Sometimes, life can be overwhelming.
“I worry about how I’m going to pay for school,” said Millennial and UMKC Student, Mitchell Dotson.
According to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in American Survey," millennials are the most stressed-out generation.
“It might be just because we’re a generation that’s going through a lot of changes,” millennial Lilly Sieren said. “We’re trying to make society so much more accepting.”
For several years straight, the APA’s research ranks millennials on top for stress, but Generation X isn’t far behind.
Licensed professional counselor Gabriel Fry said part of it is age.
“Millennials to a certain extent are in that stage of, there’s what you want out of life and then there’s what you’re going to get. Where is that line? Do you try harder, do you expect less, where is that,” Fry said.
Also, struggles with debt stemming from student loans. Fry said it’s a crippling reality that makes it harder to reach ones’ full potential.
“I’ve got a Masters and I’m working at Starbucks. Or I’ve got a doctorate and I’m working in a warehouse. Part of that was because you went down this path of education thinking it would open up and then it didn’t,” Fry said.
Despite your generation, the APA study showed that 63 percent of Americans say the future of the nation is a significant source of stress. That's higher than the percentage who are stressed about money, work or violence and crime.
“I think a lot of it had to do with the political climate and the world that we’re in. Trying to make sense of that,” Fry said.
When asked to think about the nation, the economy was most likely to be cited as a cause of stress for nearly two in five millennials.
Whereas, healthcare is most likely to be a source of stress for Gen Xers and baby boomers. And older adults were most likely to report that trust in the government is a stressor when thinking about our nation.
Many have their own way of dealing with stress.
“I like to read, write, watch Netflix,” millennial Meteo Appleton said.
“I like to color and draw,” Sieren said.
Fry said one good option to help combat it is simply going to bed earlier.
“Sometimes what I tell people who have stress is that just sleep for one week, just sleep 30 minutes more a day and see how you feel. Then they invariably always come back and they’re like, wow, life just got so much easier to bear with just a little bit more sleep,” Fry said.
Another option, Fry said, is learn to meditate.
“Just take seven to twenty minutes and just meditate. And meditation is just, noticing where you are. Notice that you’re breathing. Don’t make judgement calls on it. Don’t look for anything. Just notice," Fry said.
Lastly, focus on finding a balance.
“Life is just made up of moments. It’s not made up of the future, it’s not made up of the past. It’s the present. Just teaching people to do that is a huge way to deal with stress,” Fry said.
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