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Women Living Well - Spring 2005 Student Papers On Serendip

Balance: What role does it play in living well?

Jesenia Gervacio

Reflecting on all of the speakers and the topics they presented to the class, they all have the common goal of creating and maintaining a more balanced life style. In order to successfully obtain and sustain a healthy life style, all four of the topics discussed need to be actively engaged in by the participant. These four topics are intertwined in such a matter that they can and should be done simultaneously for the most part. For example, mindfulness is an aspect of balance that should become a part of every activity we engage in on a daily basis. Therefore, if a healthy routine is established and monitored, balance will be achieved.

The first topic introduced is the idea of mindfulness versus brooding. Mindfulness is the idea of thinking in a nonjudgmental fashion about any topic. Brooding is a much more negative version of mindfulness in which we are extremely judgmental of others and ourselves. This is such a simple phenomenon yet one that is immensely difficult to actively engage in. During the presentation we were asked to practice being nonjudgmental by listening to the person next to us. One of the students made the point that in her quest to be nonjudgmental she was too focused on whether or not she was being judgmental. This example helps to illustrate how difficult it is to be mindful. In this case she would need to be mindful of being mindful which seems redundant but is nevertheless true. This aspect of balance is a key component in aiding the process of achieving and maintaining a balanced life style.

The next issue addressed, time management, is also of great importance to sustain a balanced life. Time management is another simplistic idea that has real practical issues when implementing it. One concern with time management is that you cannot plan for everything. However, it is much more beneficial to allot a certain amount of time to efficiently deal with other issues life may present. By effectively managing your time, you also decrease the stress and hassle of trying to accomplish everything. Time management helps you organize and make time for everything you need to do. In managing your time it is key to be mindful and be honest. If you know that you like to watch a lot of television, you should not attempt to stop watching television all together. Instead you should grant yourself a set amount of time dedicated to watching television and abide by it.

Common knowledge has taught us that eating well is a major component for a healthy life style. However, many of us do no develop healthy eating habits becoming either too obsessed with what we eat or not caring enough about what we eat. When being mindful of eating, it is not expected that people will fall at either of these extremes; however it is prevalent in our society for this to be a reality. It is essential the members of our society be taught adequately how to be mindful of their eating so that we do not produce a society of people suffering from eating disorders or obesity.

The final topic that was addressed was how to properly exercise and work out at a level that will produce the most benefits but is still healthy. Using the F.I.T.T. (Flexibility, Intensity, Type, & Time) model, you can achieve a fulfilling workout that will produce results without creating unhealthy consequences. Once again, it is important to be mindful in your workout to determine if you are working out at your appropriate level of intensity. You do not want to strain yourself but you also do not want your body to work at a level that it is accustomed to. To conclude, mindfulness, time management, healthy eating, and fitness are all essential components in creating and maintaining balance. Although each one individually has a significant impact, combined they are most effective in achieving balance.

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