IOU. An epidemic that’s sweeping the nation and reaching most regions internationally. It’s a nasty condition that impacts your health, work and relationships. It is also highly contagious if the proper proactive care isn’t taken.
It stands for IMBALANCED, OVERSTRESSED and UNINSPIRED.
How do you know if you have it? Let’s break it down. Make notes for yourself as you read through the following descriptions to determine how much of it resonates or applies to you.
Easy rule of thumb here – if you’re working 80+ hours a week, you’re imbalanced. When your ratio of production (working) to production capability (energizing) heavily favors the production end, you’re imbalanced.
Neglecting your health because you “don’t have enough time” is an example of being imbalanced. Using phrases like “I don’t have a choice” is an example of being imbalanced.
When you live for the weekend or refer to Friday as “FRIED-day” because you’re so burnt out, you have imbalance in your life.
If you let your business, children, spouse, friends or social media run your daily activities and habits, you are imbalanced.
How often do you let circumstances and/or other’s emotions dictate how you feel?
And how often do you notice physical symptoms of stress? Do you get short of breath, feel your blood pressure rise, sweaty palms or a shakiness in your body when life slaps you in the face with something? The recurrence of these feelings is a sign of being overstressed.
When you have a proclivity towards operating out of an emotional reactionary space, you’ll also be more likely to become more stressed out. This happens because you rely on external validation to determine your internal state.
Do you feel obligated to do things that you don’t want to do? Do you have things in your life that you refer to as burdens? Are you tense in your neck or shoulders a lot? If much of this applies to you, you are overstressed.
Are you stuck in your understanding of how to create what you want in your life?
Do you feel yourself “going through the motions?” Is it easy to write a day off that had less than pleasant circumstances in it?
Do you turn to food, drink or tobacco for comfort in times of emotional turmoil or even boredom?
Do you feel like you keep hitting your head against the wall when it comes to health, work or relationships?
These examples and variations of them are indicators of being uninspired.
If any of these things speak to you – you more likely than not have anyway from a mild to severe case of IOU. What can you do to treat it?
MINIMIZE THE RISK OF IOU
We are human. Chances are throughout any given day we’ll have some instance of feeling a little imbalanced in our approach to life, a little overstressed with the choices we’ve made for ourselves, and slightly uninspired by the world around us.
But that’s where the beauty of choice comes in! The ability to choose our response to circumstances – therein lies the power to shifting our entire experience. What’s more important than how you’re experiencing your life?
How to reduce being imbalanced
- Work with a health/lifestyle/fitness coach. Every master in a certain area understands that a mentor is necessary.
- Use time and/or energy management tools.
- Be clear on the roles you play (employee, spouse, parent, friend, etc.) and your goals within each of those roles and schedule them throughout the week.
How to reduce being overstressed
- Meditate and practice breathing exercises
- Spend time in physical movement
- Release relationships and time commitments that do not serve you.
How to reduce being uninspired
- Put yourself in environments where others are working to improve themselves and their health.
- Keep a student mindset – sharpen your mind and spirit through reading, writing and participating in creative activities.
- Minimize exposure time to news outlets, tv, social media, etc.