Anxiety can be one of the most crippling emotions a person ever experiences. It clouds judgment and inspires irrationality, fear and panic. Have you ever had a panic attack? It basically feels like you’re dying.
And while anxiety has been prevalent in mankind for thousands of years, it’s become more prominent in the population than ever before, particularly among our younger generations.
One 2013 survey reported that 57 percent of American female university students experienced bouts of “overwhelming anxiety.” UK-based charity ‘YouthNet’ found that at least one third of young women and one tenth of young men experience panic attacks on a regular basis.
“So, what’s going on? The rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational angst. Another, brought up on multiple occasions by my peers and by psychologists I spoke to, is the luxury (as ungrateful as it sounds) of too much choice,” writes Rachael Dove in her book.
And London-based psychologist Pieter Kruger agrees, explaining that people who are forced into certain directions in life end up being more resilient and less anxious because they don’t have to worry about making the wrong decisions. When decisions are made for you, or you’re forced into doing something, you can place blame wherever you like. But, when you have a slew of options in laid in front of you, the entire onus for success rests on your shoulders.
“We become much more obsessive because we want to make the right decision every time,” says Kruger.
It doesn’t help that the advent of social media has made it incredibly easy to have hundreds, if not thousands, of other lives to compare your own with. Research surrounding this has found that spending too much time on social media can actually “cause depression in people who compare themselves with others.”
Developing anti-stress music
Treating anxiety typically involves pharmaceuticals. Others like to use holistic methods such as yoga, meditation and massage. Music therapy, while available, is not commonly used. But, that may change in the near future, as researchers out of Mindlab International have discovered one song in particular that helped its subjects reduce their anxiety by an impressive 65 percent.
The song, which is called “Weightless,” was created specifically to help induce a highly relaxed state of being. The group who created the song, Marconi Union, collaborated with sound therapists to meticulously craft the perfect combination of harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines that would produce the dramatically calming finished product. Not only does it lower blood pressure and heart rate, but it reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
They claim that the song is so powerful that many people find themselves dozing off into a happy slumber. Thus, they recommend not listening to it while operating any vehicles.
Give it a listen for yourself! And then let us know if it helped you to achieve a high state of relaxation.