This article is strictly for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis. If you suspect you have a mental health condition I’d advise you to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.*
Being a perfectionist can bring out the best in an individual as one would make sure to accomplish tasks with utmost precision but other times it could be draining. However, one thing’s for sure is that perfectionism does take the joy out of life. Primarily because you overwhelm yourself by setting exaggerated goals for yourself and when you are not able to accomplish them it takes a toll on your self esteem. You may begin to question your intelligence and subsequently withdraw into your shell. It causes you to constantly be on edge about things which do not deserve the time of the day and even in moments of revelry all you can think of are the ‘what ifs’. In some people, perfectionism can manifest itself in their conduct. They become too uptight for the fear of social rejection. Refraining from sharing their thoughts and being overly critical about their choice of words. The fear of failure can jeopardise our mental health more than we give it credit for.
2. Living in constant regret
Take it from someone who spends one-third of his day mulling over all the times he did something mildly impolite such as not saying a proper goodbye, not holding the door open for someone or not helping an elderly person with his load, regret can jeopardise the state of your mental health unapologetically. Can it be avoided? No, no it can’t. This is basically because mistakes are almost inevitable however, they can be reduced to the bare minimum and on those days when they are inevitable we must be subtle in our judgments. We must be mindful of how we talk to ourselves in times of adversity. Harsh words never solved the problem and chances are they never will. Life is basically an obstacle course but we don’t see it because we’re not on the perspective of the bigger picture. Learn to forgive yourself for certain actions and decisions you’ve taken rather than ruminating on them. Look forward to the future and how to make the most of the time you have ahead of you because honestly, it’s not guaranteed.
3. Overuse of social media
Social media has caused so many people to question their potentials both physically and mentally. At just the click of a button we have an insight into the ‘positive’ highlights of peoples lives because take note, nobody posts their failures on social media. It sets a ludicrous standard for us because we begin to compare our lives to the edited version of their lives and we subconsciously generate self sabotaging thoughts. Truth be told, majority of people are having a hectic time trying to balance their academic life with their social and spiritual life. Social media certainly has some positive effects on humanity and condemning it completely due to the lack of restraint on our part would only make me myopic. However, its consumption can be toxic. Everyday is a new day to take a step further towards the future we have envisaged for ourselves so beginning one’s day on someone else’s terms ie by consuming the bad news on the news or social media can go a long way to thwart what was supposed to have been a productive day. You realise you become reactive instead of being proactive.
4. Lack of physical exercise
Not only is physical exercise good to help you maintain good physical health but it’s also mentally therapeutic. This might seem far fetched however, according to research physical exercise is a suggested remedy for people facing mental health conditions because of the chemical and hormonal reactions that occur in the body. When we exercise our body releases endorphins which are responsible for suppressing chemicals that are related to depression, anxiety and stress. That’s basically why someone could be going through depression and you’d hear others pass comments like “he’s not helping himself”. Although this might seem like sociopathic comment there is an iota of truth in there. Being a couch potato wouldn’t solve the problem however, getting up and putting a little effort into racing your heartbeat could do more for you than you could imagine. On that note you might want to consider adding exercise to your daily routine. At least ten minutes of stretching a day could yield astonishing results.
5. Taking life too seriously
This is a rather controversial point as people may have contrasting opinions. Regardless, I’m here to speak my truth. I’ve mulled over the veracity of life countless times and I discovered that everything was just so trivial to take too seriously yet every moment was a fleeting one that we should try not to miss out on. It took a lot of meditation to come to terms with the fact that every second soon fades into a memory and every person would as well. I’ve met some people who have used this as a basis to become nihilistic but I believe this is more of a reason to do away with that concept of life. People believe it’s ‘easier’ to live that way because of the misapprehension that the Bible is a compendium of dos and don’ts to check human behaviour. I’d like to talk more about this but I’d save it for another article.
In any case, life would always come with shortcomings at least a few hundred times in a lifetime. As we mature there are stages where we wish we could’ve done things differently but the ugly truth is sulking over it never made a difference. The future has always been the issue yet it should never consume you from the present. We often cause unnecessary stress to ourselves by expecting too much from ourselves and others but everything becomes easier when you realise you don’t hold all the answers to life. You need to let go for the one who created you to come in. We’re not meant to live life solo, we’re in a partnership with God hence we must give Him room to operate.
I hope this helps you and everyone else who reads this. If you’d want me to write on a topic that bothers you or anything you’d generally want me to write on please reach out to me using any of my social media buttons. Also I’d love to know your thoughts on this article and where you might agree or disagree. All entries are exclusively between myself and you, thank you and be safe!