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Balance versus Addiction

Being addicted to "healthy" behavior is not balance. Certified Personal Trainer of Uppercut Fitness in Hamburg, New York, Michael Menard posted the following video:

Michael Menard, Uppercut Fitness

One might ask, "How could being addicted to working out be bad?" Exercise is good for you, so how could an addiction to it be wrong? Addiction in and of itself is a disorder. Even if the thing you are addicted to is good for you, anything that encompasses a long-term inability to moderate one's behavior is problematic.

Addiction is a disease. Keep in mind there are those times we all say, "I'm addicted to *insert item or activity here*." I am not talking about enjoying a really good dessert and declaring in jest. When any item (food, drugs, alcohol, and so on) or any activity (running, biking, driving, playing chess, whatever it might be) becomes such a driving force that it consumes you, this is an addiction. Addiction takes over your life at all costs creating complications in your life. The worst part is, particularly if it is traditionally thought of as "good for you," you most likely won't recognize it as a problem.

Justifying an addiction because it is considered by most to be healthy also poses a problem because others around you may not recognize it as a problem. It would be best if you strive for balance. Take a lesson from Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, "Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?"

The Karate Kid (1984) - Rowboat scene

When we strive for balance in life, health and happiness follow. This is not news to most people. We have heard it is best to have a balanced diet, we should balance our work and personal life, financial advisors will encourage having a balanced portfolio. Balance is personal. One person may require ten hours of sleep while another can function well and is completely healthy getting six. (Note that eight hours is the recommended average.) The same person who required ten hours a night in their twenties may find that they require less as they get older, or vice versa.

Finding and creating a balanced life is an ongoing practice. It isn't something you put on your to-do list, check off, and then move on as though it is done without ever having to look at it again. However, it also should not be keeping you up at night. Some simple steps towards balance are:

  • Take care and recognize the parts of your life that are not balanced.

Recognizing where you need work is the first step to finding balance.

  • Remember there is and always will be only 24 hours in a day.

Work within this time and it is okay to work on things over a period of days. You do not have to finish everything right now.

  • Surround yourself with people and tasks that bring you joy.

If having coffee with Sally always makes you feel exhausted and angry, that monthly meetup would be better taken off your to-do list.

  • "No." without apologizing. (You can do this and still be polite.)

You have the right to say no without explanation. If those asking for your time get angry over this, they must work with their anger. That is on them. If it is something you would like to think about before giving a definitive "yes" or "no," you are allowed to do that as well. No one should be bullied into doing something they do not have time for or simply do not want to do.

  • There will always be things on our to-do list, the joy is that we control and have the option of how we get them done.

Even items with deadlines are taken care of among the other things we have to do each day. Take care to fit them into your schedule accordingly. How we go about getting them done and fitting them in without stressing ourselves is the key to creating balance.

Remember, no one can be everything for everyone all the time. Balance your "have to's" with your "want to's". Being addicted to good behavior can be as destructive as an addiction to bad behavior. Having balance will keep you out of harm's way.

Love Lots; Smile Often



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