First I would like to say thank you to my avid readers. You all have been loyally returning through my short absence. I’ve been actively pursuing an internship site and have been busy getting through all of the formalities with that. I would also like to say thanks for all of the feedback about the last post. I know it was slightly controversial and some people were upset. My hope here is to encourage open discussion. I openly welcome all opinions.
So apparently my peeps over at the American Psychological Association have conducted a study in which the results strongly suggest that Millennials have become the nation’s most stressed out generation. Ouch! I definitely know the feeling. I have been stressed for so long that even when everything is going smoothly I start stressing about what I should stress about next! So, what are we stressed about?
Many news outlets and blogs have taken to the web to discuss these findings. Work and economic issues tend to be the most widely discussed topic on this issue. I think it is also important to consider a third variable in this particular study. Yes, Millennials did rank their stress as higher than Boomers, Xers, and the Silent Generation, but couldn’t that just simply be attributed to the life stage we are currently in. We are just at that point in our lives where we are trying to get it together, right?
Of course, we can’t discuss this issue without also discussing the fact that our economy has been poor since about 2008 and the job market has been disappointing. We were told all of our lives that if we went to college and worked hard it would pay off. Then we leave college with a lot of debt and a job that doesn’t pay any better than it does for someone just leaving high school.
But, let me introduce a theory slightly more controversial. Maybe we are more stressed because we as a generation tend to manage stress poorly. We are often accused of being narcissistic and pampered. That is what much of my blog has been built on; this concept of Millennials being the spoiled generation. According to research, narcissists tend to have higher levels of stress hormones than the average person. If we truly are a narcissistic generation, would this not be a plausible explanation?
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not throwing a blanket statement onto all of my peers. I’m also not saying that stress in simple. It is not. It is multifaceted and caused by multiple factors. However, studies suggest that narcissism is unusually high in our generation. Studies also suggest that stress is high within our generation. Studies further suggest that stress is more prevalent in narcissists. And if by deductive reasoning we were to conclude something, would it not be that we are more stressed because we are “narcissistic?” And if that is the case, why do narcissists experience more stress?
What if we experience stress at a greater level because we are not equipped to handle stress? We take criticism personal. This can increase stress. We direct much focus internally, thinking mostly about ourselves. This can increase stress. We have an exaggerated view of our talents so we think we should always be achieving more than we are. This can increase stress. We always want praise and recognition. This can increase stress. In a nutshell, we are in a constant state of believing that we should do more, have more and be more because we deserve it. Sadly, life does not work that way. Thus, the birth of stress.
What are your thoughts?