When the word “millennials” comes up, most of us think of negative stereotypes and personality traits.
“Millennials are hypersensitive”. “Millennials act entitled”. “Millennials can be egocentric”.
You know what else millennials tend to be? Deeply unhappy and anxious. Here is why.
The Great Depression may be over but the financial crisis is far from resolved. Money (or the lack of it) is still a huge problem for millennials, especially since the economy has gotten a lot worse over the past couple of years. According to one research study, economic wellbeing has been stagnant in the last two decades. With the lack of employment opportunities and insufficient wages, money continues to be a major problem for millennials, who find it hard to “save up for their future” like the generation before theirs used to.
Research has also shown that one-third of millennials are in fact worse off than they expected to be a decade ago, in terms of finances. With crippling debts, student loans, and an increased cost of living, most young individuals today find it hard to find and sustain jobs that help them achieve the quality of life they had hoped for.
The Fear of Uncertainty & Decision Making
Having too many choices comes with a price of its own. In their quest to achieve a certain quality of life and build a better future, millennials find themselves facing never-ending choices. Be it the program they enroll in college, the career path they follow, the house they buy, and even the food they eat, there’s always the burden of making the “right” decision today that would help pave the way for a bright future. With unlimited choices, there’s also unlimited uncertainty. Millennials fear making the wrong decision and “destroying their future”, and this burden of decision making only adds to the stress and anxiety they experience.
Pressure to Settle Down
A few decades ago, it was expected that by the time one turns twenty-five, they’ll have a stable job that pays well, would have a considerable amount of savings, and would be on their way to start a family. However, this hardly seems to be the case today. At 25, most millennials are juggling between their first job and grad school, spending most of their income on rent, and barely having the time to establish meaningful relationships outside of family and work.
Sure, a lot of this has to do with newfound personal autonomy, but this isn’t the only reason for millennials to live the life they do. In fact, many millennials choose to delay getting married simply because they can’t afford to. While they continue to delay major life decisions such as getting married or buying a new house, this hasn’t erased the pressure of “settling down” and becoming established. Even though it’s become more acceptable to delay these life altering moments and focus on becoming financially stable and professionally established first, the pressure to achieve certain things or goals by a certain age is still there. This further aggravates anxiety and stress among millennials, contributing to their unhappiness.
With the increased number of individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, and stress today, mental health counseling is all the more relevant. At E Care Behavioral Health Institute, we offer webinar CEUs and training for professional counselors. Our live webinars and recorded webinars help mental health experts stay updated with the latest therapy techniques and methods, and be more cognizant of their clients’ needs. Browse through our collection of webinars and courses to get started on CEU’s for Peer supports specialists!