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Chasing Moments vs. Living Life: Tackling Perfect Moment Syndrome

This may be controversial, but your obsession with perfection is holding you back.

The Wellness Rewind Newsletter

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Welcome to the Wellness Bum the Wellness Rewind newsletter, your mid-week guide to embracing a healthier, happier you. I’m Valerie, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), helping high achievers learn how to work and live at a pace optimal for their well-being.

In this special Sunday edition of the Wellness Rewind, we dive deep into a topic that many of us grapple with but often goes unnoticed PMS – Perfect Moment Syndrome. No, it's not the hormonal condition we're familiar with; instead, it's a psychological challenge that affects our daily lives in profound ways.

Perfect Moment Syndrome is the tendency to set unattainably high expectations for significant life events, be it a birthday celebration, a wedding, the birth of a child, or even a dream vacation. We envision these moments unfolding perfectly, mirroring the picture we've painted in our minds. In recent years, the rise of social media has exacerbated this syndrome, compelling us to present seemingly 'perfect' lives on our feeds. The pressure to meet these unrealistic standards often leads to anxiety, disappointment, and even depression.

But fear not, for there is a path to liberation from PMS. In this newsletter, we explore the journey of self-discovery and mindfulness as essential tools to combat Perfect Moment Syndrome. From understanding its origins to embracing meditation and cultivating flexibility, we offer actionable strategies to lead a more fulfilling and present life.

Our hope is that by addressing Perfect Moment Syndrome, you can open the door to a life where every moment, no matter how imperfect, holds its own unique beauty. Join us as we embark on this transformative journey toward inner peace and self-compassion.

Before we dive in, I wanted to take a moment to share a little about today’s sponsor, OURA Ring.

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Chasing Moments vs. Living Life: Tackling Perfect Moment Syndrome


PMS. No, it's not the hormonal condition.

We're discussing Perfect Moment Syndrome, and it's a genuine challenge. Perfect Moment Syndrome might sound like something out of a sitcom, but it's a psychological issue.

It's a condition where we hold highly unrealistic expectations for significant life events, expectations that are entirely unattainable.

Perfect Moment Syndrome pertains to those major life occasions: a birthday celebration, a wedding, the birth of your child, or even a vacation. During these events, we often anticipate everything unfolding perfectly, exactly as we envision.

In recent years, the surge in social media has amplified Perfect Moment Syndrome. We feel compelled to craft a flawless highlight reel or carousel of posts for our feeds, showcasing our seemingly 'perfect' lives. This amplifies the pressure for our special life events to unfold flawlessly and meet unrealistic standards.

While it's normal (and healthy!) to have expectations for life events, becoming overly attached to these expectations and outcomes is detrimental. It results in anxiety, disappointment, and even depression.

Emotions can block you fom living your best fife.

Here's the problem with PMS: Our excessively high expectations about how things should transpire generate considerable anxiety before the event and profound disappointment and sadness afterward. These rigid expectations can disconnect us from reality, pulling us away from the present moment as we become preoccupied with the future.

Perfect Moment Syndrome is often more prevalent among type-A perfectionists who have a history of anxiety. These individuals yearn for control, often stemming from a belief that they must be flawless, perform perfectly, or conform to certain standards to be loved, accepted, and valued.

So, you've identified Perfect Moment Syndrome. What's next? Don't worry; there are ways to manage it.

Unlocking Self-Awareness and Exploring the Root Causes

To effectively tackle Perfect Moment Syndrome, it's crucial to embark on a journey of self-discovery and introspection. Begin by delving deeper into the origins of your unrealistically high expectations and the need for perfection and control.


Reflect on your upbringing and childhood experiences, as they often hold valuable clues to understanding your current mindset. Consider how your family, caregivers, or societal influences may have shaped your beliefs about what constitutes a perfect moment.

  • Were you raised in an environment where achievements and flawless performances were highly praised?

  • Did you receive conditional love or acceptance based on meeting certain standards?

  • Identifying these early influences can provide profound insights into the development of Perfect Moment Syndrome.

Once you've connected the dots between your past experiences and present expectations, the next step is to develop a heightened awareness of these patterns. This self-awareness serves as a powerful tool for breaking free from the grip of Perfect Moment Syndrome.


Start by journaling your thoughts and feelings surrounding upcoming events or occasions. Pay attention to the specific expectations you hold, and question their validity. Ask yourself why you anticipate things to unfold in a particular manner and what it would mean if they didn't meet those expectations.

Consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor who can assist you in navigating these insights and guide you towards healthier perspectives. By actively exploring the root causes and developing self-awareness, you can gradually release the shackles of Perfect Moment Syndrome and begin to embrace life's imperfections with grace and contentment.

Embrace Meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool that can significantly contribute to managing Perfect Moment Syndrome and promoting overall mental well-being. Regular meditation practice has been proven to alleviate anxiety and rewire our thought patterns, ultimately leading to positive behavioral changes.

