My alarm goes off, blaring probably one of the most recognised noises of today (the default iPhone ringer) and the equally most annoying.
I reach to grab my phone, with one eye open, and can already see multiple emails from Amazon, iTunes, LinkedIn and Fortnum & Mason reminding me with great urgency what books I must buy, what songs I must download, new people to connect with and that holiday four months away for which I must, must buy hampers for my friends and family. Delete, delete, delete, delete.
I get out of bed, pour myself a cup of coffee and start to get ready for my day. I turn on the radio. The number of Syrian casualties is growing exponentially. We are still trillions of dollars in debt. The Arctic ice is melting at a record-breaking speed. And my Tube line is down this morning due to planned engineering. The world is already in apocalyptic state and I haven't even had my second cup of coffee.
Later, I run out door, late as usual, panicking as I try and figure out an alternative route to commute in. I reach the tube station, along with hundreds of others, filing in through the barriers.
Classical music is humming in the background among silent chatter and loud beeping. Walking down the escalator I count 27 television ads, flashing at a rapid pace announcing which show to see next, which protein smoothie to drink, which restaurant I should eat at. My heart is racing, in part due to my excessive caffeine intake, and having to process so much information, images and sounds in such a short amount of time. My day has just begun.
My daily routine is not unique- so many of us share a similar morning experience. This has become the norm of our generation. This rapid-paced, information overload era has created a stress and anxiety culture. Early morning, afternoon and late into the evenings, connected to our computers, phones and the world around us, new-borns to seniors are victim to the stress that pervades us all.
It has been reported that 26% of children ages 8-12 report an increase in stress each year. 45% of teenagers ages 13-17 also report an increase in stress each year. 61% of working adults say their work has had a significant impact on stress levels, and 54% of working adults are concerned that this stress has or will cause health problems. #stress is trending right now on twitter at 93 tweets per minute. It's impending, it's increasing and it can't be stopped!
Stress is arguably one of the most powerful human emotions. Triggered by work, home, friends, family, events that have happened, events that are happening, events that may happen, stress is present in all facets of our lives. The manifestations of stress cause our brains to shut down and our bodies to react in extreme ways.
I've personally witnessed friends and family suffer from twitching, body aches and pain, numbness, vomiting, and panic attacks. Additionally, many of the ways people deal with stress end up causing more stress, such as drinking too much caffeine, smoking, drinking and taking drugs. All this stress is stressing me out! It seems like an un-ending cycle.
In the latest article in Generation C Magazine, a student shares her stressful experience living abroad and studying at one of the most competitive universities in the world. Again, her stressful experience is not unique and is surely shared by many other students these days. However the article gives a brief insight into the small things in life that can relieve us all from 'The Stress Generation'. As time goes on, the stress will continue to persist. Our generation will have to learn new and healthy ways to deal with this. Perhaps it will be the small and subtle instances of happiness and peace in our lives that will save us.
Generation C Magazine is a platform for contributors of all ages and backgrounds to share with us innovative and inspiring ideas to address and solve the common problems of our generation. Stress is among many issues we face today. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on stress or any other topic you think is integral to our generation, please visit our website and contribute your ideas! http://www.generation-c.org
Follow Katharine Tengtio on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kattengtio