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Suzanne Zoglio

Have You Got Rhythm?
by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

One definition for the word "balance" offered by Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary is “mental and emotional steadiness.” Personally, I would expand that definition to include physical and spiritual aspects, and I also believe that living in balance is more about resilience than steadiness. More about managing our energy in a wavelike fashion rather than in a flat-out, linear way.

Recharge in Minutes by Suzanne Zoglio

We might expend extreme physical energy training for a marathon, but if we do so in spurts, alternating with periods of rest, we not only maintain physical equilibrium, we actually become stronger. The same is true about emotional energy. We might risk opening up to someone and feel a flood of emotion that leaves us drained, but when we recover we feel more empowered. Without the stretch we’d become emotionally numb. But, without the recovery we wear out. It’s the undulating rhythm of effort and rest that keeps us in balance.

Remember the last time that you taxed your poor brain for hours trying to solve a problem, find the right words, or come up with something new? If you’re like most of us, you worked hard, pushed past your productive period, and finally gave up and engaged in some distraction. Then…zap…just like that…on your walk, in the shower, or on the ride home lightning struck! The answer appeared. What happened? You surrendered to your ultradian rhythms-one key to living in balance. Just as we are hard-wired by circadian rhythms for a natural wake/sleep cycle in a day, we are hard-wired by ultradian rhythms to experience several waves of energy throughout the day, each followed by a need for rest. About every 90 to 120 minutes our energy peaks and falls (see The Twenty Minute Break by Ernest Rossi).  Then, if we take a 10- to 20-minute break, a new cycle  of focus and performance begins. If, however, we ignore the demand for a quick rest – pushing on beyond our mind/body limits – we move into the stress response and our health, performance, and attitude are all diminished. Running on adrenaline and compensating with sugar or caffeine only worsens the problem. Soon, you’ll be running on empty, getting sick, and your system will crash (since hospitalization is the only rest perceived as legitimate for many people in today’s 24/7 culture).

But, what if you decided that you wanted to live more in balance, so you’d try recharging every couple of hours? Suppose tomorrow, starting at two hours from when you awaken and every 90 to 120 minutes thereafter, you set your watch and “scheduled” a break?  Would you feel more balanced, productive, creative, and energized? My guess is “yes.” Through research, personal experience, and years of working with clients, I’m convinced that waiting for vacation to relax is far too little and way too late. Regular recharging – every few hours, wherever you are – is key to optimal living.

Create a Life that Tickles Your Soul by Suzanne Zoglio

Stop and take a power nap, meditate, pray, or just breathe deeply and slowly in a quiet place. If you’re sitting at a keyboard roll your shoulders up and back, or get up and get physical. If you’re exerting yourself physically, rest. If you’re worrying about a problem, stop and take a gratitude walk – mentally listing all that you are specifically grateful for today. Feeling blessed is a good distraction from fear. Or commit an act of kindness for someone else. According to research by Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness, it’s a fast and lasting way to more happiness. Drink a tall glass of water, weed a flower patch, sit by a fountain, call a friend, visit a chapel, file a few folders, or even clean out a drawer. Just notice when you’re on the downside of an energy cycle (yawning, reading the same sentence twice, fumbling your words, forgetting things, or drawing a blank are all good signs) and take a break.

Living in balance means balancing effort and rest-all day long. Give your best, then recharge…and then you’ll be ready to give your best again.

© Copyright 2005 Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.  All rights reserved. 

Suzanne Zoglio
Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D., is a life-balance expert, author, and national lecturer. Through her writing, coaching, and seminars, she helps individuals and work teams reach their full potential. With a personal mission to nurture growth, she supports practices that lead to energy, empowerment, and the realization of meaningful goals.

Suzanne’s books include Teams At Work: 7 Keys To Success (Tower Hill Press, 1997), The Participative Leader (McGraw Hill, 1995), Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul (Tower Hill Press, 1999) available in paperback as well as hardcover, and her newest, Recharge In Minutes (Tower Hill Press, 2003). All are available online and from major retailers.


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