Perfectionism occurs when a person sets impossibly high standards for themselves, such that everything they do is critically evaluated to the point that the person is never satisfied.
Many people with this issue tend to overstress and overemphasize achieving some seemingly impossible level of quality in their work. This can apply to all spheres of life, such as work, family, cooking, cleaning, and so on. This constant struggle to be perfect all the time can be taxing on an individual’s mental health as they strive to give 100% at all times regardless of whether it is expected of them or not.
According to a study conducted at the University of Bath, a top 10 University located in Bath, England, perfectionism has a huge impact on the mental state and physical wellbeing of an individual. Some of the apparent mental health issues linked with people who were labeled as perfectionists by friends and family include anxiety, depression, and in some severe cases they have suicidal thoughts as well.
Perfectionists are not the only people who critically analyze their own lives. As a person seeks to be perfect, those around them begin to expect it as well. This leads to the perfectionist putting even more pressure on themselves, which causes a negative cycle where the more effort they put in the greater the expectations of others; these same expectations are not applied to anyone else! Forget about failing, too. If something goes wrong, the perfectionist could suffer a severe mental or physical break.
Perfectionism leads to people constantly berating themselves, and they end up holding unrealistic expectations about their life. University students are a good example of how perfectionism has debilitating effects on mental health, contributing to issues such as clinical depression, eating disorders, and suicide. As a student, you may put immense pressure on yourself out of fear that you are wasting valuable time and money, will upset family and friends, and won’t amount to anything; this despite the fact that you have a long life ahead of you to figure things out.
Yoga and developing self-compassion are two ways that are oftentimes suggested by people to be helpful in dealing with these feelings. Self-reflection can help you to better see what you do well and how simply trying your best, and forgiving places that you fall short can lead to better outcomes. You can also try different hobbies where experimentation and failure have little to no strong impact on your life. Baking is a good one to try.
You can also try supplements that provide support for stress and anxiety with herbs, vitamins, and other nutrients. Premier Research Labs and Ayush Herbs are two brands that specialize in products for people who are working to better manage stress and anxiety.
It is also extremely important for people around perfectionists to be empathetic and understanding towards them. Perfectionism can have a serious impact on the mental health of individuals as it puts an immense amount of pressure on them. Hence, seeking professional help is also recommended, which can provide pivotal support to one’s mental health.