I am going. The visual will help you better actualize your goals for the year.
Love On Yourself
Many of us have obligations to others. Maybe you have children or caregiving for parents. However, loving on yourself is mandatory to have healthy well-being. Loving yourself creates an overall positive view of yourself. It also allows you to have empathy and love for others. Self-love creates a foundation that allows us to be assertive and set healthy boundaries and relationships with others.
Assert Your Strengths
In therapy, we often focus on a client's strengths and how they can support clients in achieving their goals. Focusing on the negatives doesn’t help us get closer to achieving goals. Focusing on your strengths can lower stress levels and create resilience. Research from Johns Hopkins shows that people who focus on the positive also have better psychological and physical well-being, cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Never Dwell on the Negative
As stated above, focusing on the positive and what you are good at has many mental and physical benefits. Dwelling on the negative can cause increased stress and anxiety and lower quality of life.
Cultivate Meaningful Relationships
Identifying the people in our lives that become our village or safe space is vital to healthy well-being. Friends and trusted family can encourage healthy behaviors, provide emotional support, and help foster healthy self-esteem. Healthy interactions with others can reduce our stress levels. Make an inventory of your tribe. Who are the people who enhance your life and make it more fulfilling? Make sure that you intentionally spend time with them this year.
Expect Love & Kindness, Always
In the wise words of Gandhi, “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” If you talk to yourself unkindly, start to track how many times a day you are hard on yourself and replace those thoughts with kind thoughts. Overriding the inner negative self-talk and replacing it with a kinder, more compassionate, and forgiving inner voice can transform our mental and emotional well-being.
Evan W. Smith Funeral Services offers grief counseling and other mental health services to the Delaware community in collaboration with Leslie Holley, a Nationally Certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact us.
About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, grief counseling, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit www.ewsmithfs.com.