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Is Perfection Causing Stress?

In American culture, we are bombarded with symbols and messages about striving for perfection—just take a look at the Photoshopped models on magazine covers, or the idealized relationships on television. All of this can drive us towards the idea that we’re supposed to achieve perfection in school, with our families and in other relationships—in every aspect of our lives.

This constant onslaught drills into us the idea that perfection must be achieved in order to be happy. Sadly, what chasing after this so-called “perfection” does instead is serve as a catalyst for the pandemic of depression, stress, and anxiety.

More and more we are hearing some compelling things about an ancient technique called “mindfulness meditation.” According to the research it can have a very real effect on our ability to “not get lost in the noise” about perfection clouding our heads but to be present in the moment and to see each moment for what it really is.

Mindfulness meditation can function as an exercise to train the brain and focus the mind, and to “re-wire” the brain in key places, so that your high-level thinking and your deeper feelings can be better integrated. Many who practice mindfulness meditation describe this as a path to lead more satisfying lives, with more solid friendships and healthier relationships.

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