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Millennials and Gen Z Believe Life Is More Stressful for Them Than for Previous Generations

Debt, the competitive job market, and expensive healthcare are some of their top sources of stress.

by Edoardo Liotta
20 August 2019, 8:48am

Photo by Rhett Noonan on Unsplash.

Young people are way too stressed. So stressed that apparently, a majority of millennials and Gen Z surveyed think that they have it harder than those older than them.

At least that’s what a recent study by acupuncture supplier Lhasa OMS revealed when it found that 78 percent of respondents believe life is more stressful today than in the past.

They interviewed 2,010 people in the United States aged 18 to 37 years old to better understand their stress levels, how it impacts their lives, and ways they cope. The results show that most millennials and Gen Z experience stress from factors like jobs, health, politics, and technology.

The top reason they are more stressed is debt, with 78 percent of respondents citing it. A majority of participants also blamed a more competitive job market (76 percent), more expensive healthcare (70 percent), and the future of the country (64 percent) as reasons why life is more stressful for them.

These translate into specific life stressors millennials and Gen Z say they’re suffering from. The top source of stress for the generation is finances, which impacts 74 percent of those surveyed. This was followed by work pressure (65 percent), work-life balance (56 percent), and mental health (55 percent), among others.

They say these stressors have major physical, behavioural, and emotional implications. Anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue, insomnia, and social withdrawal are common among millennials and Gen Z, according to the study.

Those surveyed said that they deal with the stress in a number of different ways, with 60 percent saying that they turn to watching movies and TV, giving a new (literal) meaning to Netflix and chill.

Fifty-two percent said listening to music helps them address stress, while 48 percent turn to sleep. Eating favourite foods, masturbation, drinking, cleaning, and sex were also listed as go-to coping activities.

Stress has become an important issue in recent years. In May, the World Health Organisation added burnout to its list of diseases or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Burnout is caused by prolonged stress and could result in long term physical and mental exhaustion, decreased efficiency, and increased mental distance.

In recent years, various studies found that millennials struggle when it comes to mental health. For example, a recent survey by YouGov found that 11 percent of millennials ‘always’ feel lonely.

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