In compulsive behaviors, the human brain cannot conceptualize moderation, so it is incapable of employing it. Behavioral studies have shown that the more specific and defined a goal is, the more achievable it is. Moderation is very unspecific and determined by what one’s brain considers as normal, common, or frequent. Moderation is different to each person, making the depths of going overboard or staying on board different depending whom you ask. People struggle every day with keeping their impulses at bay and practicing moderation. Whether it be with drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, shopping, or even staying up until the early hours of the morning watching a favorite show, everything is best in moderation they say. But aside from drugs, alcohol, and even food in which you can tell physically when you have gone too far, how does one gauge limits on indulgence, and live a life filled with healthy moderation?
It is suggested to assess your behaviors, all of them, and see which ones you may be more time consuming:
- Are these behaviors healthy, or are you letting them control some part of you?
- What part of you or your life do they fulfill?
- Do you enjoy them as ways to engage or to avoid?
And so on. From this you can establish a baseline for yourself, and define what healthy moderation should look like in your life, as there is not a right or wrong answer. It is suggested to discuss with your close friends and family if they are healthy, get an idea of what other people believe their thresholds are. This is a great exercise to do to help with time management as well, to get your goals out on paper, and to begin to strategically fit them and the progress of them into your life. By starting to view moderation as a strategy versus some made up state of living you hope to one-day experience, you have the opportunity to bring it into your life. Try and make it real and personal to your own life, and to your habits, good and bad. Through this see your mid shift, see yourself living a healthy and balanced life; a life of moderation.