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Balance The Four Bodies: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual

balance mentally physically emotionally spiritually

When we think about the body, many of us think about it from a purely physical point of view, but the reality is we have four different layers of bodies, which physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually affect us. All of these bodies are connected and together make up the whole.

This is why when I offer advice on acts of self-care, I always include activities and exercises from all four bodies. Self-care that stays on a purely physical level feels fluffy, but self-care that speaks to the deeper mental, emotional, and spiritual layers feels nourishing and wholesome and like it’s making a real difference.

The four bodies + why balance is vital

Welcome to the four bodies:

  • The physical body (masculine energy)
  • The mental body (masculine energy)
  • The emotional body (feminine energy)
  • The spiritual body (feminine energy)

We live in a masculine-dominated world right now (thanks to patriarchy), and everything that is masculine-centric is praised and encouraged, while most things that embody the true strength of the feminine are discouraged and shunned.

Masculine energy is rooted in the physical world and is focused on doing, taking action, and logic. In contrast, feminine energy is rooted in the subtle world and is focused on being, feeling, and connecting with our intuition. This has led many of us to become fixated on our physical and mental bodies and detached from our emotional and spiritual bodies. So many of us are running primarily on a masculine timeline and template, which creates an imbalance because we need both the masculine and the feminine for wholeness.

You might think that religious people are balanced spiritually, but often this is not the case because modern-day religion is heavily entrenched in patriarchy. Most religious teachings don’t actually encourage us to think for ourselves or connect to our souls. Rather, they teach us that if we want to feel that connection, we have to do exactly what they tell us to do and do it through someone else, who is always a male figure. This strips us of our spiritual sovereignty and power.

When all four bodies are balanced, we will feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, empowered, and fulfilled. And this wholeness and harmony is available to us all.

The physical body

thr four bodies: balance mentally physically emotionally spiritually

Your physical body is the simplest to understand because it’s the entirety of your physical body, including your skin, organs, muscles, tissues, blood, bones, and everything in between. Your physical body represents your physical experience of the world and is your foundation.

Generally, you will know when your physical body is healthy because you will feel healthy, strong, energized, and pain-free. Your vitamins and minerals will be balanced, your muscles will be flexible, and your body will have a great capacity to prevent disease and heal itself when it does get sick.

Our current culture places a lot of emphasis on the physical body, which we can see through diet culture, the encouragement of going to the gym, and the number of supplements and beauty products and treatments we’re marketed each day. And while diet is critical and moving your body each day is vital to your physical and mental health, if our other bodies are out of balance, this will take a toll on our physical bodies. For example, if you’re eating clean and working out every day but experiencing huge amounts of stress at work or from a breakup, this will impact your physical health.

Are you physically out of balance?

Physically under-balanced

Your physical body is aging rapidly, poor joint function and mobility, organ disruption, fragile bones, fatigue, low energy, tightness or heaviness in your muscles, and issues absorbing and eliminating vitamins and fluids. You may be overweight or underweight and have a low level of fitness. And there may be a tendency to reach for processed, ready-made foods with little-to-no nutrition.

Physically over-balanced

Eating clean, hitting the gym, and building muscle tone in specific places have become an addiction. You’re obsessed with anti-aging products, beauty, and skincare treatments that promise younger skin and are prone to taking drugs or getting cosmetic surgery to gain what you believe to be physical beauty, radiance, and youth. There’s a tendency to opt for a man-made product or treatment that promises a quick fix rather than utilizing Earth’s natural resources, e.g., nature, water, whole foods, etc.

How to balance yourself physically

  • Spend time in nature
  • Immerse yourself in all the elements
  • Walk barefoot on the grass or sand
  • Move your body in ways that feel good (focus on strengthening and balancing workouts)
  • Drink plenty of water each day (at least 2 liters)
  • Eat lots of fresh produce and whole foods (and avoid processed food, alcohol, saturated fats, and too much caffeine – it’s all about balance)
  • Discover what your dosha is and do things to balance your three doshas
  • Practice good sleep hygiene (disconnect from technology, go to bed around the same time, and allow yourself to wake up naturally if you can)
  • Get physical energy work done on your body (massages and facials)
  • Opt for natural, organic skin and makeup products (e.g., using honey or avocado as a face mask)

The mental body

woman working on laptop

Your mental body is the sum of your thoughts, opinions, desires, goals, intentions, values, judgments, and beliefs. Many of these form during childhood and are learned or inherited from the people we spend the most time with. And most of us don’t realize that we always have the power to change our thoughts and choose new, empowering beliefs.

The mental body is concerned with everything that happens in the mind and on an intellectual level, including how we process information, how we learn, how we analyze and solve problems, and our ability to focus and communicate. This is also where we form our opinion of ourselves in the outside world, including our worth and value.

When the mental body is balanced, you will be able to communicate with ease and clarity, focus on tasks, and think logically, strategically, and analytically so that you can tackle tasks and challenges and complete them in the most efficient way possible. You will live your life with clear direction and purpose and be able to transform your thoughts and desires into action.

Are you mentally out of balance?

Mentally under-balanced

This usually manifests as confusion, scattered thoughts, inefficiency, lack of purpose and/or motivation, procrastination, doubt, fear, low self-worth, and self-esteem. You may also hold a lot of thoughts, opinions, and beliefs that are not your own and be easily influenced by others.

Mentally over-balanced

When a person is mentally over-balanced, they can be very ego-driven, an overachiever, pushing themselves too hard, overthinking, stubborn or too rigid, unable to go with the flow, lacking empathy, and desperately wanting to succeed. At an extreme level, it can show up as narcissistic tendencies.

