Ever found yourself completely out of balance? Like you mind doesn't know what to focus on?
Let me introduce you to the best mindfulness technique... It's called BACE:
B - Body (exercises, sleep, healthy eating, rest and hydration)
A - Achieve (work, chores, study, goals)
C - Connect (friends, family, community)
E - Enjoy (play, fun, pleasure)
BACE teaches us that how we spend our time has an effect on our mood. Think about it, if you spend time:
- with a close friend, you may feel happy and light
- reading an enjoyable book, you may feel relaxed and entertained
- on social media for hours, you may feel distracted and unaccomplished
- thinking about future outcomes, you may feel nervous and fearful
When we feel stressed, we have a natural tendency to place unwarranted importance to Achieve. Achieve activities can make us feel motivated, successful and proud, but when we expend an unbalanced amount of time to this area, we can become drained. This shifting of focus draws our energies away. We can find ourselves neglecting the B, C and E areas. We stop effectively looking after our bodies, we withdraw from connection, and we neglect our once-loved activities. For most of us, these areas have an equal ability to affirm our emotional, mental and physical well-being.
When you look at the science (albeit rudimentary) of why this is, it makes total sense.
B - Body (particularly exercise) stimulates endorphins
A - Achieve stimulates dopamine
C - Connect stimulates oxytocin
E - Enjoy stimulates serotonin
When we evenly distribute our focus on all 4 elements or even give more to the areas we value to the most, smaller anxieties can be alleviated. Not only is our energy more balanced, but our chemical disposition is too.
Life is ALL about balance, and we must learn to balance our energy. In my experience, giving less to Achieve is a learning curve, one that carries its own emotions; guilt and apprehension. Following BACE, these emotions can turn to acceptance, surprise and fulfillment. That initial feeling of neglect, is not necessarily because we are underachieving. Our stressed bodies have a natural resistance; a response that wants to force us to focus on Achieve. We have to work past this feeling, and recognise that we are deserving of fulfillment in other areas of our life. They are equally as important. 💚
If you think you may find this technique helpful for bringing more balance and mindfulness into your life, here's a weekly planner to help you keep track of your BACE. If you find yourself adding more in one area, and less in another, it might be time to re-balance your activities.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a mental health practitioner. If you think you may need help, please seek the guidance of a professional.
As always, thanks for reading.