There has been a notable increase in depression, anxiety, and stress among millennials. Since 2014, the rate of depression diagnoses alone has risen by 31% for this group. The reasons behind this increase are not entirely clear, but several factors have been identified, such as a lack of a supportive community, financial and work-related stress, and the pressure to always stay connected. It is also possible that millennials report these issues more frequently than previous generations did at the same age due to the increased availability of mental health screenings and education.
Despite the mental health crisis that millennials are currently facing, there is a positive aspect to consider. This generation is openly discussing mental health issues and working towards reducing the stigma surrounding therapy. However, it’s crucial not to ignore the severity of the situation. While we wait for more solutions, millennials can take simple steps to care for their mental health. Although these techniques may not solve everything, they can be a good starting point and lead to even slight improvements in someone’s mental well-being.
Get off social media and connect more with people.
This does not mean that you necessarily have to quit social media altogether. However, it is recommended that you reduce your usage of it. For example, you can keep your phone on silent when you’re spending time with your family. Excessive social media use can lead to negative emotions such as depression, loneliness, jealousy, anxiety, and overall dissatisfaction with life. Taking a digital detox involves abstaining from technology and social media for a period of time. During this time, you can relax, participate in enjoyable activities, or spend quality time with friends and family. By taking a break from social media, you can concentrate on the present moment and form meaningful connections with others.
Set realistic expectations for yourself.
Setting unrealistic standards or being a perfectionist can increase the risk of depression and anxiety. It is easy to fall into this trap, as media outlets such as TV, magazines, and social media often portray individuals who excel in their careers, parenting, and physical appearance. However, striving to meet these impossible standards can lead to disappointment, feelings of inadequacy, and stress. This “perfect” image that is often presented is not necessarily a reality, and comparing yourself to it can be detrimental to our mental well-being.
Be more honest with yourself.
Being honest with yourself helps maintain good mental health. You must first acknowledge that there is a problem before you can take steps to fix it. While it may be easier to pretend that you are okay, you should always be honest with yourself and try to understand your emotions. Identify both your ideal self, which is who you aspire to become, and your true self, which is who you are presently. To make effective and realistic changes, it is necessary to understand where your ideal self comes from. Honesty and self-belief are equally important, as having confidence can help you accomplish great things.
Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can cause anyone—not just millennials—to become preoccupied with the future and lose touch with the present. If you are experiencing this, try asking yourself if you are safe and what actions you can take at the moment. Practicing breathing exercises, positive self-talk, and redirecting your focus towards something else, such as a productive activity, can help you stay in the present moment. The primary goal is to develop your own set of coping strategies to enhance your mental health.
It is okay to ask for help.
It takes courage to ask for help with mental health issues, but it can be incredibly beneficial, particularly for millennials. The stigma surrounding mental health must be eliminated for this reason. Seeking treatment can significantly enhance your overall happiness and well-being, as well as your personal and professional lives. By seeking help, you develop new coping mechanisms, establish relationships, avoid navigating stressful situations alone, and improve your overall quality of life. If you are struggling with mental health problems,do not ignore them. Seek out a therapist before things get worse. If cost is a concern, there are many low-cost options available.
Every year, millions of Americans are impacted by mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. However, seeking treatment from a qualified professional like a primary care physician or mental health therapist can greatly improve quality of life and help individuals regain a sense of normalcy.
Millennials are playing a key role in reducing the stigma around seeking treatment for mental health challenges by being open about their own struggles. They may be more open to talking about it, but that does not mean they have to face it alone. It really helps if they are surrounded and supported by the people who love them. Mindshift Psychological Services offers depression and anxiety treatments. You may visit their website to learn more about them. You may also contact them at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment.