Health and wellbeing: why balance matters
Our partners at The School of Life explore what balance is and why it’s so important to our health and happiness.
We could all do with a bit of encouragement and support to build balanced, healthy lives. That’s why Bupa Global and The School of Life have teamed up to explore what the notion of a balanced life could look like for you today. We’ll be taking a closer look at six areas where balance can be a challenge, but where it’s also important for your general health and wellbeing.
Why does balance matter?
Finding the right balance between the competing demands of life is a tantalising prospect. You might be keen to have a good home life, but at the same time you’re determined to push your career and the two just don’t sit very easily together. One aspect of life tends to get sacrificed, which may leave you feeling anxious.
How can you know what’s enough?
The German Nobel Prize-winning writer Thomas Mann learned an interesting lesson as a young boy. His father took him to a patisserie, where he gave Thomas unprecedented permission to eat as many cream cakes as he liked.
At first Thomas was delighted, then he was nauseous, and eventually surprised. What he’d imagined would be an endless day of eating actually left him wishing that he hadn’t indulged to such an excessive extent. He’d learned that often you need to go to excess – and become slightly unbalanced – in order to understand what the right amount of something is.
Where does imbalance come from?
In today’s busy lives, imbalance can come about for deeply admirable reasons. You may be hopeful in a lot of directions and have opportunities that were simply unavailable to our ancestors. That also leads to opportunities to live in excessive or unbalanced ways, which were equally unthinkable a few centuries ago.
Yet you only have the same limited resources of time, energy and willpower that people have always had. With such big ambitions in multiple directions, balance comes as an alluring thought: perhaps you can get a bit of everything – if only you could adopt a balanced diet, develop balanced views and balance the books, all the while maintaining the perfect work-life balance.
Unachievable ideal or a real possibility?
But when you look around, very few people seem to really achieve this.