4 Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Your Anxiety
For anxiety management, try putting on your nutrition armor of adequacy, consistency, balance, ...
If you’re constantly thinking about your to-do list, have unrelenting expectations for yourself, an inner voice full of “shoulds,” and think you don’t have time to read this: Welcome! This article is for you.
During times of crisis and uncertainty, people tend to cope by swinging in one of two ways: They tighten their grip and buckle down or they give up in a state of overwhelm. While the former might sound like the healthier route to take, for some it can lead to over-regulating, over-controlling, and over-thinking their way through. This is often the case with perfectionists and overachievers. This is unhealthy perfectionism.
There is a saying: Would you rather be right or be happy? To which I would add a corollary: You can be perfect or you can be human.
[Read: “How Letting Go of Expectations Enables You to Live Better.”]
To clarify, there are two types of perfectionism. Healthy perfectionism means striving for reasonable and realistic standards because you want to reach your potential. Unhealthy perfectionism means chasing excessively high standards, motivated by fears of failure and concern about disappointing others. The latter is exhausting, mainly because you never feel like you’re enough.
Unhealthy perfectionism can show up in different ways. Are you a neat freak? Do you always compare yourself to others? Is your performance only measured by the approval of authority figures? Do you hyper-focus on other people’s faults? Are you too afraid of failure to try?
Unhealthy perfectionism is also hard on relationships. If your expectations for your friends are as high as the ones you have for yourself, you will end up perpetually disappointed and push people away.
As Brené Brown says, “True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world.”
[Read: “Let Go of Pandemic Perfection.”]
It’s never too late to shift your less healthy, perfectionistic tendencies. Psychologist Carl Jung said that healthy perfectionism comes out of the desire for wholeness, fullness, and the human need for individuation and spiritual growth. Healthy perfectionism is when people measure against themselves and not others, sets goals they believe they can reach, throw themselves into what they’re doing, and value the process rather than focusing only on the outcome. This last part is key: Enjoying the process means riding the wave, playing with your edge, and having a sense of wonder along the way.
Let yourself forever be a student of life, learning from your experiences. As the Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi stated, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.”
Here are some tips to encourage a more flexible mind and spirit:
It’s time to banish unhealthy perfectionism. You can practice living from your heart or you can live from your ego. This week celebrate all the parts of you that feel a little imperfect, recognizing that they contribute to your essence, and what makes you beautifully you.
Want more on embracing imperfection? Read: “17 Affirmations For Embracing Imperfection.”
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