Often we find ourselves at the centre of a tug-of-war, being pulled by forces in opposite directions that could leave us exhausted and stressed. While on one side, our work life demands our time, so that we can touch greater heights of success; there, on the other side, our family life also demands quality time, to keep everybody at home emotionally bonded and happy. Irrespective of who wins over the other, we find ourselves either guilty of not being able to give quality time to the family or feel stressed for not being able to complete our office work on time. In order to deal with the situation, sometimes people tend to give more time to work with the hope that it would eventually raise the standard of living and make their personal lives better. On the other hand, there are situations when people prefer giving more time to family so that they can enjoy the life they have been working for. Both the attempts can further disrupt the balance if the adjustments are not made carefully. A few days of imbalance may not have a huge impact on our lives; but, problems tend to magnify when the imbalance continues for a prolonged period of time. As a matter of fact, work and family life have a strong correlation. Change in one can lead to serious implications on the other. That's why today, many studies are being done to know about the optimum way of striking a balance between the two.
It can be a question of debate whether or not it is the employer's responsibility to grant a work-life balance to the employees. True, and that is why efforts are being made by many companies to promote that culture. Though the provision of company's support cannot be denied to be a big help, however, taking an individual onus too is quintessential. And, when it comes to the latter, it requires a lot of discipline. Individual accountability of creating a work-life balance starts with self-awareness. How well you know yourself, what are the goals of your life, what truly makes you happy, and what's your definition of having a successful family life are some of the questions that a person needs to ponder upon when working towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Individual preferences may vary from each other and therefore answers to above questions are also expected to differ. Something that works for one person may not work for the other. That's why when people try to copy the same recipe of a work-life balance from someone else, problems increase further.
Some of the common techniques to avoid a work-life imbalance are better planning, time management. and prioritization. However, these techniques fail if they are not well aligned with important aspects of life, such as: I) What are your family values? 2) What stage of life and career you are at currently? 3) What are your individual preferences? etc. Imagine what would happen If you give priority to work when your family needs you direly? Yes, it would lead to an imbalance and the whole family may have to suffer, ultimately leading to a stressful life. No matter how hard you may try to prevent a work-life clash but there would be times when there is a conflict between the two. The big question then is— 'Work or Life - What do I choose"? Well, if you are not able to prevent the conflict, it's advised to look for a cure. Sometimes when either work or family life has to sacrifice, we should learn to deal with its effects. The symptoms of a work-life imbalance would help us decide what would be the best cure. Studies indicate that some of the commonly observed symptoms of a work-life imbalance are: increase in stress and depression, health issues, inefficiency at work, lack of focus, and inability to achieve one's personal and professional goals.
While there are a lot of practices that help us, but connection to our true self and drawing the everlasting blissful energy from it is the best out of all. This practice is nothing else but the art of meditation based on Brahm Gyan, the eternal science of Self-Realisation. Not only does this Brahm Gyan based meditation help in prevention but it can also help us dramatically if the imbalance has already been established. Here are some of the benefits of meditation and how it can help us restore the missing work-life balance.
REDUCES STRESS AND DEPRESSION
With the demanding lifestyle that we all live these days, it is really a tough fight to complete all the tasks on time. So, does it mean that we all need to be stressed all the time? If no, how can we ensure that one can live this fast-paced life without getting stressed? Meditation can be an intelligent answer in this regard. Meditation is advised not only by the saints, but modern science too agrees with it. The Johns Hopkins University concludes that regular meditation each day can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain.
HELPS YOU PRIORITISE EFFECTIVELY
When you have so many things to do in very little time, you have no other choice but to prioritise things as per their importance and urgency. However, consulting our already baffled mind about how to prioritise things may not be a good idea. One of the main reasons of not being able to prioritise effectively is the plenty of random, negative thoughts that are constantly spinning up in our head, leading to confusion and incapability to take a decision. Regular practice of meditation can help us calm our mind and achieve clarity of thoughts, thus helping us prioritise things effectively.
HELPS YOU CLEARLY DEFINE AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Do you know that some of the most successful people swear by daily meditation? Steve lobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc. wrote in his biography: "If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things- that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and remain more in the present. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it". Modem science endorses this fact as well. Studies at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre found that after just eight weeks of daily meditation, participants were able to identify more specific life goals than before, and were more likely to achieve those goals than a control group.
When a person is confused between work and life priorities, he/she may not be able to pay full attention to one thing at a time, leading to inefficiency both at work and at home. Not being present in the moment and encouraging random negative thoughts can cause lack of focus and concentration, ultimately leading to inefficiency in almost everything we do. A 10-minute task may consume hours if we lack focus and concentration.
Being present in the moment, not worrying about the past or the future, and settling random thoughts is something that can be achieved through regular meditation. It’s a time-tested technique that increases the ability to focus and concentrate, helping us become more productive. Regular meditation can help us achieve more in the same time-frame, saving us from borrowing time from family-life for work or vice versa.
PROMOTES HEALTHY EATING AND WELLBEING
When a person goes through stress and anxiety because of a work-life imbalance, health is one of the first aspects to be effected. Not to forget, Ill-health can have serious implications on both your personal as well as professional life, making you inefficient both physically as well as mentally. It has been observed that during stress or depression, the person either starts eating a lot or does not recognise when he or she is hungry. Surprisingly, meditation is also a wonderful resort in the context of healthy eating. TIME magazine says that mindfulness, which is a subset of meditation, sharpens a person's ability to recognise hunger cues and ignore cravings for unhealthy foods. With so many benefits in preventing and curing the problem of work-life imbalance, meditation is a great tool to achieve personal and professional goals and to maintain a harmony between the two. And, as approved by all authentic texts of wisdom, the technique of meditation based on 'self-realisation' can be acquired through a guide, who is enlightened at the level of his Self. Only such a mentor can train us to tune in to the source of bliss, i.e. the Self. It is then that we learn to sync our actions with the higher consciousness, where after we get clarity, confidence, and wisdom, thus helping us live a happier and fulfilling life.