About Millennials & Anxiety: Navigating Anxiety in the Modern Day
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
In today's world, many stressors can cause anxiety. These include a poor economy, a charged political world, and even social media. Millennials are especially vulnerable to these stressors as they enter into or are in their early adult lives. For many millennials, the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming. They may feel like they have to choose between their career and their personal life. They may also worry about money and whether they can afford a comfortable lifestyle. Social media can add to the stress of millennial life by creating unrealistic expectations and comparisons. It can also be a source of negative feedback and criticism. Despite all of these stressors, millennials can still find ways to combat anxiety and thrive.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of fear usually caused in response to a stressor in our life. It is perfectly normal to feel occasionally anxious. It can even help motivate us to complete an important task or keep us safe from possible danger. However, feeling intense anxiety frequently or without the presence of a stressor can be signs of an anxiety disorder. People who suffer from this may find it hard to complete simple tasks and get through everyday life.
There are many causes of anxiety, such as intense worry for the future, fear of social situations, and even genetics. But anxiety works differently for everybody, and the causes will vary from person to person. If you think you are struggling with anxiety, it's important to reach out for help. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what you're experiencing, and they can help you develop a plan to manage your anxiety.
Much like the causes of anxiety, the symptoms are also unique to individuals. There are some common symptoms, but remember to take some time to listen to your body and mind.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
Panic, fear, and uneasiness
Not being able to stay calm and still
Cold, sweaty, numb, or tingling hands or feet
Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
Inability to concentrate or rumination
Intensely or obsessively avoiding feared objects or places
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are multiple types of anxiety disorders, and each type has unique symptoms. Still, they can be treated with therapy and/or medication.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Persistent and excessive, unrealistic worry with little to no reason.
Panic Disorders: Sudden and intense fear that brings on panic attacks. During a panic attack, you may have heart palpitations, sweating, chest pains, or trouble focusing on what is happening around you.
Social Anxiety: Self-consciousness and extreme worry in everyday social situations. You may worry about judgment from others or feel embarrassed.
PTSD: Prolonged anxiety, sleep problems, or flashbacks after experiencing a life-threatening event.
Phobias: Intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as bugs, heights, or small spaces.
Agoraphobia: Intense fear of being in a situation where escape or getting help seems difficult if an emergency were to occur, such as airplanes or crowds.
Medication-induced Anxiety: Use of certain medications or drugs or withdrawal from a substance can trigger anxiety disorders.
Ways Millennials Can Reduce Anxiety
Change your environment:
It's no secret that our environment can significantly impact our mood and overall well-being. Just think about how you feel when you're in a cluttered, chaotic space as opposed to a peaceful, serene one. Now imagine how much of an effect your environment has when dealing with anxiety daily. It's important to understand that while you can't always control what's happening around you, you can control how you respond. By making small tweaks to your surroundings, you can help reduce the number of stressors in your life and create a more conducive space for peace and relaxation.
Many people who suffer from anxiety feel like it's all in their heads. They are often told to "just relax" or that they are overthinking things. But the reality is that much of anxiety is physiological. The physical symptoms of anxiety can include an increased heart rate and respiratory rate, muscle tension, sleep disorders, and heightened awareness of danger. These symptoms can be debilitating and make it difficult to live everyday life.
Ways to combat the physical symptoms of anxiety:
Exercise: Regular exercise can help to lower muscle tension and release anti-anxiety hormones to help change your brain chemistry.
Balanced Diet: Avoiding caffeine, simple carbohydrates, and processed sugar can help slow your heartbeat and help you sleep. Eating whole, nutritious foods, such as complex carbohydrates and protein, and drinking plenty of water can help to regulate your hormones and give you more energy throughout the day.
Breathing Techniques: Anxiety can cause you to take shallow breaths through your chest, leading to more anxiety. Take deep breaths through your diaphragm and practice breathing exercises to help regulate your thoughts and reduce the feeling of dread.
Anxiety Counseling for Millennials:
Counseling can help you to understand the root causes of your anxiety and develop a plan to reduce your symptoms. Counselors can help you create a strategy to identify the stressful thoughts that contribute to your anxiety. Once these stressors are identified, they can be changed to bring about new emotions, moods, and behaviors. This approach is highly effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. If you are struggling with anxiety, don't hesitate to seek out the help of a qualified counselor. Together, you can develop a plan to help you live a happier and more productive life.
Do you feel like you're stuck in a rut? Are you struggling with anxiety or depression? Are you finding it difficult to cope with a significant life change? If so, Next Step Counseling can help. We are a Christian Counseling practice based in Gallatin, Tennessee, and specialize in helping people overcome challenges and regain control of their lives. Whether you are dealing with personal issues, relationship problems, or work-related stress, we want to help you find the strength to overcome and move forward in your life. We offer both face-to-face and tele-sessions, so you can choose the option that best meets your needs. Don't continue to struggle alone - reach out to Next Step Counseling today and take the first step towards a better tomorrow.