16 Balance Quotes You Need if You’re Feeling Stressed
These balance quotes plus expert tips may help you find and maintain your equilibrium, no matter what is happening around you.
Finding balance during stressful times
What is the secret to happiness?
Here’s what it isn’t: It isn’t a raise, a vacation in the Bahamas, landing your dream job, getting a new puppy, or even having a child. Sure, all of these things can add to your happiness—especially that vacation in the Bahamas—but they won’t make you happy if they’re out of proportion. They may even add to your stress.
So what is the secret to happiness, then? Balance, says Carl J. Sheperis, PhD, licensed professional counselor and dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. (Here’s how to go from to-do list to bucket list.)
What is balance?
Telling someone to “find balance” sounds simple. But it can be hard to pin down what that means, especially because it’s different for each person and can change from day to day. Essentially, balance is learning to prioritize your focus on areas of your life that increase your joy and sense of well-being, says Sheperis.
“For example, when you put all of your energy into work, then you tend to let go of your spiritual center, your physical health, and other elements,” says Sheperis. “Even though you might meet your financial goals, you end up suffering in other areas and find yourself still unhappy.
“If you are trying to live a fuller and happier life,” he adds, “strive for balance rather than advancement in one particular area.” (Here are myths of happiness you should stop believing.)
How to tell if you’re off-balance
Just because you’re getting everything done on your to-do list doesn’t mean you’re living a healthy, balanced life. Even good things, when done to excess, will leave you feeling off-balance.
One of the first warning signs that you’re reeling is your own body; when you aren’t balanced, you may feel it physically, Sheperis says. “Be actively aware of your own attitude and reactions, paying special attention to physical signs that you are getting upset—like increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and sweating,” he says. (Or these weird stress symptoms.) Long-term stress is a surefire balance-killer.
How to find balance
What balance looks like for you may be individual, but there are some universal steps to finding your ideal equilibrium, Sheperis says.
Remember that you’re in control
Even though it may feel otherwise, you’re not at the mercy of others. (That’s called secondhand stress and can have very detrimental effects on your life.) “You can’t control someone else, but you have total control over your own actions and emotions,” says Sheperis. “The important thing is that you clearly define for yourself what you want and need and then do those things first.”
Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of experiences in the moment and to accept those experiences without trying to repress, filter, or block them out. “With mindfulness, you can let go of the battle you are having within yourself and allow room for the thoughts that are driving you toward imbalance,” says Sheperis. “By giving up the fight against negative thoughts and emotions, you take away their power and can reestablish balance.” You can start with these meditation quotes to feel grounded.
Balance is a work in progress, not an end goal. In fact, no one will ever achieve a perfect balance, but working towards it can increase your well-being, he says. “If you have a family, a job, kids’ after-school activities, and you are also a graduate student, then making more time in a day isn’t realistic,” he says. “Instead, accept the choices that you have mad and, make a conscious effort to value the time that you have for each area of your life.”
People often feel off-balance because they’re looking ahead and worrying about the future. Learning to stay fully present in whatever you’re doing will help you feel balanced. “Spend more quality time with loved ones and turn your phone off,” he says. “Instead of making the conversation about work or other things that will draw you away from the family, focus the conversation on your relationships and the time together.”
Handle your stress
Stop stress before it knocks you out of balance. “Plan out the steps that you will take to manage stress and spend some time practicing them ahead of time,” says Sheperis. For instance, take a break from work every hour or two, call a friend for a chat, look at funny memes, or just take a few deep breaths. “The more you practice, the better you will be at regaining a sense of calm,” he adds.
Set goals for yourself
Some people avoid balance because they feel that unless they are laser-focused on their passion then they are giving up on their dreams. Not so, Dr. Sheperis says. Setting goals is the key to staying on track to achieve your dreams without sacrificing balance, he says. Setting goals can also make your life more meaningful.
Balance quotes to help you regain your equilibrium
One of the best ways to gain a better balance in your life is to practice. Balance quotes can help remind you why it’s important to keep calm and carry on.
Here are a few balance quotes to help you embrace your ideal, steady life.
