Anxiety is nothing new. Many of us have experienced it… the feeling of worry, sadness, nerves or sweating. Maybe before a big test, an important meeting, a performance or presentation.
Approximately 40 million American adults — roughly 18% of the population — experience an anxiety disorder in any given year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
So, what’s going on? What is causing anxiety for so many of us? Technology and having too many choices are possibilities that we can all relate to.
Pieter Kruger, a London-based psychologist, says research shows, when someone doesn’t have a choice, they tend to be more resilient. This is mainly because they can blame life or others if they make a wrong decision. However, if you have a range of choices, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Have you ever researched an item ... such as a purse, wallet or pair of shoes, and ended up with too many options? So many options, that eventually leave you with a headache, 5 items in your shopping cart, and no purchases. What started as a simple task became exhausting.
Technology - It’s all age ranges that constantly have a smartphone or device in hand. We are rarely without them. We need to keep up with what everyone else is doing. We use social media to compare EVERYTHING: our homes, jobs, families, vacations, dieting, relationships. It’s how we feel connected to the world. We definitely have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Kruger says: FOMO is very real and can be a constant addiction that affects anxiety levels and a general sense of wellbeing.
So how do we alleviate or reduce anxiety? Throw away our smart devices, go back to using a rotary phones (yes, my grandmother had one of those)? Crawl under a rock and avoid society?
If you feel you have severe anxiety, as in a disorder, please speak to your medical professional. Prescription medication may be the best answer.
For those of us with what is considered episodes or bouts of normal anxiety levels, there are several ways to alleviate it:
Neuroscientists in the U.K. have found listening to a specially designed song can have a profound influence over our levels of anxiety. It can result in a 65% reduction in overall anxiety!
THE CREATION OF THE ULTIMATE ANTI-STRESS MUSIC
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to know what kind of music induces the greatest state of relaxation. The study involved having participants try to solve difficult puzzles — which inherently triggered a certain degree of stress — while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.
What they found is that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Interestingly, the song was specifically designed to induce this highly relaxed state. Created by Marconi Union, the musicians teamed up with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which in turn slow a listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.
In fact, the music is so effective, that many of the female participants became drowsy — to the point where lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving.
But don’t take their word for it. Experience it for yourself here:
MARCONI UNION — ‘WEIGHTLESS’ (OFFICIAL VIDEO)