When I was growing up, my Mum used to always say to me “everything in moderation, including moderation”. I never really understood the meaning of this when I was younger. It’s only as I’ve grown older that I’ve come to realise the importance of that message. It’s now something that I try to stay particularly mindful of, especially during times when I feel I may be overdoing something to a certain degree. After all, too much of anything – even something good – can be a bad thing.
What is moderation?
Dictionary.com defines moderation as “the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.”
Based on the above definition, moderation can be looked at very similarly to balance. Ensuring you don’t go too far one way or the other. It can be applied to many different areas of life.
Why is moderation important?
You might think moderation can be ignored if what you’re doing is considered to be healthy. Why avoid going to the extremes with something beneficial? Surely the more of something good, and the less of something bad is right, right?
As science has shown us, that’s not always the case.
Too much sleep can leave you feeling groggy. Too much fruit and veg can screw with your digestive system. Too much exercise can lead to injuries and/or burnout. Too much social interaction can lead to exhaustion. Too much overthinking can lead to excess stress and anxiety.
And just as too much of something can be bad, the opposite – too little of something – can also be bad.
What’s the solution?
The answer is moderation.
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
The problem is this can be extremely hard for some people to accept. It’s the reason why so many gym goers can suffer from injuries by pushing their bodies to the extreme 24/7 without adequate rest. It’s why so many health fanatics who watch every minuscule thing they eat can develop severe cases of IBS. It’s why people who appear outlandish and extroverted can, in fact, be riddled with anxiety and low self-esteem when behind closed doors.
In my opinion, I think we just need to make more of an effort at moderating both the good and the bad. Ensure that you’re living as balanced a life as possible. Just try this out for a week and see if you notice the benefits. For example, instead of sitting up all night watching Netflix or gaming, try only a couple of hours followed by some exercise or meditation and repeat this daily. See how you feel come to the end of the week.
So remember – everything in moderation, including moderation.