According to research, trying to be perfect could be ruining your health.
Fretting about getting everything right – from your job to your style and relationships – can trigger heart disease, IBS and insomnia.
Some experts say it could even be as bad for you as smoking
Dr Danielle Molnar, a psychologist at Brock University, Canada, has suggested that perfectionism should be considered as a risk factor for disease in the same way as obesity and smoking.
“We’re always promoting perfectionism and its benefits of academic and professional achievement, but it’s such a strong factor for so many illnesses, including increased infection and early death, that I think it should be considered by doctors as part of a patient’s long-term health,” said Dr Molnar.
It’s estimated that two in five of us display perfectionist tendencies.
And thanks to social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, increasing numbers are concerned about being – or appearing to be – perfect, said Gordon Flett, professor of health psychology at York University in Canada.
“It’s natural to want to be a perfectionist in one area of your life, such as your job,” he said. “But when it becomes an obsessive need for the perfect job, child, relationship, bank balance and body, it causes extreme stress and can affect not only relationships, but your health.”