On this week’s post, we continue to dive into practical advice Seeking Balance to Live Life. Click here for part 1.

Manage your thoughts.  Even when you breathe, you can say to yourself “I am breathing in relaxation and acceptance, and (with each exhale) I am experiencing peace and life.”   Learn to challenge the unhealthy thoughts connected to the fight-flight or shut-down response, using healthier, life-giving truths that help you experience life more fully.  

Reflect on: Philippians 4:8; Romans 12:2; II Corinthians 10:3-5; Proverbs 23:7a

Accept vulnerability. You are vulnerable to many uncertainties in life, because no one can predict the future.  You are vulnerable to the past through unwanted thoughts and feelings because the past cannot be eliminated. Instead of trying to control them, accept their existence and give them less power by refocusing your mind in a valued direction.

Reflect on: Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 10:16-20; Romans 13:1-10; 15:1-7

Open up to life.   Refocus yourself to the world around you.  Learn to appreciate the art that is all around you.  Enjoy the varied types of music.  Appreciate the seasons and the beauty of nature, which has been called “the greatest show on earth.”  Dogs, cats, birds, horses, and creatures from the animal kingdom all have something to offer as you open up to life in the direction of your choice. The Lord has made all things for you to enjoy in His presence. 

Reflect on: Romans 1:20; James 1:17; Psalm 19:1-6

Choose your valued direction.  There are many roads from which to choose, so consider your values and beliefs, and choose wisely.  Move in that direction, allowing it to energize you.  It is a continuing process.  Remember, you are living life, contributing to the world.  Commit yourself to ongoing action, knowing life is not a destination, but a journey.

Reflect on: Elisha in II Kings 2:9; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14; I Corinthians 12:4-7

Love.  Open up to giving and receiving love.  It is the highest value, and through it we all can experience freedom from the ravages of the fight-flight or fright response.  Forgiveness for ourselves and others is found under the umbrella of love, as is hope for the future.  As philosophers and spiritually minded people have indicated for millennia, love is a resource which will never run out.

Reflect on: John 13:34-35; 17:23; I Corinthians 13; I John 3:16-18; I John 4:7-21

Ronald S. Newman, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Mays Landing on Route 50 who can be reached at: write2balance@gmail.com, or 609-567-9022.    

This article was originally published on the Hammonton Gazette, March 2019 and has been modified into a new format.

Illustration by Jeff Östberg.

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