Ange Puig, Ph.D.
AUGUST 2021 - What we can learn about the importance of balance from the Simone Biles Olympic story.
AUGUST 2021 THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
What we can learn about the importance of balance from the Simone Biles Olympic story.
The importance of emotional balance is vital and paramount to how we function as human beings and maintain sound Psychological Wellbeing. We human beings are capable of vast and significant achievements. However, when we are haunted or impacted by emotional turmoil, our systems can become out of balance. Balance is a set of skills involving elements such as needs, recognition, emotional regulation, and cognitive management of information we must filter and manage.
When Simone Biles stated that she had the “twisties”, she was reflecting on her emotional state of wellbeing, which at that time was impaired. So, she got the “twisties”. We too can get the “twisties” when the harmony between our body and mind is disrupted. So, it is important to learn what we can from Ms. Biles’ history.
She is a victim and a survivor of emotional and psychological neglect early in her life. She was exposed at an early age to significant interpersonal and developmental Trauma which we often recognize with individuals who have been impacted by Adverse Childhood
Experiences. Her exposures in her formative years had a significant impact on her life even though she has accomplished great achievements and certainly is one of the world’s greatest athletes to date. An emotional loss of balance can affect an individual in a number of ways relative to our ability to cope, manage and perform optimally in our lives.
Therefore, when she was doing her twists, turns, twirls and mid-rotations, she lost focus and her ability to attend and execute became derailed. The communication between mind and body is vital to how we operate and manage stress and achievements in our daily lives. Any disharmony can result in loss of psychological wellbeing. With balance and sound emotional wellbeing, we can manage the adversities and negative issues which tend to occur in everybody’s life. However, when we are out of balance, our ability to regulate and manage is impaired. You could call these our life “twisties”.
So, how do we manage and maintain emotional balance? I present four elements which are essential to escaping the emotional and psychological entrapments that can occur:
Awareness of how our minds tend to hook us with negative thoughts, negative memories, and negative expectations.
Sit and manage emotional discomfort rather than avoi
ding it or distracting ourselves from it.
Sound values. Those values provide a guiding principle (a “Lonestar”) in terms of how we want to live a committed and meaningful life and stand up for what is important to us.
Goals must be focused, realistic, and mostly internal versus external in how we stay on this path and proceed on this challenging but often very rewarding life journey.
It is important to hold ourselves compassionately and kindly on this valued journey.