Millennials are experiencing higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than the generations before them. According to recent studies, many millennials feel pressure to measure up due to social pressure from peers, and a reputation for being whiny, self-important and spoiled. These elevated expectations that millennials put on themselves to achieve success and debunk stereotypes can often lead to mental health issues. So, how can millennials feel better about themselves? Here are a few suggestions:
Mindfulness is a basic ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not be overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. When you bring awareness to what you’re experiencing via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. This simple practice of being present can help millennials meet external stressors in a calm, objective way. Studies show that mindfulness meditation can produce physical changes in the brain that alleviate anxiety and bolster concentration and mental wellness. Looking for some mindfulness exercises? The Mayo Clinic offers some suggestions.
People who have mental health issues, like depression, can often feel very isolated and may not feel a sense of belonging. Lack of social activity can increase feelings of isolation. Many millennials spend more time using smartphones or talking online than engaging in in-person activities. These impersonal practices can conceal mental health issues. Engaging with others face-to-face helps to decrease feelings of isolation and anxiety, and increases the sense of social support in people. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), having this social support system is very important when it comes to coping with stress and other issues. If you’re a millennial in self-imposed exile, start getting out in the world a few times a week. Furthermore, if you know millennials who don’t engage with others regularly, encourage them to go out with their friends.
Yoga and Meditation
Meditation has become increasingly popular among millennials. The practice helps to center the mind by allowing good thoughts to come to the front of your mind. For most millennials, meditation will challenge their constant multi-tasking. Slow things down and emphasize focus, which will do wonders to alleviate stress and relax you.
Similarly, yoga can be an effective treatment for anxious millennials. Taking a yoga class helps millennials put their materialistic lives on hold. Phones typically aren’t permitted in yoga studios, which allows you to unplug and be present. Try taking an hour or so a day (or a few times a week) to do yoga. Stepping away from technology will give you a chance to relax and get some exercise. If you are new to yoga, look for beginner level classes at a local studio. You can find places nearby by doing a search on site likes Yoga Finder.