This is a guest post by Mary Molloy, author of the book, Design Your Own Destiny: Life Planning for the 21st Century.
Did you ever notice that when some people are emotionally upset they go for a run or they do some other physical activity to deal with their emotional distress? They release their emotional stress through physically working out their bodies. By doing this, they are using their bodies to bring their feelings and their emotions back into balance, also known as counterbalancing. Counterbalancing is a strategy that I have taught to thousands of people to help become more productive in their work and life.
Did you ever see the movie A Beautiful Mind? If so, you will remember that the main character, John Forbes Nash Jr., was suffering from schizophrenia. John saw and spoke with people who didn’t exist, people who were figments of his imagination. In order to remain focused, he counterbalanced himself by using his mind (his intellect) and his love for his wife (his emotions) to pull himself back into balance and overcome his disease. It wasn’t always easy, but he employed this strategy to stay productive while not letting his disease overcome his life.
Many people use their belief in God or the Universe to deal with the problems that they face in life. They might use their minds (their will) and their belief in God to overcome a physical disease, emotional problems, financial problems, mental problems or intellectual challenges. My friend, Lionel, is an alcoholic. He uses the physical to counterbalance the physical — his body to counterbalance his body. Let me be more specific. Lionel has used physical activities such as running and competitive skiing combined with his spiritual aspect (his belief in God, meditation and prayer) to “pull” his alcohol addiction back into balance for the past 20 years. This approach works for him, and as he has said many times, if he didn’t do it, he could go back to drinking in a heartbeat.
As with the other counterbalancing approaches, you can use your body or communication with God/the Universe to also help calm your mind down. Just as running or other physical activities help to counterbalance emotions, they also help to counterbalance the mind. As meditation and prayer helps to counterbalance the emotional and the physical, it also helps to counterbalance the Intellectual.
Question: What must you counterbalance to stay productive in life?