Stress— that feeling of dread, fear, worry and anxiety— is indeed nothing new. Hippocrates wrote about it in the fourth century BCE. As did Søren Kierkegaard in the 1860s. And Sigmund Freud addressed that the disease in 1926.
But, jump into the present and we’re seeing a considerable up tick — especially with youth.
Pharmaceutical drugs are inclined to be the classic treatment for curing anxiety (in addition to the biggest moneymaker). Cognitive therapy is a frequent approach also. People who have a holistic bent frequently turn to yoga, meditation and massage and other relaxation methods. Music therapy is also used with some success. But now neuroscientists in the U.K. have zeroed in on one song which causes a dramatic 65 per cent relief, in overall anxiety…
Anxiety & Generation Y
A 2013 survey discovered that 57 per cent of American female university students reported episodes of “overwhelming stress and anxiety.” And in the United Kingdom, the charity YouthNet discovered a third of all young women — and also yet one in ten teenagers — have problems with anxiety strikes.
Marjorie Wallace, CEO of the charity Sane, thinks that generation Y (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) is the age of grief and desperation. “Growing up has always been difficult, but this feeling 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.”
Pieter Kruger, a London-based psychologist, says research shows that individuals who feel that they do not have a choice are actually more resilient — mainly because they can accuse life or others if they make a wrong decision. However, if you have a range of choices, you don’t have any one to blame but yourself. “We become much more weird because we want to make the correct decision every time,” he says.
Writer Claire Eastham, 26, 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.”
In our modern age, decision making may cause a form of paralysis. Frequently, we’ll obsessively research the many diverse possibilities for, say, a pair of shoes. Eventually, information overload will kick in and close the whole shopping venture down, leaving us tired and guilty to be crippled by such a seemingly simple task.
Technology leads to the growth of anxiety. A good number of millennials feel vulnerable without their mobiles— and are rarely without them. Mobile gadgets are their window into the planet and nurture a feeling of connectedness. But there is a dark side to feeling the necessity to stay along with what everybody else is doing on social media — otherwise known as Fomo, or even the Fear of Missing Out.
Social networking makes it possible for us to compare everything — relationships, diet, figure, beauty, wealth, standard of living — not only with our friends, but with celebrities too. And, as research indicates, time on social networking “could lead to depression in people who compare themselves with others.”
Apart from revamping our lifestyles and limiting orientation to social media — and learning to make use of a sometimes overwhelming abundance of preference — neuroscientists have discovered that listening to a specially designed song can have a deep and profound influence over our levels of stress and anxiety.
The Creation of the Ultimate Anti-Stress Music
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to learn what sort of music causes the best condition of comfort. The analysis involved having participants try to solve difficult puzzles — that inherently triggered a specific level of stress — while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.
What they found is this just one song — “Weightless” — caused a dramatic 65 percentage decrease in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 per cent decrease within their customary physiological resting rates.
Interestingly, the song had been specifically designed to induce this highly relaxed state. Created by Marconi Union, the musicians teamed up with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which subsequently slow a person’s heartbeat and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.
Actually, the music is indeed effective, that many of the female participants became drowsy — to the point where lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving.
But do not simply take their word to it. Experience it for yourself here:
– This article was written by Carolanne Wright (link) and published on Wake Up World. It was syndicated on The Mind Unleashed.