People with anxiety handle how they struggle with the disorder in different ways.
Some ignore it, others use medication, and others seek talk therapy.
I’ve tried all three of them and found a combination of the other two to be the most helpful.
That being said, if you are someone with an anxiety disorder, you won’t just magically one day be cured.
I manage my anxiety well, but I still have panic attacks and I still have anxious days. It just comes with the territory.
Therefore, when I read that researchers have literally created a song that will reduce anxiety by 67% in anyone who listens to it, I pretty much ran for my headphones.
Researchers at MindLab in the UK teamed up with the Marconi Union to try and create a song designed to relieve and reduce stress.
The musicians teamed up with sound therapists to create music that could lower the heart rate, blood pressure and actual cortisol levels (the hormone that causes stress) in the people who listen to it.
The end result is an 8-minute track called Weightless which the neuroscientists behind the program say is so effective that you SHOULD NOT listen to it while driving.
As someone with generalized anxiety disorder, I know how easy it is to feel isolated, desperate and scared.
If a song like this can take away some of that pain, why not give it a try?
One thing I’ve discovered as I’ve started writing more about anxiety and talking about it more on social media is that anxiety is more common than you’d think, especially among Gen Yers.
Why is this anxiety so common among me and my peers?
The answer is actually a bit surprising.
Researcher and author Rachel Dove reported that more than half of all female college students report feeling anxious, and when she researched why, she found:
“The rise of technology, overprotective parenting, and ‘exam factory’ schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational anxiety. Another, brought up on several occasions by my peers and by psychologists I spoke with, is the luxury (so ungrateful as it sounds) by choosing too much.”
It might sound silly, but it makes sense.
Life can be a lot easier when you have no choices to make.
Being presented with a multitude of options can be profoundly overwhelming.
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Combine that with the pressure of “success,” whatever that means, and the fear of missing out on something fun, perpetuated by social media, and you have a perfect firestorm of anxiety.
You need to find the treatment that works best for you.
It doesn’t matter if the treatment is a song, a pill, a long walk or talking to your therapist for an hour or two each week.
Do what you have to do to feel as awesome as possible because you ARE awesome and just because your brain breaks a little sometimes doesn’t make you any less valuable as a person or any less cool to know.
Rebecca Jane Stokes is an editor, freelance writer, former Senior Staff Writer for YourTango and former Senior Editor for Pop Culture at Newsweek. Her bylines have appeared in Fatherly, Gizmodo, Yahoo Life, Jezebel, Apartment Therapy, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows and many others.