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Mental Health Myth Busted: Why striving for “healed” might be making you unhappy

Is mental health culture damaging the way you relate to yourself?

A couple sitting outside watching an orange sunset
Image by Harli Marten | Unsplash

The more you learn about mental health, the bigger the risk is of creating unrealistic goals or expectations about yourself and how you should be.

This is something I don’t think we talk about enough.

I love this new wave of openness about mental health, healing and trauma. When I had a blog dedicated to Yoga 10 years ago, this was definitely not what the internet looked like.

I love that people are talking openly about attachment styles, c-PTSD and their healing journeys.

But everything has two sides, and here’s the thing: once you start to understand more about why you struggle, you might create an implied expectation that, in order to be happy, you need to heal from them.

You might create an expectation that you need to resolve all your traumas, change your attachment style, and how you inherently feel about and relate to things, in order to be happy.

And this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, I understand the desire to change thought patterns and self-destructive behaviours that don’t serve you. This is valid, and I’m not saying it’s wrong.

What I want to challenge is the notion that it’s ONLY when those things change, ONLY when you’re “balanced”, THEN you’ll feel happy, calm and free.

I’m challenging the belief that your happiness is conditional to you being flawless and healed from all your traumas.

This is the biggest fallacy of them all. And I will even say that, while I love that we talk about mental health so much these days, I fear the consequences of this ramification of the mental health culture.

The reason why I built jornee is to spread the idea that while it’s valid to want to grow as a person, this growth needs to go through accepting our perceived flaws, insecurities, and unmet needs.

If you read a social media post saying that seeking external validation is bad for you, it’s easy to judge yourself for needing it. In this case, the self-judgement is doing more harm than the need for external validation itself.

What I’ve learned through my 20 years journey of self-exploration is that the biggest cause of unhappiness is NOT our flaws, but the self-judgement that comes with becoming aware of them.

Children are full of imperfections, need external validation, feel unsafe, need connection. Do you see them judging themselves? I doubt it. The problem starts when they start internalising the expectations of the adults around them in the form of self-judgement.

The only way to cultivate good mental health is to learn to live with ourselves as we are now.

We need to accept the fact that we are imperfect human beings, full of traumas and inconsistencies. We can do this and learn to heal and take responsibility for our behaviour at the same time.

After all, we can’t change what we can’t acknowledge.

And learning to embrace our unmet emotional needs is a crucial part of not only acknowledging, but fully accepting who we are.

What do you think?


Hi! I’m creating products that help people reconnect with themselves through their emotions, needs, vulnerabilities, imperfections, and all the beautiful things that make us human.

In late August / early September 2024, I’m launching the jornee app, aiming to empower people to reclaim control of their emotional well-being, by learning to tune into their unmet emotional needs. You can sign up for early access here.

If you want to learn more about emotional freedom, jornee and our mission, consider signing up for jornee or following us on social media to stay in touch.

We are on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.


P.S.: What to find out more about emotional needs? I wrote a book about it. You can download a free PDF sample here.

Enjoy online tests? I made a quick emotional needs test. Try it out here.

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