5 Ways to Find Balance in an Out-of-Balance World

If the negative news headlines and natural disasters are throwing your equilibrium off balance and running you on the road to burnout, you are not alone! Take a pause and regain a sense of calm with these all-natural tips.

Posted on | Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., PhD | Comments ()

If the negative news headlines and natural disasters are throwing your equilibrium off balance and running you on the road to burnout, you are not alone! Take a pause and regain a sense of calm with these all-natural tips.

1. Schisandra Soothes and Rejuvenates
A prized berry that has been used for thousands of years to revitalize the senses, schisandra contains several vitamins and flavonoids that possess antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. It is considered an energy tonic that enhances both physical endurance and mental concentration; at the same time, it soothes the nerves, taking the edge off anxiety. It has been used as an adjunct support for immune function in patients undergoing chemotherapy and helps to protect the liver and kidneys. Grown in Asia, schisandra is available as a supplement from health food stores.

2. Beat the Blues With B6

Vitamin B6 plays a role in red blood cell metabolism, protein metabolism and synthesis of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. It also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and increases the amount of oxygen carried to your tissues. Low levels can lead to an increase of homocysteine, anemia, headaches and depression. Start by eating B6 foods: bananas, chicken breast, garlic, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, sunflower seeds, broccoli, red bell peppers, watermelon, avocados and potatoes.

3. Get Your Blood Flowing
The constant pressures of your job, family and events that are out of your control can lead to chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is a direct cause of muscle and joint pain. Clenched jaw? Lump in your throat? Chronic back and neck pain? These can all be manifestations of stress in your body. You can release physical tension and clear these emotional blockages with regular exercise, massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or any activity that gets your energy flowing.

For increased stress reduction, practice five minutes of deep breathing during exercise. While exercising, deliberately slow down your breath by counting to 10 for each inhalation and exhalation When you exhale, blow out and let go of worries and negativity. After five minutes, you should immediately experiences deeper state of relaxation.

4. Breathing Brings Balance

Use deep breathing and rest to restore your metabolic equilibrium. Sometime during your busy day, find time to close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Even better, meditate on a daily basis and head off emotional extremes before they start. Studies show that people who meditate are calm, slower to anger, and better able to see through problems to good outcomes. Start a meditation practice with five minutes and work your way to 15 or 20 minutes each day. It doesn’t matter what kind of practice you do, as long as you do it every day. For instruction, you can take a class, listen to a guided CD, or watch this video.

5. Take a Time-out From Technology
Your brain, like a computer, can handle only so much information within a given amount of time. Overloading your system is a recipe for stress. To evaluate if you’re overloading your circuits, examine all that you take in every day. Do you have to watch the news on TV, read it on the Internet, and also listen to it during your commute? If you exchange 200 email messages every day at work, do you also have to look at them at home and on weekends? Try taking a full day off from technology. Turn off the TV, limit your email time, and turn your phone to silent. Even a half-day off will cut down on stress and preserve your energy.

Blog written by Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., PhD
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, bestselling author of Secrets of Longevity, is a 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine and the leading...