In July of 2018, I wrote an Instagram post, where I got a little perosnal, and shared details about my experience with anxiety. Releasing my truth to the public, for a guarded soul like myself, was not easy, but I know that vulnerability is strength. Honestly, I felt relieved after sharing that about myself, because it’s my truth. As much as I strive for greatness in life, I struggle, just like everyone else, and I never want my Instagram page, to come off, like I got this shit all figured out, because I do not. I’m trying to figure this thing called life out, just like everyone else. 

Since sharing that piece of me with my Instagram followers, I started to observe several of my IG  followers, express their experiences with anxiety. Suddenly I began to observe other millennials, that I do not follow on social media, express their experiences and struggles with anxiety. Then I began to think about my friends, and their own struggles and experiences with anxiety. As my brain starts to calculate and see the trend. I start to questio to myself,

“why are so many millennials struggling with anxiety?”

So quick questions for you reader..

Why are you anxious?

Have you always been this anxious? 

Did something or someone trigger your anxiety? Or both.

Speaking briefly on my own experience, as a teen, I can’t remember anxiety being a topic of discussion. But I do remember experiencing extreme cases of worry! Growing up, I was always a very worrisome adolescent. I was constantly worrying about things, but the feelings I experienced then certainly have heighten now, and they have found a name in my 20’s. Now I know what anxiety feels like, and I can admit, it’s not fun. It sucks actually, and what’s crazy is sometimes, there are times when you know why your anxious, and sometimes there aren’t! You can be fricken anxious, and have no idea what exactly is causing it!

While I can’t speak to why every millennial might be anxious, because we all have our own journeys and stories …I will share other than my genetics, other causes for my anxiety. And why I also believe, other millennials might be anxious too. 

Trauma

Trauma for many people is a huge cause of their anxiety. When something happens in your life, it can trigger you to the point where it is hard for you to function, without feeling the effects of the experience. For example, some of us you all may have grown up in households where talking about what your going through, wasn’t a common pastime. So you may grow up to keep a lot of your troubles or worries to yourself. 

My question for you is: What are ways you can relieve your anxiety, that is produced from Trauma?

Social Media

Ohhhh social media. One of the biggest blessings and curses, that mankind has ever been acquainted with. It’s also a place that can cause a lot of anxiety, and for some depression. While social media gives people endless opportunities to connect, or to create, it can also be a very nasty place, full of free speech trolls and negativity. Also, sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake, or what’s genuine on social media. If you get 200 likes, does that mean you have less influence than the person that gets 1,000? Does that mean you have less importance than the people that gets 100,000? People always say it’s bad to compare, including myself, but in reality, social media, is a comparison pie.

My question for you is: What are healthy habits or boundaries that you can create, regarding your social media usage, that can help you alleviate your anxiety? 

Trump Era

Whether you are a political professional, an American who follows up with politics, or an American who doesn’t, …I mean shit. Even if your not America, there is no way you can escape the toxicity called the Trump Era. And now that we have social media, this is very common outlet, for all the outlandish Trump updates to be publicized. Even if you try to escape it, by being in your “own world”, you will always be awakened with the rude reality of this situation. Hearing about children being taken away from their families, and being placed into cages, what? I mean anyone that has any ounce of empathy in their heart, knows that  is pure cruelty! But this is our country, and this is who is representing us? This is our leadership? This is who millennials have to look up to ….as the “leader” of our country? I put quotations around the word leader, because he’s not, so millennials have every right to be in fear, of what is ahead of them, their lives, and this country, as we continue to walk down our paths! It’s been a drastic change, from when Obama was last out president. So..

My question for you is: What are personal ways that you can alleviate your anxiety, and focus on positively supporting your mental health, during this Trump Era?

Professional Life

Finding the right job can be a difficult task. But what’s really difficult for many millennials isn’t only finding the right job, but being patient with our journeys. As Millennials, we are living in a world, where we can get many things instantaneously. For example, If we want something on amazon, we can get it shipped to us by the next day, but it’s not the same for our careers. Also, in the world of social media, we literally witness people become overnight sensations. But life isn’t fair, and that doesn’t happen for everyone. I know a lot of millennials, more than ever are driven to chase their dreams, and fulfill their visions. Part of that drive, stems from witnessing how miserable members of the generations before us have been with their lives, and we fear that. We fear not doing it all, doing it big, and doing it our own way. In addition, many millennials may experience difficulties at their jobs, which can cause anxiety.

My question for you is: Are you confused and anxious about what you want to do with your life? What about your professional life is making you anxious? Is it the job? Your path? Your purpose? 

Whatever it is: How can you turn the negative into a positive? Can you leave the job? Can you practice gratitude for having the job? Can you create a list of things you love and that excite you, to find your passions/purpose? Can you create a side hustle?

