These days it seems that there are many more people that suffer from anxiety and depression. The question is, do more people have anxiety now than before or is it that people are more vocal about mental health these days?
There are actual studies by gathering actual data about mental illness and they concluded that it is more prevalent in this generation. But without the study, I think we all could have concluded on our own that there are more people with anxiety now than before. Even those who don't have anxiety, they know someone who does. And even if you don't have anxiety, there is the question that why is stress more prevalent today than the generation of our grandparents.
Yes, our grandparents had a tougher life and it was harder in every way, but they still lived a calmer life than us. We on the other hand, who have every creature of comfort cannot seem to find peace or calm. It's always a constant rush, a total rat race.
Think about this for a second, when your grandparents had to shop for various things or for grocery they needed to go to each specific store for each item. We are able to buy whatever we need within minutes online and get it the next day yet we seem to run out of time every day and they didn't.
Everything we can do today is done by light speed compared to previous generations.
Why are anxiety and depression so common now? What changed?
Three reasons why.
1. We used to have a more wholesome connection to family and friends. We spent actual time with our loved ones in the past, we sat down and had real conversations without distractions. Basically, we used to connect and now we don't. Oh but we are so connected today thanks to social media, so what is the difference?
The way we connect in social media is completely superficial, you are not bonding with someone on social media in any real way.
You ever ask yourself why does humankind always live in such close proximity to each other? Why do so many people choose to live in NY or LA when they can live in Montana on a huge property? The reason is we crave social proximity and humans have a primal need to be close to other humans.
The way we interact with each other today is more of an isolated format than a true social format. This leaves us feeling alone and vulnerable and this feeling is the grassroots of depression and anxiety.
2. We are heavily focused on our achievements and goals instead of our health and happiness. We are bombarded by the media that the only way to achieve happiness is by fulfilling all our psychical desires. We all need to be rich, we all need to be high performers and high achievers, we need to amass a large number of material things in ordered to make it. We need to be the prettiest, we need to be perfect in order to fit in.
This is an insane amount of pressure that we subjugate ourselves every day in order to achieve the new version of happiness. We learn that we must sacrifice important matters in order to get to the new mainstream goals.
The problem is, all those sacrifices are usually the sacrifices of the things that would actually make us happy. The biggest sacrifice we make is our time, we feel that time is dispensable and we can get it back later on. T
Unfortunately, time is not coming back and even if you eventually "retire" from your goals and you do end up getting time, you will spend all of that time undoing the damage from all of the time you missed.
3. Society has created a universal mold for all of us and we feel that we are bound to fit in that perfect mold. We have unreal expectations and goals because we are told to have them. If you study the life of some of the richest people and see how they got to their goal, almost all of the time you will find that it is not only hard work that got them there, rather most of the time it is a combination of good timing and luck.
We all feel that if we could replicate the same blueprint as them, then we can achieve the same thing. This is a complete mirage. If intense hard work and sacrifices were the answer, then the simple people who work the hardest should be the richest but we all know that it is not true.
Many people work multiple jobs and go to school at the same time yet they will never achieve the rich and fame of Mark Zuckerberg.
Goals are healthy and they motivate us as long as they are realistic. A healthy goal should be attainable and not a fantasy, it should be something that we strive for but not at the expense of our health.
In closing, I feel we need to focus more on having a real relationship with people, especially those who are close to us. We need to take a breather once in a while and focus on our physical health and mental health. We need to focus more on having an inner peace than running the rat race.
I hope that everyone finds their inner peace and achieve the goal they were meant to achieve in this lifetime.