Musings on the True Center of Health

As you get older and wiser, you start to recognize how things intertwine. There are principles that apply across borders of subject, ethics/morality, time, culture, and practices. One thing that’s been heavy on my mind and frequent in my conversations is the principle of balance and moderation, whether it be in lifestyle, fitness, diet, relationships, work, hobbies, education, or decision making.

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To me, it seems that moderation is at the core of every facet of a healthy life, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. Extremes may get you somewhere faster, help you feel superior, or give you an edge. They may even be the jump start you need to begin on a pathway of change, but they are not sustainable. They throw off balance in other areas of your life, areas that deserve attention and respect. Extremes may also be required in certain seasons of life (competitions, crisis, etc.), but realize these seasons are just that: seasons. They are here for a time, then they pass and the extreme behavior will no longer be required to sustain your situation.

Balance also allows room for error, and, as we all know, to err is human. Allow yourself some grace. Be flexible in how you approach your goals. Be willing to step outside the boundaries you’ve set to enjoy or care for things that may provide a richer, more uplifting experience. Differentiate between the moments that will not come again, and those you are blessed to experience regularly and prioritize. Don’t necessarily let your direction waver, but don’t let yourself regret missing out because you were too stringent.

There’s always an “ideal” or “perfect” way to do something for your health, but these standards rarely account for realistic time constraints, budgets, and other life demands. Moderation and balance help you find a centered place in reality. They help you fill your life with many of the best things, several of the better things, and a handful of the good things that might not be ideal, but allow you room to exist without feeling the strain of trying to attain an impossible standard.

Moderation allows flow and give and take. It promotes consistency, another principle that extends across existence. It facilitates adaptations to the changes life will inevitably bring without forcing you to derail everything you’re ultimately working for. Finding it may pose a bit of a struggle. As imperfect humans, we all tend to bounce from one extreme to another as life demands, rather than live in a consistent “flex zone.” However, implementing balance into small areas of your life at a time will help you learn to recognize how it feels, how it changes and how it translates to other areas of your life. It won’t be a perfect process, and it will take a lifetime of attention, but I truly believe that it’s one of those things that’s worth implementing in your life to promote a healthier, happier existence.

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