How to Stay Balanced in Unstable Times

To maintain your balance, you must ensure your emotions are working in your favor. Remember, hope is always ahead of you.
How to Stay Balanced in Unstable Times
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

In times of instability, you need patience. In the midst of chaos, you need calm. That’s because in difficult times it’s more necessary than ever to learn how to stay balanced.

Staying balanced requires adequate mental training to allow you to go forward, not back. It isn’t easy. However, you can always learn to be a good tightrope walker.

When you’re able to stay balanced, it means you’ve learned to calm your nerves and have developed a high mental concentration. You might need a stick to balance yourself on the highwire. On the other hand, you might completely trust in your own ability to confidently remain suspended in midair.

Marcus Aurelius claimed in his Meditations that nothing surprised him more than tightrope walkers. It was common during his reign for shows to be put on with these kinds of performers. The famous emperor, renowned for his wisdom, was the first to place nets and mattresses under the ropes. Once the protection of the artists was assured, he wanted to know how they did it, how they trained.

It simply involves having confidence and a calm mind, they told him. You have to believe that there’s nothing tying you to the ground. You just imagine that you’re a being of the air, hence your soul becomes weightless…

Man trying to walk in balance

How to stay balanced in difficult times

However, you’re not a tightrope walker or a trapeze artist. You might even be afraid of heights. Nevertheless, one thing is clear: throughout your whole life, you’re always trying to maintain your balance.

For example, you do it when you have to deal with an unforeseen event, or when you lose something that you previously took for granted. In fact, whenever you have a great deal of worry or you find yourself having to jump through hoops to reconcile your work and family life.

There are times when your whole life trembles and you feel as if you’re suspended from a wire. You have the feeling that, at the very least, you’ll fall into the void and lose your calmness and stability.

Staying balanced isn’t easy, because everything under your feet is always moving. There’s always something that robs you of your precious stability. What can you do in situations like this? How should you respond when you face difficult times?

The importance of mental balance

In psychology, there’s an approach called balanced states of mind (BSOM). It’s the model of balanced mental states developed from a study conducted by several universities and led by Dr. Shyh Wong.

According to this study, in moments of complexity or adversity, it’s more necessary than ever to pay attention to your mental calmness with which you’re able to react better.

Staying balanced implies, among other things, knowing how to handle difficulties, developing coping strategies, solving problems, and mediating with your emotions. For this reason, the BSOM model recommends that the following dimensions should be worked on.

  • Control your everyday stress. If you let your tensions and worries become chronic, you’ll find yourself in a perpetual state of anxiety. Therefore, you mustn’t leave until tomorrow what’s worrying you today.
  • You must control your negative automatic thoughts. Those that fill you with fear, invalidate you and intensify your discomfort.
  • You need to control those more adverse emotions such as anguish, frustration, anger, or apathy. That’s because they make you tremble, walk in fear, and look at the future with negativity.
Man trying to walk in balance

The secret of staying balanced lies in looking forward

As you can see, the secret of staying balanced involves training your mind. Furthermore, it means relieving your fears and anxieties and mastering your internal dialogue. You must also deal with any stress that’s clouding your gaze and your thoughts. 

In times of instability, you have to look ahead. As a good aerial trapeze artist, looking back will be of no use to you. Even less helpful will be looking into the abyss that’s underneath you. Staying balanced implies looking forward to tomorrow and all the opportunities that’ll be there for you to take advantage of.

It doesn’t matter how thin the wire is that you’re walking on. Nor do your surroundings matter, or the winds that try and knock you down from time to time. What’s important is your conviction that what you have in front of you offers hope and stability.

Find what offers you balance

Not all tightrope walkers are the same. There are those who help themselves with a stick to keep their balance, while others rely on their own body. Some dance on the rope, while others dream of breaking the long-distance record for tightrope walking.

In reality, you’re not a trapeze artist. You’re a person trying to survive, sometimes balancing on a metaphorical tightrope. In these moments, you must find what offers you balance. It might be your family or a hobby. Anything, in fact, that gives you mental calm, motivation, and a positive and encouraging state of mind. Having these kinds of resources at hand makes you feel lighter and prevents you from looking down.

Therefore, in times of instability, it’s more important than ever to work on your inner balance. In this way, you’ll be able to move forward with greater calm and solvency. You can do it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.