The man who studied gravity knows balance
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”—Albert Einstein, German-born physicist who developed the theory of relativity
Balance isn’t about being stagnant or stuck. It’s about keeping your priorities straight even as you keep progressing forward. If you keep that balance quote in mind, you’ll also adopt one of the best habits for long life.
Choose a balanced lifestyle
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”—Jana Kingsford, author of UNJUGGLED: Lessons From a Decade of Blending Business, Babies, Balance & Big Dreams
So many of us feel out of control in our daily lives, careening from one activity to the next, until we pass out at night only to repeat it all again the next day. Cut the chaos by making conscious choices to prioritize and bring balance back to your life. It’s one of the things successful people do every day.
Effort is more important than intelligence
“The major work of the world is not done by geniuses. It is done by ordinary people, with balance in their lives, who have learned to work in an extraordinary manner.”—Gordon B. Hinckley, American religious leader and author
Learning to find balance isn’t just good for your mental and physical health, it can help you be more successful in accomplishing goals in all aspects of your life, including your job and hobbies. These are the best monthly health resolutions to make throughout the year.
Helping others helps you
“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”—Thomas Kinkade, painter
Helping others has powerful mental and physical benefits. So even if you don’t think you have the time, you’ll feel more balanced if you schedule in some volunteer hours. You’ll feel happier and live longer if you embrace balance quotes like this one.
It’s called the no-pants dance
“Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.”—Anonymous
Self-care is a big part of staying balanced, so don’t forget to prioritize yourself, starting with these 22 ways to remind yourself you’re worthy.
Work to live, not live to work
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.”—Thomas Merton, American monk and theologian
Don’t mistake busyness for accomplishment. Unless you are balanced in your aims, you may spend all your energy and time on something that doesn’t get you closer to the life you want to live. Try these expert goal-setting tips to get started.
You have a choice
“There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.”—Jack Welch, businessman and former Chairman and CEO of General Electric
With more people working from home than ever before, now is a good time to reevaluate your work and life choices.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day
“You can do anything, but not everything.”—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Energy, time, and health are all limited resources. So be conscious of where, when, and how you spend yours.
Priorities are everything
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”—Stephen Covey, motivational speaker and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Constantly worrying about what others think and need can hold you back from finding peace and balance. (Here’s how to set boundaries as a people-pleaser.)
No one gets out of this life alive
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”—Michael Altshuler, businessman and motivational speaker
You may wonder how some people seem to get so much more done than the rest of us. The secret, according to these balance quotes, isn’t in adopting extreme habits, but learning how to manage your time more effectively while staying balanced.
Perfect balance is an illusion
“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”—Anonymous
It’s hard to fix something if you can’t see that it’s broken. Daily meditation can help you take an honest assessment of your life and see right away when things fall out of balance. Start with these eight mini stress-relief meditations you can do anywhere.
The recipe for balance
“Working toward balance takes a lot of ingredients. We need courage, reflection, attention, action, and a push-and-pull relationship between effort and relaxation.”—Tara Stiles, yoga instructor and author of Clean Mind, Clean Body: A 28-Day Plan for Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Self-Care
Balance isn’t just something that happens by accident, while you’re doing other things. It takes intentional work to find it and maintain it. (Here are the balance exercises you should try.)
Let it go
“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.”—Eckhart Tolle, philosopher and author
Learning to find balance isn’t just about bringing things into your life, it’s also about letting the right things go. (Here’s how to stop feeling guilty all the time and forgive yourself.)
“Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.”—Danielle Orner, motivational speaker and writer
Are you a control freak? Here’s how to loosen the reins and relax.
The art of balance
“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter—a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”—Henri Matisse, French impressionist painter
Creative arts, like painting and music, are a great way to help you find balance in your life. You don’t have to be a great painter like Matisse to reap the benefits. Even doodling in an adult coloring book for a few minutes can help you feel more balanced.
- Carl J. Sheperis, PhD, licensed professional counselor, dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, Austin, and vice chair of the board of directors for the National Board of Certified Counselors