Race Talk

Talking about race, seems to make a lot of people uncomfortable, but at least some people can choose to be uncomfortable by it, while others have no choice but to be effected by it. For many Americans in the Black Diaspora, on top of the stresses that life already brings, we are faced daily with the systematic trails of oppression. Whether it’s in our professional lives, our personal lives, or even on social media. No one should have to scroll down their Instagram page, to see another Black man or woman getting killed police, or harassed by citizens! But in America this sick behavior is normalized. This is the same country that cares more about Nike signing a deal with Kaepernick, than they care for school shootings. And listen, Im sure other races experience anxiety due to societal actions, but as a Black Woman, I can only speak on my Experience. But ..

My question for you is: Without relying solely on your mental strength, what are other ways that you can relieve your anxiety from race talk or oppression? Can you practice self-care more? Can you create an impact? Can you connect with others and become apart of an organization, or movement? Can you use your influence, gifts, talents, or voice for the greater good?

Sexual Assault/Physical Abuse

With the uprise of the Me-Too movement in 2017, sexual and physical abuse have been commonly discussed, more than ever. But that’s the issue, everyone feels like they have the right to speak on it now. Especially people who may have never experienced any of these unfortunate events. No one, other than the victims, will ever understand the amount of trauma, anxiety and depression produced from these powerless moments. Sexual and physical  abuse are very common amongst millennials, and part of me thinks it’s due to our toxic relationship structure. It can take a lot of time to heal from this type of trauma, but in the midst of healing..

My question for you is: What are ways that you can alleviate your anxiety, produced from sexual or physical assault? Do you think engaging in a physical activity will help? Or Talking to a therapist? 

Relation-Shit Issues

A shitty relationship or situationship, whatever the heck it was ..if it was bad, toxic, long, and draining. It can definitely have an effect on your mental health, and cause you to have anxiety. I mean so far, out of all my personal growth post, my situationship post has been the most popular one up to date, and honestly that speaks VOLUMES to the state of millennial dating. But honestly, a bad relationship, or a relationship ending in general, can have a great impact on your mental, spiritual, and emotional being. Whether it’s cheating, emotional abuse, gaslighting, lack of compromise, or getting your hopes up, you can become extremely anxious after a bad connection with someone. But, this is the Era, where everyone wants to act like their heartless, or that they don’t have emotions. But in reality everyone got shit that they are battling. Everyone wants love, or someone to love them for them, even if they fear it.  Everyone has been hurt before, even if they don’t want to admit it. 

But my question for the ones that are willingly to admit it: What happened in that relationship, that caused you to have anxiety? 

Now that you know the core of your anxiety, what are ways that you can relieve it? 

Weed

I know there were a lot of people, that probably made it down here like, weed? Huh? Yeah weed y’all. With weed becoming legalized in many states, including the one I reside in, it’s not hard to find weed at all. I think in a few years, weed has the potential to be the next cigarette. (At least I’m hoping, because I hate the smell of cigarettes, sorry for my cig smokers!).

While several strains of weed can alleviate anxiety, and support people with it, some strains can increase your anxiety levels. Also, if you are someone that is very anxious, and uses weed sometimes to cope with anxiety or stress, in some cases, you may become even more anxious, than before you smoked!

Like J cole said in his song, Friends

“But you know just how it go down in our community. Keep that shit inside, it don’t matter how hard it be. Fast forward, them kids is grown, and they blowing trees. And poppin pills due to chronic anxiety”

Many millennials are engaging in Harder drugs use, due to anxiety and depression, and honestly it’s sad man. It really is. 

But my question for you is: Why do you smoke weed? Do you enjoy the activity or are you using it to cope with your anxiety? If using it to cope, what are other ways that you can cope with your anxiety?

Readers, I thank you all for joining me again. I hope this post was helpful, and that you all are able to self-reflect, and think about your own lives, and your own cases with anxiety. I encourage you all to share this post to your platform and your followers. Lastly, I encourage you all to share your thoughts, views, experiences of opinions below!

Thanks for reading!

Xoxo

Key Michel

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2 comments

Reply

I wanted to comment about the Trump era piece of this post-because that is SO REAL. I have found myself, however unhealthy it may be, shutting down completely from being informed. Of course friends and family will update me with some of the outrageous and heinous things Trump is up to, but whenever I see an article on my news app or Instagram or facebook…etc, having to do with Trump? I just exit the page. I simply cannot deal. To your question, this is how I have been dealing. That, and comic relief. Just being able to laugh about the insanity of it all…however unfunny it may be. At the beginning of the Trump era I was obsessed with keeping up, but now? I find it just raising my anxiety-so I eliminated it.

Reply

Addison, this is real shit. I could not agree with you anymore. Trump represents toxicity, simply seeing his name ooozes negative vibes. Especially since he is on social media like many of us, something about that, makes the situation even worse. It’s almost as if we signed up to be apart of a 4 year circus. Everything you hear is negativity, and honestly a lot of the shit he does is on purpose. He gets a rise out of being an agitator, and being the most hated, because that’s his version of “a rebel with a cause”. And when people act this way, they know they can control the way many people think, and when you control the mind, you control the body.

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