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As I leaned into my fridge this morning for a handful of luscious California strawberries, I noticed some printing on the crisper drawers. “Humidity Settings” read the white type. Though I’ve been in my new place since June, this was the first time I noticed I could actually control the humidity levels in my fridge. “What,” I wondered, “did humidity settings do?”

I jumped online and discovered that my favorite strawberries would do best with low humidity while most of my veggies would prefer high for optimum freshness. Being aware of the settings means I now have a choice to provide the best environment for my refrigerated food. One group of food requires less moisture and the other requires more. When I create the right circumstances, I add longevity and preserve the nutrients which translates into more value as the consumer – both the purchasing consumer and the consuming consumer.

What other thermostats or gauges do we have available to us that would bring added value to our lives if we were more aware of them and could set the response level? Certainly when I bring more consciousness to my emotional responses, I gain a lot. If I apply the Energy LeadershipTM model I’m trained in as a coach to notice if a situation or thought is bringing down my energy or elevating it, I can choose responses that serve me better and don’t cost me. If, for example, I feel myself experiencing anger or frustration, I can pause to examine whether that response is the one that serves me and others best. If I experience joy, I know that whatever action or interaction I am involved in is something that feeds me. I get to respond instead of react.

Listening is another gauge we have. When we can truly hear where another is coming from, it tells us, first of all, that we are being present in the conversation. Focus is required to really hear all the nuances of what is being said. Someone can say they are committed to doing something but there are times when people just say what they think others want to hear. When we use our listening gauge, we will notice a gap between the words and the level of energy they are bringing to the conversation. Taking in cues like facial expression, body language, tone of voice or sighs helps us get a better read.

My patience gauge is my personal red flag that I am running short on rest. When I am overtired, I am more likely to become frustrated or react with less understanding and compassion. Instead of lashing out at others unconsciously as i would have in the past, I am now able to recognize that over-tired feeling creeping up on me. If I can take a break and give my body a chance to recuperate, I do. If circumstances won’t allow for this, I become more vigilant about my interactions with myself and others.

Homeostasis occurs when the body’s systems are in balance and alignment. Everything is working together without overdue stress or strain. Challenge yourself to become familiar with your internal gauges. Begin to consciously set the levels to maintain a more balanced approach to your life. If we’re designed with this added feature in place, let’s use it to live more optimally.

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