The American Psychological Association (APA) says millennials have more stress and are less able to manage that stress than any of the generations. That is especially true when compared to the Baby Boomers.
Over half of millennials admit to lying awake at night because of stress.
Though most of you are familiar with the millennial age range, some are not. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, millennials are born between 1977 and 1994. It’s a big age range but that’s the definition.
Here are some stats:
• 12% of millennials have been diagnosed with some sort of anxiety disorder
• That’s twice the figure for baby boomers
• A white paper issued in 2014 by the employee assistance firm BDA and it’s head Morneau Shepell said 30% of working millennials have general anxiety
• A 2014 American College of Health Association (ACHA) said anxiety regularly affects 61% of college students
These are the eight habits the APA suggests are causing much of that stress. This advice is generated for millennials but probably applies to just about anyone of any age.
Bad sleep habits: Not making sleep a priority and spending time on phones and laptops before bed and then reacting to them while sleeping is not good and it tends to be a habit of millennials — and truthfully — other age groups as well. The University of California at Berkeley said a lack of sleep, “may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying.”
Calm Clinic is a magazine devoted to managing anxiety. It says a boring, technology-less, nighttime routine is helpful in reducing stress. It also suggests keeping a journal by your bed to write down the thoughts that are keeping you awake.
And last, the magazine suggests more exercise during the day to tire out the body.
Eating regularly: Body and Health magazine says, “Waiting too long to eat or missing out on breakfast may lead to unsteady blood sugar levels, which can cause anxiety-like sensations, including shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty speaking.”
The magazine also suggested dehydration as another cause.
The cure: eat regular meals. Keep granola bars and nuts handy. Sip on water throughout the day. Drink a glass of water before going to bed and when you arise.
Coffee: Yes, it helps wake us up but long term it can make us irritable and nervous. This is especially true if you are already an anxious person. People with panic disorders and social phobia are deeply affected by caffeine. It also causes dehydration.
It is suggested that you do just one cup of coffee a day — or one caffeine drink a day — and switch to decaf or black tea for the rest of the day.
Sitting: We are so sedentary. BNC Public Health researchers found the longer you sit the more likely you are to have anxiety issues.
The solution is easy. Don’t sit all day if you work at a desk. That dooms you to the potential of anxiety. Get up and move around. Do regular exercise.
The Smartphone: You see it everywhere. Someone walking down the street or standing on a corner or in a restaurant or a theater — just about everywhere — and they’re nose deep in a smartphone.
In 2014 Baylor University did a study that found students spend an average of nine hours a day on their phones. While it didn’t release stats for the rest of us, we suspect that hourly figure is pretty close to what most everyone else experiences.
Too much of that makes us anxious. Here’s why. Screen-based entertainment arouses the central nervous system and that amplifies anxiety. Social media can also increase depression.
The solution is to leave your phone somewhere and only use it for what it is, a phone or for NEEDED communication.
Not leaving work at work: Forbes gathered some data and called it the Work State of Mind Project. It found millennials become very anxious and irritated when work works its way into their personal lives. BDA assessed the issue as well and said, “Millennials do not believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office, but by the output of the work performed. They view work as a ‘thing’ and not a ‘place.’”
After millennials leave the office, they’re often still at work and that can cause anxiety. By the way, that flaw also affects other age groups and a bit part of that is because of the easy and instant communication we all have at our fingertips.
The solution is a defined, consistent time for yourself. BDA suggests you clock out on your calendar and at night. And don’t check business email or texts or messages during your scheduled time off.
Movies & hanging out: Sitting on the couch and watching a movie or cuddling with your loved one is not going to help you unwind. You think it does but research says it does not. Lots of studies have looked at the issue. A recent one says participants were more depressed and anxious after watching two hours of TV than those that didn’t.
Another study said those spending time on their computer or phone or watching TV after work had more anxiety and depression than those that didn’t.
In fact, some studies conclude that resting does not reduce anxiety at all but that exercise is the way to reduce the problem. Do anything but watch TV when you are off work. Go for a walk. Grab a drink. Knit. Write. Sit and look at a wall. Call your mom. Cook. Build something. Heck, even play badminton.
You get the idea.
Who you spend time with: Try not to spend time with someone who understands you and who lets you “vent.” That often makes things worse. Does hanging with others who are anxious. Intergroup anxiety increases your anxiety.
The suggestion is to find people who help you level out. And ask yourself how you really feel after an encounter with someone. Do you feel good or better or are you on edge? Once you’ve decided someone is bad for your mental health it’s easier to find reasons not to hang with them.
And if those eight suggestions don’t help millennials — or you, or anyone of any age — with day-to-day anxiety and the impairments associated with anxiety, consider this conclusion from the Harvard Medical School. It says anxiety is involved in heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal conditions and migraines.
In other words, chronic anxiety — at any age level — is unsustainable and you need to find a way to eliminate it from your life — or as much of it from your life as you can — as soon as possible.
Source link: Psychology Today