Millennials experience more stress than any other generation, according to new research.
The American Psychological Association reported that not only are they a stressed lot, but they’re less able to manage stress more than other generations.
The APA report revealed that 12 percent of millennials – almost twice that of Boomers – have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. Additionally, 30 percent of working millennials have general anxiety, while 61 percent of their college counterparts regularly afflicted by anxiety.
Consequently, the top two tolls on the academic performance of millennial college students are stress and anxiety. These come from sources such as student debt, a tight job market, and other psychological causes.
They’re stressed over the ever-growing list of responsibilities such as work hours, debts, bills, and for some, their children.
Not surprisingly, a new study by Mattress Firm, which examined 2,000 millennials, discovered that 47 percent endure regular stress, and worry about something every day for over four hours.
Furthermore, 71 percent of those surveyed wake up in the night up to three times a week thinking about current stressors.
These patterns have impacted their sleeping routines negatively.
As a result, the constant worrying makes them toss and turn throughout the night, repeatedly, and they wake up feeling tired.
From the different studies carried out on what causes millennials the most stress every day, some everyday stressors stuck out. We look at some of these in detail below.
For people aged between 18 and 35 in America, money is the most significant stressor. This is followed by personal health concerns and severe fatigue, which together cause a mental burden on millennials.
And no, they’re not blowing cash on trendy restaurants and avocado toast.
In fact, they freak out and wonder if they’ll ever truly feel financially secure. After all, they’re the generation hit hardest by student debt, and the 2008 recession – the reality being that freelancing and internships help pay the bills for a while.
Some hold back from relationships owing to their financial status, or the financial status and debt of their potential partners.
2. Work life
Millennials are also stressed about their work, which is a major area of concern. Most of them say they begin their work days already tired and fatigued, for about four days in a week.
Grogginess at work leads to millennials making simple mistakes at the workplace owing to loss of sleep and stress.
The Mattress Firm research also found that 55 percent of millennials surveyed become irritable, with 11 percent reporting that they’ve ever been rude to clients due to insomnia.
They work long hours and are constantly in touch with very little time taken for vacations if any.
This is exacerbated by the pay they get as they make 20 percent less than the previous generation in similar positions. High stress is thus associated with lower incomes, thereby decreasing productivity and performance.
Millennials report that work-related stress comes from unrealistic managers, unreasonable deadlines and workloads, and unattainable work-life balance.
Mattress Firm survey also highlighted that 15 percent of millennials in relationships admitted to significant stress worrying whether their partner is “the one.”
Additionally, one in six millennials worries about lack of progress in relationships, with another 15 percent worrying if they’ll ever find a suitable partner.
Ultimately, they spend a large portion of their time fatigued by emotional and mental stress.
All these, in turn, affect the quality of their sleep, becoming a vicious cycle for them.
4. The future of their country and the world
According to a Chicago therapist, Rachel Kazez, millennials feel overwhelmed by the headlines in the news concerning the state of their country and world.
They’re especially concerned about the environment, inequality, and other issues.
Kazez notes that millennials have tried to address these issues successfully, though not with enough consistency.
The political climate is an issue for millennials as they’re concerned about issues like terrorism, the economy, personal safety, violence, and more.
The APA report on stress in the US places a large emphasis on the interaction between stress and technology among millennials.
Technology impacts their mental and physical health negatively. This is because millennials are attached to their devices, constantly checking email, texts, and social media.
Consequently, millennials report higher stress rates associated directly with using technology and feel alone or isolated, despite being more connected.
How Millennials Can Overcome These Stressors
Image: Business Insider
Most of these are lifestyle changes, which you have to be willing to make, especially if you want to experience a general sense of wellbeing:
- Talking transparently with their partners in relationships, about values, financial expectations, and differences
- Instead of focusing on the stressor, reframe the problem. Anxiety is a physical manifestation of worry and fear, but you can get through it.
- Have difficult conversations and trust what feels right when it comes to money and financial boundaries
- When feeling demoralized about the country and world, millennials can turn this around by noticing the positive progress and use their words, actions, influence and resources to support causes they believe in.
- Know that you are enough without the reinforcement of social media likes and shares. If struggling with self-consciousness and self-worth, read books that take you on a journey towards wholehearted living.
- There’s no magical formula for success. Instead, tune into what makes you feel most confident and fulfilled in life – your passions.
- Put boundaries on technology by doing simple things like leaving work at work, not sleeping with your phone in your room.
- Have a day when you detox from technology. Avoid watching TV after work. Involve yourself in activities. Improve brain with a crossword. Not only these deviate your focus from stressors but also build on your intelligence.
- Practice vulnerability by opening up to trusted people and sharing the problem.
- Prioritize self-care by eating antioxidant foods, nutrient-rich diet, exercising, and getting good sleep.
Millennials are known to be experts in escapism. However, dealing with stressors is better than avoiding them.
By practicing various treatments for anxiety such as relaxation, exercise, getting more sleep and self-reflection, they’ll reduce the stress levels.
What follows is a healthier, more productive and peaceful life!