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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > July 2019 > Restore the equilibrium

Restore the equilibrium

Is your life bulging at the seams with doing and not enough being? Are you constantly acting and planning, bereft of stopping, resting and relaxing? Do you give, give, give and find it hard to receive? Anita Chaudhuri discovers if it’s possible to find a happier balance

So, how is your year unfolding? Are you still powering through the lofty, shiny goals you set in January? I find myself pondering this question for an interesting reason. For the first time I can remember, I have actually stuck to the plan. I’m ticking off my to-do lists, achieving mini targets and making solid, measurable progress in many different areas of my life.

Amazing, right? Admittedly, I do feel happy about it. Well, sort of. Actually, if I’m being really honest, I am exhausted… Not to mention harried, with a side order of snappiness, impatience and irritation. Hang on, this isn’t what I cosmicordered! What’s going on?

Slowly, it dawns on me that I

have barely given myself time to breathe. My focus has been so intense, my activity levels so feverish, I’ve forgotten why I wanted to do any of it in the first place. In short, I feel profoundly out of balance.


Peter Borten has a doctorate in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is co-author of The Well Life (Simon & Schuster, £10.99). He suggests that in order to experience true wellness, we need to understand the concept of dynamic balance.

‘In TCM, this balance is usually expressed as the two-part harmony of yin and yang. And, in Ayurveda, it’s often expressed as the balance of three qualities known as sattva, rajas and tamas. Because of the constant push and pull between the elements of an organic system, it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to maintain a state of constant, perfect balance. However, the more conscious we become of how we’re affected by diverse variables such as our thinking, our eating and our climate, the more readily we can make adjustments in order to bring ourselves back to centre. In this way, we can achieve a dynamic balance that works for us.’

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