The Bell Curve Effect
One of the most important concepts I have learned during my pursuit of health is the "bell curve effect" and how it relates to everything. In a world full of competition, idolized perfectionism, and high standards, we forget that our body has a recovery rate that is important to consider when pursuing any sort of improvement. Whether you are striving to improve your physical fitness, mental health, or overall wellness, taking the bell curve effect into consideration could be just what you have overlooked that has held you back from the progress in life you've wanted.
With exercise, we have developed this ideology that more exercise is always better. That's great in theory, but not in real world application. When you give your body with such a little stimulus, maybe lifting weights lighter than you could, your body elicits little (if any) change. The more your training program pushes you, the more progress your result with. Reaching your ideal rate of progress would mean exercising as hard/much as you can, while still allowing your body to recover (stimulus rate does not exceed recovery rate). After your surpass your ideal amount of exercise, you start exercising more than you can recover from. Hence, the downward curve of the "bell curve" effect. The further your exercise surpasses your ability to recover, the less progress you will make. By allowing your exercise to surpass your ability to recover, regression can even occur.
With mental health, we have developed this ideology that we should just "throw ourselves out to the real world" to fully overcome any mental barrier. Much like physical exercise, exercising your mental health through stressful situations has it's range of optimization. Let's take someone with social anxiety for example (LEARN HOW TO OVERCOME SOCIAL ANXIETY HERE). For someone who is socially anxious, if they never go out and interact in social situations, they will never develop the confidence and social skills needed to overcome their anxiety. On the other hand, if you just place someone who is socially anxious in a crowded room with strangers, 10/10 times they will become overwhelmed and either leave the room or not speak to anyone. The middle ground where stimulus meets recovery is where the magic happens. By taking steps through the process of overcoming your anxiety, you can fully overcome your anxiety without any backing out due to becoming overwhelmed.
Quality And Balance Of Life
In an ambition driven world, we have developed this ideology that we should "forget balance" and pursue what we have passion for 110 percent. That sounds absolutely inspirational....until you realize life is so much more than just that. You may enjoy working out, but other aspects of your life such as work, a relationship, family, friends, and much more are all important aspects that should have equal (if not more) priority than your recreational lifting. What happens is when you have exercise as an "if I have time" activity, you will make any excuse to justify not getting to the gym each day. This inconsistency results in lack of results in your attempt to improve your health (lowered quality of life). On the other side of the spectrum, when you take recreational lifting too far, your balance in life and quality of life can drastically suffer. With spending countless many hours at the gym, refusing to eat anything "not in your macros" (yes, including your mother's homemade cooking), and not hanging out with friends past 9pm "because tomorrow is leg day and you need to fully rest", your recreational activity has overtaken your life. There are seven dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental, and occupational) and when you put more than enough focus on one dimensions, the others begin to become neglected. Neglected aspects of your life start to suffer, resulting in a lower quality of life. At little to no emphasis put into your attempt, little to no benefit is coming from that activity. When you work on all dimensions of wellness, your quality of life improves. When we let too much of one aspect of our life consume the rest of our existence, other aspects of our life can suffer, resulting in an overall lower quality of life.