Why You Will Never Have Perfect Mental Health

Perfect Mental Health

We live under the assumption that we can somehow achieve a perfect state of mind in which we are constantly happy. With people’s obsession with efficiency, they often try to aim for perfect mental health.

This is why we can’t get enough of self-help videos, seminars, conferences, books, and talks.

We’re looking for the secret. The missing piece to the puzzle. After all, mental health should be a destination, right?

When you arrive there, you’re golden. You’ll never be lonely, frustrated, or unhappy again.


Carl Jung and the idea of never arriving

The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung did groundbreaking work on the inner workings of our mind. He discovered that mental health is an ideal that we never really reach.

And if we do temporarily reach a state of perfect mental health, it’s bound to get disturbed. This is the nature of life. Nothing is ever in a stable condition.

Look at the weather. The stock market. Relationships. Everything is constantly changing.

In one of his notes (found in Collected Works, The Transcendent Function) Jung wrote the following about the effects of therapy:

“The new attitude gained in the course of analysis tends sooner or later to become inadequate in one way or another, and necessarily so, because the flow of life again and again demands fresh adaptation. Adaptation is never achieved once and for all.…

In the last resort it is highly improbable that there could ever be a therapy which got rid of all difficulties. Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.

What concerns us here is only an excessive amount of them.”

Adaptation, or a perfect state of mind, is never achieved once and for all, as Jung said. On top of that, he believed that therapy couldn’t even get rid of all our challenges.

That’s why perfect mental health was, in Jung’s perspective, never a destination.

Don’t fix yourself. Accept yourself instead, and the hardships of life

Jung believed that the achievement of true mental equilibrium was a life-long pursuit that one could never actually complete; one could only strive for continual self-improvement.

This idea is now more important than ever.

We live in a world where people think they have to be perfect: Physically, mentally, and financially.

Let me tell you something you already know but probably don’t want to accept: You will never be perfect. You won’t have perfect mental health. So there’s no point aiming for it.

Simply accept yourself as you are. Do your best to improve, yes. But don’t be unrealistic. Life is hard. And that will never change.

All of this is good news. If you always lived with the idea that you should be perfect, and you’re telling yourself it’s okay to NOT be perfect, a HUGE weight will fall from your shoulders.

This means you don’t have to freak out if you’re not feeling good for a few days. Try not to feel down if you temporarily get sick. Be content with your job and the money you earn.

Stop looking at other people’s lives. Look at yourself. And whether it’s raining or sunny, just be okay.

Because life is okay.

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