The Impacts on Millennial’s Mental Health

What is a Millennial?

Millennials are people born between the years 1981 and 1996 during the rise of technology, societal changes and rapidly increasing mental health concerns. 

Millennials are usually known as the narcissistic generation or the ‘me generation’ due to the need for instant gratification, their high standards for others, themselves and life.

Man on his computer
Millennial Mental Health Challenges

According to a 2021 study, millennials were more likely to suffer from feelings of worthlessness, nervousness, restlessness and sadness. These are all common emotional symptoms of depressive and anxious mental health issues.

Research shows depression and anxiety have increased with each generation since 1945. Unhealthy coping behaviours such as drinking and smoking have also increased.

What are Causing these Challenges?

One major reason for this increase in mental health issues is reporting.

This generation is more likely to seek mental health assistance than older generations.

However, a review conducted in 2019 by the SAX institute highlighted environmental stressors that increase the risk of mental health issues. These include:

  • Social support
  • Loneliness
  • Social media
Millennial woman staring out the window.

Millennials are one of the most connected generations with the help of technology and social media. Although, they have reported higher rates of loneliness which increases depression.

Additionally, social media has impacted the risk of social anxiety and addiction. Social media can create and maintain social connections and relationships but can also change intimate relationships which contribute to loneliness and depression.

How can Millennials Increase Well-being and Decrease Mental Health Issues?

There are many ways to reduce the risk of developing a mental illness within the millennial generation.

The 2019 SAX Institute review highlighted two protective factors:

  • Physical Activity – This study showed that 10-15 minutes of exercise daily could increase mood. The best results were shown at 30 minutes of exercise and with outdoor exercise. Further, there were no differences between increased mood and the type of exercise which could range from high intensity to yoga.
Millennial women taking a selfie
  • Strong real-world social relationships – High-quality relationships increase well-being through being empowering, trusting, respectful and encouraging. They also provide strong communication, a deep understanding of the other person and are not limited to online chats.

Incorporating these factors into the millennial lifestyle can significantly reduce mental health concerns.

How Millennials have Encouraged Better Mental Health

The significant improvement in mental health issues lies in the shift in awareness surrounding mental health. This generation is more likely to seek out help and recognise when a friend or family member may need help.

The millennial generation was one of the first to promote and prioritise well-being. They provide a strong example of reducing stigmatisation for future generations.

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