There many of myths about Millenials, but two of the biggest ones are that all they only care about the life part in the work/life balance equation and that they aren’t interested in working at all really. Sounds like these guys wouldn’t be too stressed then right? Millenials all go to the beach wearing their really cool sunglasses laughing at people who take their careers seriously, right? Well, according to a new study that could not be more wrong. Millenials are more stressed out than any other generation.
The American Psychological Association released the results for a study they conducted on stress levels for each generation, determining that Millennials – Americans aged 18-29 – are far more stressed out than their elders. According to the study, the average stress level for a Millennial was a 5.4 on a 10-point scale, where one means “little or no stress” and 10 means “a great deal of stress.”
And it doesn’t stop there. The study also found that Millennials are more likely to suffer from anxiety and/or depression than older generations are. Nearly one in five Millennials has been clinically diagnosed with depression and 12 percent of young Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety-related disorder.
But why would the free-lovin’, no work ethic Millenials be stressed from work? Well maybe because they aren’t as relaxed and laid back as we all think (clearly). Think of the economic conditions most of these people are supposed to be establishing their careers in or even just starting. According to Red Alert Politics, unemployment among those aged 18-29 years old rose by more than 1.5 percent in January to 13.1 percent. That is not a great way to enter the real world.
Plus, young 20-something women are known to be the most stressed out of the millenial group. So why are young women even more stressed? Studies say it is the usual reasons that contribute: women wear multiple hats, women are “natural” caretakers, socialized to take care of others. They frequently spend most of their physical and emotional energy on family, work, and their household, while neglecting themselves. In the process they ignore their own needs and can become physically and emotionally drained. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
But the main reason may young women may be the most stressed is their immense need to excel at work. Psychologist Dr. Irena Milentijevic said even when there is no external demand or expectation to be perfect and accomplished in all areas of their lives, women can be self-critical and blame themselves. Young women can’t handle not being perfect (yours truly included) and they process it in unhealthy ways.
But Millenials should not give up. They may be the most stressed out generation but they also have the potential to be very prosperous. They are known for not being loyal to companies and for lacking a work ethic. Well, that translates to major entrepreneurial spirit. A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation shows that 54 percent of millennials either want to start their own company or already have. In 2011, millennials launched nearly 160,000 startups a month, according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Millenials are redefining what a career is. You can chase your passion and channel it into profit. David Burstein, a 24-year-old filmmaker and founder of Generation18, a campaign to engage young voters, wrote the new book Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World. He told The Fiscal Times, “You can chase your passion and channel it into profit. There are alternative career paths that don’t involve passing through the doors of human resources to achieve happiness.”
Millenials have the potential to be game changers. They just need to work on their stress a bit.
Do you feel like you and your peers are the most stressed out? Why do you think that is? Do you think people make assumptions about your generation that are unfair? Tell us in the comments.