Let go of stress, stop worrying

COMMENTARY BY
KAREN MENELLA

The Millennial Generation is just too stressed out.

According to a 2012 study from the American Psychological Association, “millennials,” or people currently 18 to 33 years old, are more stressed out than people from other generations. On a 10-point scale, in which one is considered “little or no stress” and 10 is considered “a great deal of stress,” 3.6 is considered a healthy stress level. The average stress level for millennials is 5.4.

Some stress is normal. That is life. Much too often, though, millennials concern themselves with stress or worrying about events or people that they cannot control. So the fact that their average stress level is higher than the acceptable stress level does not come as much of surprise.

We worry and anticipate negative events occurring in the future that most likely will not happen. We struggle to let go of people or events from the past, but we dwell on our emotions from those past experiences. We even stress out about being perfect and having life all figured out; but it does not end here.

Maybe it is an ex. Maybe it is a past moment that left you with a scar. Maybe it is your parents or your siblings. Maybe it is the fear of running into someone and having an awkward encounter in the middle of The DeNaples Center. Maybe it is panic about a rejection. Maybe it is the fear of making a mistake. Maybe it is the need to have all the answers. Maybe it is the horrible idea of missing out. Maybe it is all of these things. Maybe it is a lot of other things too.

It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to be nervous or anxious. It is okay to be worried or fearful. These are natural emotions, but do not let them get to a point where they control your life.

Stop. Take a deep breath in. Exhale. We hold on to a lot or focus on things that are beyond our control. Stop worrying about the things that you cannot change. Do not let stress dictate your life. Do not let it drown you.

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it,” author Veronica Roth wrote in “Divergent.”

Roth is right. It is not about completely eliminating stress, fear or anxiety; that is impossible. But if these are feelings that are impacting your life negatively and defining you, let them go.

Become free of them. Life happens, but you know so many amazing people and have so many exciting events to look forward to. Do not forget about all of that because you are worrying about someone who is no longer in your life or are afraid of getting the future wrong. Let go of anything, anyone or any thoughts that are bringing you down.

All the stress is not worth it. Focus your energy into what you actually have control over, and savor that moment when you are finally free from everything that is holding you back.

Contact the writer:
karen.mennella@scranton.edu

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