Inner Balance. As Shadows, this is a very basic concept we tend to rely on a lot. But what is it?
To put it simply, it's what happens when the aspects of the self (mind, body, and spirit) work together in harmony. This is where inner balance is derived from, at any rate.
Let's break that down real quick. We may not all agree on this, but the way I see it, there are three basic aspects of the self. There is the mind, which is where thoughts and emotions take place. There's the body, which is totally physical, but responds to stimuli from the mind, acting on thoughts or emotional impulses. And then there's the sprirt, or soul, which, in a way, powers the body and the mind. It is my belief, and seems to be the general consensus, that the soul *IS* the true self. We can make these three aspects work together in harmony, or we can go on like we do, keeping them separate.
The key to making these basic aspects work together is developing them at the same time. That is to say, do not neglect the development of one while specializing in the other. I would strongly advise that, if at all possible, one would look into some physical activity. I tend to prefer martial arts, which seems to be predominant, but even tennis, aerobics, or golf would work. Most physical activities like this tend to not only help you develop your physical aspect, but also the mind, through focus and concentration.
The mind can further be developed, obviously, through learning. Pick up a book on philosophy, or some great piece of literature, or even a decent science fiction or fantasy book. Anytime you read, you expand your mind. Or, take a walk through the woods, make observations, and try to learn from that. There are any number of things you can do to work on development of the mind. I know the vast majority of students here are also still in high school or college, but if you're not, I would think that taking a class of some kind would prove enriching.
The spiritual aspect is a little tougher to expand upon, because we all have different beliefs. Some of us are Christian, some are Buddhist, some refuse to affiliate themselves with any religion at all. There is a fundamental difference between religion and spirituality, but that's a discussion for another time. The point is, we all have our own beliefs. Going to your church, your temple, your synagogue...whichever...as long as you get something out of it, instead of going just to be going, you're developing your spiritual side. Meditation also helps quite a bit, and ties in nicely with the development of mental focus.
These are only examples of ways to achieve inner balance. There is no one set way to do it. I can't guarantee you'll immediately recognize inner balance when you find it. It won't make life's problems go away. But it will give you a new perspective on them, and allow you to deal with them more effectively. That is the main purpose of inner balance. Instead of panicking because some setback has occurred, you should be able to look at it in a less emotional way, and see what you can do about it, or even determine *IF* anything should be done about it. From there, inner balance will lead to external balance.