How to balance yourself mentally

  • Continue to learn more about what interests you (read books, take online classes, get a coach)
  • Write down your biggest goals, then break them down into smaller, achievable steps
  • Question all of your thoughts and beliefs and whether they serve or disempower you (and give yourself permission to choose again anytime)
  • Kundalini yoga
  • Strive for a healthy balance between work and play
  • Think about how you can simplify your life and reduce stress
  • Put your fears under a microscope
  • Journal regularly to clear out your thoughts
  • Set and recite positive, empowering affirmations & mantras
  • Regularly write a celebration list (of all you have accomplished this week, month, year, or so far)

The emotional body

woman crying

Your emotional body comprises all your emotional experiences, past and present. This includes all feelings (happiness, sadness, guilt, fear, shame, anger, jealousy, etc.), hormones, nervous systems, and the water in the body.

The body is made up of around 60% water, which shows how much our emotions affect us, but we don’t treat our emotions this way. In fact, we live in a world that often encourages us to hide or repress our true feelings, bottle them up, and swallow them down. The problem is, this doesn’t rid us of our emotions. It pushes them down into our subconscious, where they linger, fester, and grow. Facing these emotions is the only way to heal and move through them.

Energy flows from the mental body (our thoughts) into the emotional body, which can often be blocked by past baggage we have not dealt with. This leads those past emotions to bubble up again, creating anxiety and stress, which then filters down to your physical body.

When you’re emotionally balanced, you will feel an openness in your heart. There will be a strong connection to your intuition, empathy, generosity toward others, a desire to give without expectations, and an inner sense of calm and peace. Physically, your hormones will be more balanced, your heart will beat evenly, and the water levels in your body will be normal (no bloating or dehydration).

Are you emotionally out of balance?

Emotionally under-balanced

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There will be a lack of emotional intelligence, disconnection from your intuition, and an inability to relate to and understand others. Physically, you may suffer from water retention in your limbs or joints or dehydration, which leads to fatigue and stiffness. Emotional stress can also lead to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt and manifest in physical ways such as disrupted sleep or a racing, irregular heart.

Emotionally over-balanced

Someone who is emotionally overbalanced will usually be heavily in their feminine energy (water) and lacking in masculine energy (the container which holds the water). This can show up as irritation, anxiety, depression, aggression, and hopelessness.

You may also struggle to set and honor personal boundaries, which means you act as a sponge for other people’s feelings and emotions, even complete strangers. And if you’re not regularly clearing your energy, this will overwhelm and drown you.

How to balance yourself emotionally

  • Engage regularly in shadow work to face and heal your emotions
  • Practice forgiveness (of self and others – writing letters can be really healing)
  • Be grateful for all that you do have
  • Practice calming breathing techniques
  • Do anything that helps you release stress and tension (maybe that’s going for a run or working up a sweat at a dance class)
  • Open your heart (with heart chakra affirmations, loving-kindness meditation, placing your hands over your heart, and breathing into this space)
  • Try EFT (emotional freedom technique) tapping

The spiritual body

balance mentally physically emotionally spiritually

The spiritual body is your connection to everything, to the Earth, your physical self, your higher self, and a higher power (Source, Goddess, Universe—whatever you prefer to call it). It’s about that bridge between the physical and spiritual realm and the union of the two, the union of all dualities including masculine and feminine, shadow and light, mind and heart. Here, we connect to our soul and receive divine guidance that helps move us closer to our purpose and mission here in this lifetime.

Your spiritual body is not connected to religion or your personal spiritual beliefs but rather the awareness that everything in life is connected somehow, unity, soul destiny, and that none of us are ever alone.

When you are spiritually balanced, you will detach from outcomes, feel like you are held and supported, that you are always co-creating with the Universe, aligned with your soul purpose, and aware that everything and everyone in life is connected somehow in the web of life. Being balanced physically, mentally and emotionally is essential if you want to be spiritually balanced because we need this firm foundation to reach a higher level of consciousness.

Are you spiritually out of balance?

Spiritually under-balanced

Someone who is spiritually under-balanced will feel disconnected from themselves and others, stuck in victim mode and believe life is happening to them, not for them, and ignore the divine guidance they receive from their soul or the Universe. They may be over-controlling and tend to focus on external things like doing and appearances rather than the deeper meaning or purpose underneath.

Spiritually over-balanced

A spiritually over-balanced person may live permanently in the clouds but fail to turn those dreams into action in the physical world. They may have a false god complex and be irresponsible, whether with money, in a relationship, or coming through on their promises. Someone like this can feel entitled and over-deserving of what they want.

How to balance yourself spiritually

  • Meditate regularly (in whatever way feels good for you)
  • Clear your energy using energy-cleansing tools (like visualization or smudging)
  • Learn how to work with energy (through reiki, chi gong, acupuncture, etc.)
  • Connect to your intuition (meditate, work with tarot cards, journal, move your body, observe your dreams, and pay attention to messages)
  • Create more space for stillness and silence (or attend a silent retreat)
  • Talk and pray to the Universe
  • Work with and learn from spiritual guides, energy workers, light workers, priestesses, etc.

Balance your four bodies

All four bodies must be balanced for you to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually balanced and whole because they work together. An imbalance in one of these bodies will affect the other three. And remember that you will never be done, this is the practice of a lifetime because we are constantly learning, growing and changing.

Reading through the descriptions above may have highlighted where you place most of your attention and where you’ve been a little hands-off. Let this guide you as you strive to balance all four bodies and create a happy, healthy, fulfilling life that nourishes you on all levels. What’s one thing you can do today to create more balance in the four bodies?

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