Let's face it: modern life is tough. A 2013 survey found that 57 percent of American female college students reported episodes of "overwhelming anxiety." A similar study in the U.K. found that a third of young women and 10 percent of young men suffer from panic attacks.
Marjorie Wallace, CEO of the charity organization Sane, says that generation Y (people born in the 1980s and 1990s) is the age of desperation. "Growing up has always been difficult, but this sense of desperation? That’s new."
Rachael Dove, author of Anxiety: The Epidemic Sweeping Through Generation Y, says:
So, what’s going on? The rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational angst. Another, brought up on multiple occasions by my peers and by psychologists I spoke to, is the luxury (as ungrateful as it sounds) of too much choice.
According to London-based psychologist Pieter Kruger, research indicates that those who don't have as many choices are often more resilient - because they can blame other circumstances, while those with a wide range of choices have no one to blame but themselves. "We become much more obsessive because we want to make the right decision every time," he says.
Blogger Claire Eastham from We Are All Mad Here writes:
I spend a lot of time worrying about what I am going to do with my life. Previous generations had choice taken out of their hands. If you are told what to do it takes the pressure away.
These days, making a decision can be paralyzing. People these days tend to research every option obsessively, even for something trivial like a pair of shoes. This can lead to information overload, which is mentally draining. Additionally, technology also increases our anxiety due to our dependence on it. Millenials are rarely without their phones, and many feel exposed without it.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a condition called Fomo, or Fear of Missing Out. "Fomo is very real and can be a constant addiction that affects anxiety levels and a general sense of wellbeing,” says Kruger.
Social media is such a huge part of our lives and we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people on there. This can cause depression when the comparisons are unfavorable for you. Besides, you have to remember that social media usually shows the best moments of people's lives - it's not an accurate depiction of their daily life.
Now, neuroscientists have found that a specially designed song can help dramatically reduce our levels of anxiety.
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K.studied what kind of music relaxes their subjects the most while they try to solve a puzzle - a scenario that naturally induces stress. They also connected various monitors to participants to measure their physiological responses.
That's how they found that one song - "Weightless" - caused a 65 percent reduction in participants' anxiety levels, as well as a 35 percent reduction in their normal physiological resting rates. Interestingly, the song was actually specifically crafted by Marconi Union to induce a highly relaxed state.
It's so effective, in fact, that many participants started to feel drowsy, and lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises not listening to this while driving.
H/T: The Mind Unleashed