One of the fundamental aspects of meditation is mindfulness, which involves paying deliberate attention to the present moment. By cultivating mindfulness through meditation, we can train our minds to stay rooted in the here and now.

To incorporate meditation into your daily routine effectively, consider these actionable tips:

  1. Start Slowly: If you're new to meditation, don't feel pressured to meditate for long durations right away. Begin with just a few minutes each day and gradually extend the time as you become more comfortable with the practice.

  2. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a peaceful and quiet location for your meditation sessions. This can be a corner of your home, a park, or even a dedicated meditation space. Minimizing distractions is essential for deepening your practice.

  3. Guided Meditation: Many apps and online resources offer guided meditation sessions for various purposes, including stress reduction and mindfulness. These can be especially helpful for beginners as they provide structure and guidance.

  4. Consistency Matters: Consistency is key to experiencing the full benefits of meditation. Try to establish a daily meditation routine, even if it's just for a few minutes each morning or evening.

  5. Focus on Breath: A simple yet effective meditation technique is focusing on your breath. Pay attention to your inhalations and exhalations, and gently bring your mind back to your breath whenever it wanders.

  6. Accept Imperfections: It's normal for your mind to wander during meditation. Instead of becoming frustrated, acknowledge these moments and gently return your focus to your chosen point of concentration, whether it's your breath, a mantra, or a specific sensation.

  7. Gradual Progress: Understand that meditation is a skill that develops over time. Be patient with yourself and allow your practice to evolve naturally.

By incorporating meditation into your daily life and following these actionable tips, you can harness its potential to reduce anxiety, reorient your thought patterns, and ultimately break free from the grip of Perfect Moment Syndrome.

Emotionally, Tap In

Perfect Moment Syndrome (PMS) often stems from deep-seated emotions that can hinder our ability to enjoy life's moments fully. To overcome this syndrome and live your best life, it's essential to delve deeper into your emotions and take actionable steps to address them.

Start by clarifying your expectations for upcoming experiences. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Write down what you envision happening during that special event and why it's essential for you.

Then, take a step back and get real with yourself. Are these expectations grounded in reality, or are they overly idealized? Challenge yourself with probing questions such as, 'Why do I expect things to unfold precisely as I imagine?' and 'How would it feel if the event took a different course?' By honestly assessing your expectations, you can begin to recognize any unrealistic patterns that contribute to PMS.

Next, work on embracing flexibility and adaptability. Life is inherently unpredictable, and events often unfold in unexpected ways. Instead of fixating on a rigid vision of how things should be, practice being open to different outcomes. Explore the idea that deviations from your expectations can lead to unique and memorable experiences.

Cultivating this mindset can reduce anxiety and allow you to appreciate the beauty of spontaneity. Remember, the best moments in life are often the ones you didn't plan for. By letting go of rigid expectations and embracing the flow of life, you can free yourself from the shackles of Perfect Moment Syndrome and truly savor the present.

Final Thoughts

Many people grapple with Perfect Moment Syndrome (PMS), a genuine challenge, but it's not insurmountable. Recognizing and addressing PMS involves a multifaceted approach that begins with self-awareness and introspection.

By taking the time to reflect on the root causes of your unrealistic expectations and the need for perfection, you can gain profound insights into why you experience PMS. Childhood experiences, societal influences, and the quest for conditional love and acceptance often play a significant role in shaping these expectations.

Journaling becomes a powerful tool in your journey towards self-awareness. It allows you to examine your expectations closely and question their validity. By challenging yourself with tough questions, you can start to break down the rigid patterns that contribute to PMS.

Moreover, embracing mindfulness through meditation can help alleviate anxiety and rewire thought patterns. It's a practice that fosters living in the present moment, allowing you to let go of the future-oriented perfectionist mindset. The actionable tips provided can assist you in establishing a consistent meditation routine and gradually experiencing its benefits.

Lastly, it's essential to recognize that PMS often originates from deep-seated emotions. By clarifying your expectations for upcoming experiences and embracing flexibility, you can take proactive steps to manage and overcome this syndrome. Life's beauty often lies in its unpredictability, and by letting go of rigid ideals, you can free yourself from the shackles of PMS and fully embrace the present.

In your pursuit of living your best life, remember that it's a journey of self-discovery and growth. Be patient with yourself, practice self-compassion, and celebrate the progress you make along the way. By addressing Perfect Moment Syndrome, you open the door to a more fulfilling and content life, where every moment, imperfect as it may be, holds its own unique beauty.

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Stay well, stay balanced, and remember that your wellness journey is uniquely yours. Stay tuned for more insights in Sunday's edition of our next Wellness Bum newsletter!

Ps. Let’s connect on Instagram, Threads, and X! Join our community on Instagram Channels - Daily Journal Prompts. For coaching, schedule a session.

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