Its like a swear word in 2018, I hear time and time again how millennial’s don’t work hard, or that we somehow have less stress than the generation before. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course, but in my eyes we have different stress. We are no better or less than the generations before but I believe we have different types of stresses that are equal to those generation. We may not be worried about war, or medical bills, or even getting food on our tables. What we do have is environmental stress that generations previous didn’t experience. ( I know I know, we created it, but that doesn’t make it less of a problem)
A word that has popped up on this blog a time or two is “Silence” and how much I truly strive for it. Throughout school I learned about stress and the toll it takes on your body. From a nutrition/human development background, it is probably the biggest worry we need to have. How counter intuitive right! We should be worried about being too stressed. Stress has negative impacts on so many things in our lives, from mental function, headaches and health problems, strains on relationships, strains on personal wellness, the list can go on and on. Silence helps to eliminate the smaller stresses that we may not understand or even know we have.
I am a large advocate for listening to your body, this does not only apply to food and exercise but also stress. If you can become in tune with how your body responds to stress you will have a better idea on how to combat it. The way I combat my stress is through silence. I have learned that the biggest stress-factor for me is noise. Noise pollution sounds extremely ridiculous but its something that impacts me so greatly that I need a break almost ever week. The quiet hums of machinery, the murmers of people talking, the clicking of keyboards or the pings of cell phones in the distance all add up. I can tell my body is starting to negatively process these noises when I start feeling overwhelmed. When I am overwhelmed its almost as if I can’t hear anything except these small annoying sounds. That is my cue for some silence.
Something worth trying, in my experience, is to put your headphones in, and take a walk in silence. Don’t play any music but if you have something in your ears it can cancel out the smaller sounds you may hear on your walk. I do this maybe once every month. This little trick has helped me so much when it comes to my job and relationships. When I feel myself getting a little annoyed or anxiety-ridden, I whip out the old headphones and take a quick stroll. It is my kind of meditation. I am not one to sit still, so this acts as a mental break for me without the stillness. I try to focus on things that I am seeing rather than thinking about the stress I am trying to outrun. On my silent walk I will notice the leaves have bloomed, or the shadows on the street or whatever I feel is nice to look at. If I ever feel that overwhelming thought loom and creep into my head, I just find another thing to focus on. After about 10 min I instantly feel better. The best feeling is taking the headphones out and noticing the silence you just had.
This all probably seems a little wonky, or “hippy-trippy” but I don’t feel that people talk about noise pollution enough, and we should. We as millennial are all trying to better ourselves, better our environment, clean up the planet and promote self love. That is amazing. What we aren’t focusing on is the noise that all of these things create. It could be the one thing we are being too quiet about ironically.
My boyfriend is constantly making fun of me for listening to music so quietly or not having any on in my car when I drive, well sometime I just need to hear the wind and that’s it. Its all about how I am feeling that day and what my body and mental health need to feel full and complete.
I challenge you all to try this out when you are feeling stressed and see if it makes a difference. Even if you aren’t affected necessarily by the same stress as I am, find your way around the stress you feel, and don’t ever ignore it, you will be better off facing it head on!