Generation Under Stress: Why Are Millennials Feeling So Much Pressure?
Posted by GreaterGoodness
Although the causes of stress differ for every person and every generation, Millennials have several pressure sources because of the unique circumstances that shaped their generation. Read on for common stress factors for Millennials and what they can do about stress.
According to the American Psychological Association, money causes Millennials the most stress. Millennials that make under $50,000 are most likely to feel money-related stress. One reason Millennials are this stressed about money is the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, which led to job loss and financial instability for many. Although Millennials’ stress levels about money have gone down since 2007, that feeling of instability still lingers and causes stress.
Another major financial stress factor is the cost of higher education. The cost of completing a four-year education at a university typically runs into the tens of thousands of dollars, which many students must cover with student loans. These loan debts put pressure on students to pay them off, and the pressure is even worse for students who are already worried about their job situations after college.
The Expectation of a Degree
While a college degree is still considered an achievement, it’s just another part of life for many Millennials. They’ve lived with the expectation of getting a college degree their whole lives, due to society and their families. People in previous generations who obtained degrees felt much better about it, because a degree was a major accomplishment at the time and supposedly promised a steady career. Millennials, on the other hand, pay more for their degrees in a time when more people than ever obtain degrees, while realizing that a degree is no guarantee of a career.
Freedom Of Choice
Millennials have more life choices than any previous generation. While the freedom to do anything is empowering, the amount of choices can also be stressful. Since they have so many options, Millennials feel their lives must be perfect. This may lead to switching majors at school or changing careers, looking for that perfect field that allows the Millennial to follow their passion and be rewarded monetarily for it.
Too much stress is a health risk. Unfortunately, the Millennials who report high stress levels also tend to report that they deal with the negative effects of stress, such as anxiety, irritability, depression and lack of sleep. Over time, stress also affects a person’s decision making, immune system, cardiovascular system and other bodily functions.
Many of the negative effects of stress can be avoided by handling stress correctly and avoiding unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating, drinking alcohol excessively, smoking, and using drugs. Healthy coping mechanisms include talking to a friend or relative about the issue, getting enough sleep and exercising.
One daily method to reduce stress, according to author Don Joseph Goewey, is to start every day quietly. Instead of rushing to start the day, Goewey recommends finding a quiet place free of distractions to sit with the eyes closed. Breathe deeply for several minutes, while thinking about the day ahead. Commit to a positive state of mind and plan on an excellent day. This short, daily exercise creates a calming effect and reduces stress levels.
Every generation has its stress factors, and dealing with them starts with understanding them. By understanding their causes of stress, Millennials can find ways to handle it.