How to Stop Being the Generation That “Literally Can’t Even”: Ways to Deal with Your Millennial Anxiety

How to Determine If You Have Millennial Anxiety—And Fix It
by Megan Denneny
Photos Bloguettes | December 07, 2016
Growing up has never been easy for any generation. Facing the world and putting on our big girl pants can be extremely daunting, no matter our life path. Let’s face it, #adulting is hard. 
Really hard. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), millennials experience the most stress out of any other generation before them and are less able to manage it. 

The phrase “fake it till you make it” comes to mind as we grow into our professional roles, pay our bills, and finally learn what the heck a good credit score is. As much as we’d like to spend eternity in a Neverland where we’d bask in youth and talent forever, there comes a time where we have to get outside of our comfort zones and transition into adulthood.

In a social media driven world we are constantly bombarded with stories of success, passion, and adventure. It is practically impossible to stay grounded. Tiny impeccable images with witty captions have such an impact on our lives that the social world contributes further to the pressure. Everyone knows what we're doing all the time, so we better land our dream job after graduation. If not, how embarassing. All we want to do is take off and spread our wings just like we promised our parents we would, but self-doubt and the anxiety of comparison consistently stand in our way. While we can’t diminish the obvious societal standards, we can adopt mindful practices that will ease our tension and inspire us to lead healthier and happier lives. Here are a few ways to stay grounded.

Realize that you’re not alone (no, seriously)

Ever heard the phrase “safety in numbers”? The second we get out of our own heads and accept that being a lost twenty- or thirty-something is understandable, the sooner we can stop dwelling on the imperfect and appreciate our lives for what they are. There are literally millions of like-minded millennials out there, panicked over work projects or struggling to find their dream jobs. Start a book club with your friends or connect with them through a weekly potluck: the possibilities are endless for facilitating a positive environment to de-stress and work with others. Together you'll overcome irrational feelings of not being exactly where you are “supposed” to be in your life.

Embrace the rough patches

Hard times are inevitable. What with, you know, over six billion people in the world and the constant unpredictability of the universe, you are bound to come across some extremely stressful, heartbreaking, and downright cruel moments.
...you are bound to come across some extremely stressful, heartbreaking, and downright cruel moments.
Our generation is so focused on being the best and having our lives figured out at all times, that one little mistake or obstacle completely throws us for a loop. We are instantaneously failures instead of humans that are going to be fine. It's okay to be wrong every once in awhile, so accept that. Who knows—you may even end up in a happier place in the long run.

Would you treat your friend this way?

Often, we are our own worst critics. What's the best way to stop feeling so pressured? Stop bullying yourself into feeling like you aren’t good enough. My mom has gifted me with a lot of stellar advice throughout the years (thanks mom!), but this strategy is one of my all-time favorites: when your gal pal is struggling with perfectionism or is unhappy with her recent decision, you would never be hard on her. You’d listen and reason with her to come to the rational conclusion that mistakes happen and as long as she gave it her all, she should be proud of her accomplishments. 

Get a reality check

The truth is, you’re probably doing better then you give yourself credit for (hello, you’re already reading CC). Whether you are a recent grad or seasoned professional, it’s important to give ourselves a break every once in a while. Life is all about setting goals and making baby steps to reach them. We can’t have everything we want when we want it. Take a moment out of each day to reflect on your thoughts and feelings and try to embody positivity. Even spending a measly five minutes recognizing what you have accomplished will improve your mood tenfold and help calm you down if you are feeling tightly-wound. As long as you strive to reach new levels both personally and professionally each day, you’re right on track.

Don’t miss out on your journey

The moral of this story is that you don’t need to have it all figured out. Our life path isn’t supposed to be easy and if you spend your time more focused on what you’re doing wrong than right, you'll miss out on the present. Change and growth don't happen without a little discomfort along the way, so get inspired by your struggles and power through to come out stronger on the other side.

The next time you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, take a moment to realize that there are so many other people right there with you. We are the first generation to grow up with the Internet, and while it has led to some pretty exciting inventions, it's is difficult to remember that there is more to us than our careers. While success is important, "success" looks a myriad of different ways—ways that aren't easily captured in Instagram photos. 

Social media stressing you out? How do you cope? Tell us in the comments!