biting off more than you can chew

Today we ask that you value moderation in all things.

Value moderation in all things.

This is difficult for humans, especially in modern times, when so much is continuously available.

There is a very immature, yet powerful part of the human brain that believes that if one thing is good, then ten things must be better, and a hundred things are better still.

But this is not true.  “Too much of a good thing” is not a good thing.  It is harmful.

For example, for the human body to thrive, a moderate amount of sugar must be consumed in food each day.  Without glucose, the body and brain cannot function.

But too much sugar consumption causes all manner of disease, and obesity.

Most of you understand this about sugar, even if you may struggle with regulating your consumption.

But there are other things that modern humans overdo, without understanding the harm that they are causing to themselves.

In order to thrive, all humans require a moderate amount of neurological stimulation.

The human mind needs to learn, to problem solve, to take in art and music, and to be positively stimulated with different forms of information.

However, modern humans, plugged into technology, are far exceeding what is healthy in terms of neurological stimulation.

You are asking your brains to take in far too much information and stimuli, just as you are asking your bodies to take in far too much sugar.

The result of chronic neurological overstimulation is, as with sugar overconsumption, disease.

Chronic neurological overstimulation causes attention deficit disorder, focus issues, anxiety, depression, insomnia, mental illness, fatigue, and a host of unpleasant symptoms.

Neurological overstimulation is just as bad for you as eating too much sugar, and in some ways worse.

In order to thrive, healthy humans require a moderate amount of adaptational challenge, which might also be called “stress.”

When you engage in physical exercise, you are challenging your body to adapt and change.

Whenever you change your routine, you are challenging your mind to adapt.  Starting a new job, moving, having a child — these are all major adaptational challenges.  But even smaller things, like traveling, or having an out-of-town guest stay in your home, are adaptational challenges.  They are “stressors.”

It is healthy for humans to have a certain amount of adaptational challenge in life.  This is what allows you to expand your horizons, and grow.

But in excess, adaptational challenge becomes unhealthy “stress.”  And too much stress causes mental and physical illness.

The question to ask yourself is this:

Am I biting off more than I can chew?

Ask this about sugar, about information, and about challenge.

Are you consuming more sugar than your body can process?  Do you have difficulty regulating your weight, or your energy?

Are you consuming more information than your brain can process?  Do you have difficulty regulating your attention and focus?  Are you easily distracted?  Are you anxious?  Is your mind constantly churning?  Do you have difficulty sleeping?

Are you taking on more challenge than your body and mind can process?  Do you feel stressed?  Are you anxious?  Do you have difficulty relaxing, and sleeping?  Do you feel overwhelmed by life?

If any of this applies to you, the remedy is simple:

If you have weight and energy issues, look to your diet.  Eat less sugar.

If you have attention and focus issues, anxiety, or insomnia, look to the amount of information you take in.  Cut down on your TV and internet consumption.  Watch less.  Read less.

If you are stressed and overwhelmed, look to your schedule.  Look to the amount of activity you take on.  Do less.

You may think this is impossible, but this is not so.

Overconsuming sugar is an addiction.

Overconsuming information is an addiction.

Overscheduling and taking on too much challenge is an addiction.

The first step in dealing with an addiction is to acknowledge that what you are doing is unhealthy for you.

If you do not believe that eating too much sugar is unhealthy, you will not change.

If you do not believe that consuming too much information is unhealthy, you will not change.

If you do not believe that leading an over-scheduled, stressful lifestyle is unhealthy, you will not change.

And that is okay.

But if you are feeling sick or crazy, part of you probably would like to feel better.  And that requires changing your habits.

Practice moderation in all things.  

Sugar, information, and challenge are all necessary for human health — in the correct amount.

But too much can kill you.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Practice moderation.