Seeking harmony and balance in ourselves should be the first step before wanting to share them with our loved ones and the rest of the world. It has recently been packaged and ‘rediscovered’ under the name of ‘wellness’, but the ability to cultivate a personal harmony that brings well-being is within each person from birth.
In fact, our body is designed to seek well-being and balance. At the biological level this search is called homeostasis. “And since the brain is part of the body, the mind also seeks these balances”, illustrates the psychotherapist Ronny Macías.
Harmony is defined by Verónica De Ycaza, holistic therapist, as the conscious balance between work and rest, giving and receiving, being in service to others and spending time in recollection and love with oneself. This harmony is also based on 3 pillars; love, freedom and, the path of the center, wisdom. “We came to grow in love, but love will never be true if you don’t grow in freedom at the same time”. Harmony is sustained by growth in love and freedom, plus the central path, wisdom.
Although it sounds simple (and even logical), the rhythm of life, occupations, and everything that people feel they have to fulfill / achieve to be happy, prevents them from becoming aware of their present and meeting that commitment to take care of themselves first themselves, appreciate who they are and what they have, and begin to live creating beauty.
A constant path to balance
“The search for well-being encompasses much more than wellness, a series of specific tasks that can bring a certain level of tranquility, feel good at ease in certain contexts”, adds Macías, from the Center for Integral Psychotherapy and Contextual Behavioral Analysis (PIAC).
In other words, well-being requires that life have a constant meaning. May one be able to experience that his life is worth living every day.
“It is that beyond the absence of worries or problems in life, the person learns to develop tools and skills to face daily challenges. To feel satisfied with his existence and not feel that the difficulties overwhelm him”, says the clinical psychologist.
To find this ‘meaning’ it is essential to respect personal space, the context in which one unfolds. This, the specialist explains, means that your goals and behaviors allow you to achieve goals that preserve your quality of life and avoid risky behaviors (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, promiscuity). And, at the same time, they favor interacting appropriately with others, without disrespecting their rights.
Among the competencies to strengthen a life of stable and permanent well-being, Macías mentions several key elements, whose approaches always depend on the values and ideals of each individual. For example, meditation, as a mindfulness resource (mindfulness) or prayer, which allows you to locate yourself in the here and now; interpersonal management; regulate emotions; having a social support group, which is one of the main factors in preventing stress.
“Every day, even if we do the same things externally, we can live them internally in a new way. If I am used to getting up with stress, I must allow myself to do it differently, and that is not an imposition of life, but a choice. Realize that I can choose the way I live each of my hours, my minutes”, explains the therapist De Ycaza.
But why do many choose to stay in the whirlwind of daily tasks? Verónica explains that deep down there is the fear of a form of death: seeing who I think I am die or the way of functioning in life that until now has kept me at ease, but unconscious. “Every end is a new beginning; let’s replace that word death with transition. Then we can prepare for a transition”, she says.
To achieve this, you need to take a break that does not necessarily imply inactivity. Suggest, for example, breathing and concentrating on that breathing in front of a sunset. “Only breathing seeing the sun, as if you breathed that light and its beauty, can lead you to something deeper and truer in you. There are many paths, but life gives you your way when you have the disposition. You choose either seeing a candle with an aroma that you like, a landscape, something that gives you a kind of pleasure, a rest. At first, nothing happens more than a sigh of relief, but then the way to self-knowledge can be opened, to contact with my being that is not the personality”.
Just breathing and concentrating on that breath can open the way to self-knowledge.
In contrast, there is the search for activities that release adrenaline and overstimuli that are not natural to the human being and that cause accelerated organic, mental and emotional aging. “It is not good to need them to begin to feel alive,” says the holistic specialist.
Society of fear and guilt
It is true that at some point, perhaps with a higher level of intensity than others, we live experiences of pain and suffering. It is inevitable not to react to these situations. “Each one interprets their suffering differently from the other. It is necessary to have the validation of the other, in the sense of feeling compassion, which means suffering with the person who suffers. Say “yes, I do not understand your suffering, but I am here for what you need and help you and get ahead”.
However, when this attitude is long-lasting and the person gets stuck in suffering from it, there is a problem. “If I reduce my well-being to being pitied and always seen as a victim, I end up depending on others to get ahead”.
And although the consolation and support of others is necessary, it is also important to seek the necessary mechanisms to overcome and even live with these problems, without affecting the quality of life in any of its areas: work, physical, emotional, social.
According to the clinical psychologist Jorge Luis Escobar, the system is designed to make us believe that well-being is an eventuality and that suffering is the rule. “So being happy is considered something fleeting, and if your happiness is permanent, some misfortune is yet to come; that is the Latin American mentality”.
That social structure based on fear, he continues, invites us to constantly search for something that brings us temporary satisfaction (an external factor), generating new levels of addictions, not only to substances, but to materialism.
The reality is that we are condemned to be happy, he explains, and it can be seen by observing children: no matter what adverse circumstance or environment they find themselves in, they always find a time and a place to be happy. Childhood, he claims, is the stage of true consciousness.
“But in what moments do we go astray as a society to make children believe that to be happy you have to suffer?”
A possible factor is in the parents, who use the term sacrifice when referring to the actions they carry out in favor of their children, when the most appropriate thing would be to speak of effort. “Effort is confused with sacrifice and children are inadvertently blamed for being the source of obligations”.
Thus begins to cultivate the belief that to feel well-being and happiness you must first sacrifice and suffer. “To wake up, we would have to take a dose of courage. Awakening our conscience implies recognizing that nothing can make us suffer, but that we are convinced of it. Be willing to forgive ourselves and caress from our own love the guilt and fear that we have allowed exist in our exercise of living”.
Playing the constant role of victim could be someone’s comfort zone. Getting out of that state, where you have received a reward for suffering, will allow you to build real self-esteem.
Then, he explains, a transition will occur in which the person will stop feeling a victim of the circumstances and begin to leave that comfort zone where they have always received rewards for their suffering. That is detoxification.
The next step is to regain the power of self-esteem through being loyal to self-love. “Living loving you will make you no longer move to an inadequate future expectation, because it does not exist. Neither will you carry the defects of the past nor will you want to fulfill the past of others, which does not belong to you, nor will you live blaming yourself for not having done something or for having made a mistake”, says Escobar.
“Living in the here and now has been for many not planning, not thinking about the future, when in reality it is about not clinging to a future idea. You can make assumptions, but you don’t fall in love with them or become infatuated. You discover that you are a being that in the present builds his future; you dedicate yourself to building the present, to occupy yourself and not to worry”.
How to eliminate toxicity
It is fashionable to define and label certain people, relationships, and situations as toxic. For Verónica de Ycaza, launching that sentence means putting all the responsibility on the other. “Toxicity never comes from outside, toxicity comes from the way you live that situation or that relationship. The first job is to take responsibility for your own feeling and assume that you can cleanse that feeling. What do you have to do to achieve it? That is what each person must realize”, she warns.
She explains that it is similar to someone taking poison. To remove it, you must cleanse your own body. Thus, if someone considers another person as poison to himself, the first step is to ponder why he continues in that type of relationship or situation. “Poison is created from thought, a thought that turns into something that damages it or that does not resolve. The thought produces an emotion in me and that emotion unbalances my harmony, which then manifests as fatigue, anger or sadness”, she explains. “It is always about me, there’s no way we can step aside from the responsibility of the life we create”.