The terrible feeling of panic, worry, fear and dread affects almost everyone. The disorder causes us to shut ourselves away from those we love. It strains us and takes happiness away from our lives. In the United States alone, around 30% of people between the ages of 18 and 54 are affected by anxiety. The feeling is nothing new since it has been found to exist since fourth century BCE; according to the writings by Hippocrates. Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet and social critic, also addressed the disorder in the mid-1800’s. According to the Anxiety Disorder Statistics, many people who are affected do not seek help, are misdiagnosed, or don’t know they have issues with anxiety.
What is anxiety and how did it become so prevalent to the current society?
Anxiety is a normal human emotion, whereas anxiety disorders are different. When we face difficult situations or have to make an important decision, the feeling of anxiousness drowns us. Anxiety disorders cause confusion and affect the person in greater depths. It prevents one from leading a normal life. Today, there is a significant increase in this particular disorder, especially in youth.
There are many ways to overcome this. Most people choose pharmaceutical drugs as means of classic treatment. Other techniques such as cognitive therapy (which is another common approach), meditation, yoga, massage and other relaxation techniques also help to cope with it.
Anxiety is currently an epidemic that’s sweeping through Generation Y.
According to leading experts in psychology, some of the contributors to the development of such a disorder is the rise in in technology, strict parenting and exam-factory schooling. These methods we follow are the culprits that are overwhelming us with the demands of adulthood. According to the Telegraph, these factors can contribute towards the creation of anxiety within us as well as our children.
People who live around these three key factors tend to grow insecure. They start to question every decision they make since they become afraid of judgement from every corner. Although these key factors contribute great lengths towards the creation of anxiety for us, the overwhelming amount of choices we get in life can also be a factor. Psychologists explain that it’s not the choice itself that creates anxiety but the judgemental society is what builds it. When an individual is pressured to always be the best, in a society that judges their every move, their self-esteem becomes lower.
How we can fight it.
Nowadays, anxiety is often treated with medications and counselling. The word “counselling” itself has “selling” in it. Pharmaceutical companies are thriving on people with anxiety.
Around 65% of North Americans take prescription medications daily, while 43% of those have to take mood altering prescriptions along with it. Even though people think that medication is the best way to control angst, studies have shown that relaxation techniques have proven to reduce anxiety.
Music therapy has also been successful in reducing anxiety.
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. were determined to figure out what type of music provides an individual with the utmost state of relaxation.
The researchers at Mindlab International conducted a series of studies that included several participants. Each individual was given a difficult puzzle; which inherently triggered a certain degree of stress. The subjects were all connected to a monitoring system, with the help of sensors, that recorded their anxiety level. While trying to solve the puzzle, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers recorded their vitals. Brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing were all monitored.
The experiment turned out to be a huge success when researchers discovered that one song, “Weightless”, reduced the overall anxiety level in participants by as much as 65%. The song was in fact designed to induce a highly relaxed state. “Weightless” was designed by Marconi Union, who teamed up with sound therapists to create the masterpiece. The musicians, along with the sound therapists, managed to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines to slow down the listener’s heart rate as well as blood pressure. Several candidates also showed signs of lower stress hormones like cortisol.
The music is so effective that some of the female participants became drowsy. Lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson strictly advises listeners to not play the song while driving.
You can enjoy the song below and please don’t forget to share!
Social media allows us to connect with everyone around the world, but at the same time can be the reason behind the development of anxiety. Today, people share everything in social media and compare themselves with others. Simple things such as relationship status, diets, figures, beauty, wealth and the standard of life is seen by anyone and everyone. This makes one compare themselves with others and develop depression. Researchers coined this tendency as ‘social media envy’ and suggest that the only form of solution is to limit exposure to social media sites. Whatever the technique may be, it’s our duty to understand our limits and abilities. Only we are capable of changing our lives for the better or worse.
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