The last year has been a stressful one for many of us, what with political upheaval, economic uncertainty, and even crazy weather. For younger people, like the “Generation Y” cohort born in the 1980s and early 1990s, it’s especially bad, an “age of desperation.” That’s according to Marjorie Wallace, the head of the charitable organization “Sane” and her perspective is informed by numerous psychological studies. Gen Y really is experiencing a much higher level of anxiety than earlier generations. A study from 2013 found that in the United States, fully 57% of female college students were plagued by periods of “overwhelming anxiety.” Meanwhile, a study in Britain determined that a third of young women and a tenth of young men suffer from full-blown panic attacks.
The infamous phenomenon of “helicopter parenting” is one factor, but there’s much more going on. Having choices is usually a good thing, but Generation Y faces such an abundance of choice that it ends up being emotionally paralyzing, according to researchers like Rachel Dove and Pieter Kruger. This overabundance of choice leads to fear of failure and an obsession with making the right decision, often resulting in no decision being made at all. So much for choice! Social media is another culprit. Among other things, it leads to a “fear of missing out” and constant comparison with other people’s lives. That’s a recipe for anxiety and depression, not inner peace.
Mindlab International used neuroscientific research to create a combination of music and visual stimulus that can do an incredible job reducing anxiety. The result is a kind of music video called “Weightless.” They found that it brought anxiety levels down by 65% in people who were attempting to solve a stressful puzzle. The music alone is so relaxing that people have been warned not to listen to it while driving!
We’ve posted the “Weightless” video below. If it took some weight off your mind, be sure to let us know in the Facebook comments. Like and share: you’ll be doing your part to make social media less stressful!