We have been experiencing a rise in anxiety in our society in recent months and years. Much has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic however there seems to be some significant trending in anxiety in the psychological state of millennials.
In a recent article in MindBodyGreen Health by Olivia Giacomo she cites the research and work of Dr. Caroline Leaf who has studied this issue in millennials. The results of this research are quite compelling and there are some important steps that can be taken to help millennials recover from this high level of anxiety. Here are some quotes from this article:
It’s no secret we’re facing a global mental health crisis, one that was only exacerbated by the pandemic. And while everyone should make mental health a priority, no matter your age, our younger generations have experienced some significant declines: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 young adults (ages 18 to 24) seriously contemplated suicide during the pandemic.
However, as communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist Caroline Leaf, Ph.D., shares on the mindbodygreen podcast, it’s millennials—those born from 1981 to 1996—whose brains may actually be more prone to anxiety.
In fact, she conducted a clinical trial and found that millennial participants’ brains looked physically older: “Some of the millennials that came in had biological ages that were sometimes 30 to 40 years older than their actual age,” she says. “So they were sitting there as a 25- to 35-year-old, but their bodies physically were on a level of a 60-, 65-, or 70-year-old.”…..
“When you’re 18 to 24 and younger, death and those kinds of things in the future seem like it’s not very tangible,” Leaf says. “But your millennials can see the future as more tangible—so it’s kind of there, but they can’t see their way through.”
In other words: The future seems palpable, but they’re not exactly sure how they’re going to get there—and that chronic uncertainty can leave tons of open space for anxiety to creep through.
She then provides several steps that millennials can take to realign their brains and bring relief to this overwhelming anxiety which has aged the appearance of their brains and left them in a difficult state of anxiety.
As we discover more regarding neuroscience, we can find ways to overcome a myriad of the dilemmas we face with some helpful therapeutic interventions. This is one example of how we can overcome some of the anxieties that the millennial population is facing.