Millennials and the anxiety wheel

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With millions of people suffering of anxiety, with billions spent yearly on anxiety treatments and, despite the efforts, with only 39% of patients getting any form of treatment, America is facing one of the most serious mental health crisis in the western world. The problem does not seem to stop here, given that millennials, the generation of those born in the 80’s, seem to be affected even more by anxiety symptoms when compared to baby boomers:12% of them have a diagnosed anxiety disorder and 30% of working millennials suffer from general anxiety. Why do millennials seem to be so prone to anxiety? What can we do today to avoid a future where everyone may be, to a certain degree, effected by one of the most pernicious mental health issues? Here are our thoughts:

Why are millennials so anxious?
American Psychological Association (APA) argues that millennials face more stress and their coping mechanisms are not particularly helpful. While Baby-boomers worry about health and family issues, millennials have other reasons to stay up at night: low-income, student debt, job competition, social insecurity and the housing crisis. While some of these factors cannot be immediately erased from their lives, learning to manage anxiety around them is very important. It is also helpful if other reasons of stress were acknowledged and dealt with, amongst which:

Bad sleeping habits: we live in a world where pushing productivity to the highest limits is encouraged and even expected. This often means that millennials prefer to cut down on sleep to finish their work, binging on coffee and energy drinks. Freelancing or spending more than 8 hours a day working is not uncommon either. Because for this generation work is about results and not the amount of time spent in the office, many will continue working late in the night to get things done, seeing their loved ones less or sleeping less.

Sedentary life is on the rise, although healthy lifestyle choices seem more popular with this generation. A sedentary lifestyle usually comes with a poor diet, which translates in higher anxiety rates, on top of other health concerns.

Technology is millennials’ best friend and their silent enemy. Students spend about 9 hours a day on their phones, while working millennials in office jobs at least 8 hours staring at a screen. To many of them, relaxation time is about binging on Netflix, despite the fact that studies show that after only two hours of watching television people tend to feel more anxious.

Millennials are also the first digital generation and their presence on social media is the norm these days. While their preference for social media seems to have a positive economical impact, effects on a personal level can often be negative. First of all, there is usually a difference between what is expected of you on social media and the reality you live in. There is a pressure to display your happiest and most relaxed self online although you might feel quite the opposite in real life. Many online social connections do not mean many friends. The numbers of people with less than 3 close friends has continuously increased since 1985, with millennials being the ones to report most often “zero close friends”. On the other hand, anxious people tend to gather with other anxious people, which will inflate anxiety symptoms for everyone.

Finally, the balance between work, relationships and personal time is very sensitive and rarely achieved. Working long hours, not having enough time or emotional availability for others or themselves, millennials are riding a wheel that makes them more anxious the faster it spins.

Is there a way to stop it?
There is a silver lining indeed: millennials are valuing experiences more than things. While this can be an anxiety-provoking choice for older generations, for millennials it can open the door to a better relationship with themselves and to a more fulfilling life. This generation tends to prefer investing in themselves rather than in expensive objects and understands that a happy life is not necessarily about how much you have, but how well you can enjoy it. This is why many would go for personal development courses, enrol on creative classes or periodically try new things. They are more sensitive, but also more emotionally open than other generations, more willing to self-examine while assisted by trained professionals, and flexible enough to try to implement changes when proven that things don’t work for them.

Leading the best life you can have is possible and it is also your right. If you are one of the millennials who need to explore anxiety-related symptoms, to make sense of what is happening to you and to turn vulnerability into strength, Counseling Centre for Emotional Growth is the place for you. Our counselors and psychotherapists will provide the safe, confidential and nurturing space you need in order to find inner peace, balance and meaning. We are here to help.

Photo: pixabay.com


Avoiding a Depression Relapse

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When it comes to depression, the road to recovery can bring many mixed emotions: relief, worry, joy, and even fear. With the help of therapy and/or medication, many people do indeed experience this recovery. Yet in the back of their minds, they might be wondering what they can do to avoid a depression relapse.

 
If you are recovering from depression and questioning what the future might hold for you, try taking the following steps to help you avoid or manage a depression relapse.

Counseling Center For Emotional GrowthDon’t stop your treatment regimen until you talk with your care provider

Though you might feel better, stopping medication without the supervision of a care provider can have dire consequences. You might experience headaches, sleep interruptions, or even symptoms of withdrawal.
As such, make sure to ask your doctor about changing your medication regimen. They can guide you in ceasing, cutting back, or even sticking with your current dosage(s).
Remember too that quitting therapy sessions can have negative consequences. While some therapy methods are intended for short-term outcomes, others are intended to take place over longer periods of time. Discontinuing therapy can leave some much-needed work undone and can leave you more vulnerable to a depression relapse.

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Understand Your Emotions Now, Feel Better Later

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medium_2884915815Due to our hectic lifestyles, stress and anxiety have now become inevitable in our day-to-day living. If left unaddressed, these negative emotions can build up over time, causing you to suffer a burnout or a meltdown. Don’t worry, though, as there are many approaches you can easily take to feel better.

 

Reach Out to Friends and Family
Friends and family can be a strong support system that you can get when you’re not feeling your best. When you talk to someone you trust about your emotions, you’ll gain amazing insights and advice that you would have never gotten otherwise. You’ll be learning from other people’s experiences, and their stories will serve as a short-cut through life’s many trials and tribulations.

 

Counseling or Therapy

If you have been suffering from long-term and serious emotional distress, counseling or therapy may be what you need to feel better. You’ll be able to consult a professional who understands what you need to do in order to overcome setbacks, and help you transform negativity into positivity. A professional therapist will help you make peace with the past while guiding you toward a better future.

 

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When Fear Affects Your Life

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When Fear Affects Your LifeWith Halloween just around the corner, we see “scary” things around every corner. A creepy advertisement for a horror film. A “haunted house” designed to give you a fright. A spooky decoration made to make you jump. Fear becomes fun at this time of year.

But fear isn’t fun for everyone. When fear becomes so consuming that it affects how we go about our day-to-day lives, it can prevent us from living our lives to the fullest and enjoying life’s moments. While some people may experience only specific fears, such as a fear of spiders, many people experience fear’s effects to the point where their entire days are spent living with fear’s consequences.

Many significant mental health issues that revolve around fear can be overcome with the help of a trained counselor or therapy group. While this is not an overnight fix, overtime the issue causing fear can be adequately addressed and through therapy techniques, can be eliminated.

Here are a few conditions relating to fear:

 

1. People with anxiety and panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack. A person with panic disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed because he or she cannot carry out normal routines like going to the grocery store or driving. Having panic disorder can also interfere with school or work.

2. A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger or has a controllable element to it. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. If you have a phobia, even though you may realize the fear is unreasonable, you can’t control the anxiety when facing the feared situation. Often, even thinking about the feared situation can cause anxiety to grow, and if actually exposed to it, terror and panic is automatic and overwhelming. When you try to deal with a phobia on your own, you may go out of your way to the point of changing your lifestyle, just to avoid the feared item. If you have a fear of heights, for example, you might drive an extra twenty miles in order to avoid a tall bridge.

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