Anxiety… we can all agree that it’s one of the worst feelings. And the confusion is that sometimes it’s hard to find the underlying emotion/situation that’s causing it.
However, anxiety is nothing new: Hippocrates wrote about it in the fourth century BCE. Søren Kierkegaard wrote about it in the 1860s. And Sigmund Freud addressed the disorder in 1926. However, in the present with all the information thrown out on social media, it’s no strange why so many young people have it.
Pharmaceutical drugs tend to be one treatment for anxiety (as well as the biggest money maker for the big pharma). Some approach it holistically, by turning to yoga, meditation, massage and exercise, but music therapy has been also used to some success. Neuroscientists in the U.K. have found a song that results in a stunning 65% decrease in overall anxiety.
Anxiety And Generation Y
Over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 7% of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year. Most people develop symptoms before age 21.
Marjorie Wallace, CEO of the charity Sane, believes that generation Y (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) is the age of desperation. “Growing up has always been difficult, but this sense of desperation? That’s new,” she says.
Writes Rachael Dove in Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y:
“So, what’s going on? The rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational angst. Another, brought up on multiple occasions by my peers and by psychologists I spoke to, is the luxury (as ungrateful as it sounds) of too much choice.”
A London-based psychologist, Pieter Kruger, says that research finds that people who feel that they don’t have a choice are actually more resilient — mainly because they can blame life on others if they make a wrong decision. But if you have range of choices, and to be truthful we all do in this world with so many opportunities, you have no choice but to blame yourself. “We become much more obsessive because we want to make the right decision every time,” he says.
Writer Claire Eastham agrees on her blog We Are All Mad Here:
“I spend a lot of time worrying about what I am going to do with my life. Previous generations had choice taken out of their hands. If you are told what to do it takes the pressure away.”
Nowadays, making simple decisions, like what to eat can trigger a type of anxiety. We have so many options that can trigger confusion. Just how often we’ve seen women stress over a pair of shoes. The seemingly simple task turns out to be a “life decision”.
There’s also rise in FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, and that’s what social media does to us. We see the picture perfect lifestyles everyone lives, smiling, happy and posting perfect beach selfies, while we are sitting at home in the not-so-perfect conditions.
“Fomo is very real and can be a constant addiction that affects anxiety levels and a general sense of wellbeing,” says Kruger.
Social media makes us compare to everything, not just with our friends, but with celebrities too! As research has shown, time on social media “can cause depression in people who compare themselves with others.”
Besides destroying our wellbeing by comparing ourselves with each and every one on social media — neuroscientists have found listening to a specially designed song can significantly decrease our levels of anxiety.
The Creation Of The Ultimate Anti-Stress Music
The study involved participants trying to solve difficult puzzles which triggered some levels of stress, while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs and researchers measure their heart rate, brain activity, blood pressure and rate of breathing.
What they found is that particular song — named “Weightless” — resulted in a stunning 65% reduction in overall anxiety, and a 35% reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Created by Marconi Union, the musicians joined forces with sound therapists to pick specific harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which in turn slow a listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.
The fact that the song was so effective and put them in a state of calmness, lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving.
But don’t take their word for it. Hear it yourself here:
Marconi Union — ‘Weightless’ (Official Video)
Sources used: Inc