Happiness Tool #6: Multi-Dimensional Living
by Jackie Foskett, CH
Is your life in balance? Dan Baker, Ph.D and Cameron Stauth, authors of the book What Happy People Know , contend that most people’s lives include three main components: relationships, purpose and health. Happiness, Baker and Stauth say, comes from multi-dimensional living in which these three areas are in balance. Unfortunately, many of us put all our energy into just one area, leaving the others to languish.
For example, some people may be spending much of their time, energy and emotions on their “job” yet not be feeling much joy from it. Perhaps they are using it to keep safely away from the emotional investment of relationships. Perhaps they have a different career passion, but don’t know how to follow it. Whatever the case, the lack of focus on other important life areas – relationships and health – creates an imbalance that prevents multi-dimensional living and true happiness.
So, is your life out of balance? The following exercise will help you find out.
1) Start by giving yourself some ‘quiet time.” Take 5-10 minutes to focus on your breath and simply relax. Click here for soothing relaxation tips.
2) Bring your attention to important relationships in your life: significant other, parents, children, friends, co-workers, self. Notice how you feel as you reflect upon each relationship. Do you feel a sense of joy, ease, and/or comfort? Or do you feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and/or unhappy?
3) Now, ask yourself how many relationships give you a sense of joy and happiness and how many don’t. If the majority of your relationships fall in the “don’t” category, the relationship area of your life may be out of balance and need more of your attention. Remember the Laws of Attraction – what you focus on is what you attract. This means that if you are not focused on cultivating healthy, loving relationships, including one with yourself, they are likely to fall by the wayside.
4) Follow the same steps with your “purpose” (for many people, this is work-related) and with your health. Again, notice how you feel. When it comes to your chosen profession, do you feel satisfied, proud, enthusiastic? Or do you feel stuck and unfulfilled? As you reflect on your health, are you worried, tired, frustrated? Or do you feel grateful for a strong, healthy body?
If your feelings are positive ones, chances are you’ve achieved a healthy equilibrium in these areas. If feelings are negative, think of them as helpful indicators pointing to the areas of your life that need more attention.
As the new year progresses, take time now and then to reflect on the most important areas in your life – relationships, purpose and health. Pay attention to your feelings in that moment. As your unconscious mind illuminates your truth, welcome these feelings as a guidance system that indicates your level of multi-dimensional living. . . and points the way to a happy, healthier year.