Achieving Balance

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Women Living Well - 2004

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Achieving Balance

Adina Cazaban

Balance 1. the power or means to decide
2. a stable mental or psychological state; emotional stability

For me, balance is very similar to the above definition. Balance means being able to have time to do all of the things that are important to you, from eating and sleeping, working and doing school work, exercising and relaxing. Balance also includes doing things that you might not want to do, but that are good for you and therefore must be done, such as eating a well balanced meal instead of a lot of junk food, or staying in shape by exercising instead of being a couch potato and sitting in front of the TV for hours at a time, which is something that I, at least, have been compelled to do on many previous occasions. A very simplified definition of balance would really just be being able to manage your time well.

The only problem with this definition of balance is that few people, at least those of whom I know, would be able to say that they lead a balanced life. Most people I know are poor time managers. Some days all they do is eat, sleep and watch TV, while the next week they can't eat or sleep or exercise because they have too much homework to do and cannot afford to spend their time doing anything else, even if it would help them. It is exactly this kind of imbalance in one's life that causes the "bad" stress that Reggie Jones was talking about. The bad stress then causes depression/ depression like symptoms, which in turn just leads to more imbalance. Imbalance can turn into a vicious cycle if it is not taken care of in time.

As Kim Cassidy informed us, this state of mind is what is also called a negative mental state. As it is stated above, part of being balanced is having a stable mental or psychological state, or a positive mental state, which makes people more efficient, better workers and more enthusiastic to learn new things. A positive mental state makes balance a more attainable goal and balance helps to promote a positive mental state.

However, there are more aspects to balance than just mental health. Physical health is just as equally important, and there must be an equilibrium between the two. As Jodie Law informed us, being in good physical health and exercising regularly help to achieve not only physical health, but in fact help to promote a positive mental state. Putting an hour aside every day, or every other day can make a big difference in the long run, and can help people come closer to achieving the seemingly impossible: balance.

Some people think that balance, or anything close to it, is not in fact an option here at Bryn Mawr. They have put themselves into the negative mental state of thinking that this college does not allow it's students time to do anything other than study. In fact, if these students would just change their thinking about it, they would find that they do in fact have enough time here, even with the difficult classes, to achieve something close to balance. If one thinks that one will have time to get everything done, then that person will make time to get everything done. I am a firm believer that achieving balance is a state of mind, and that it is definitely something that is possible here at Bryn Mawr College.

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