Are you aware that researchers believe that feelings of anxiety are on the rise? As a group, people are going through a challenging time mentally, worrying about the future and what it holds. Before the pandemic, the situation was bad, but it seems to be getting even worse today.
It’s not just one thing driving it, though. Instead, there are many factors that appear to be generating feelings of unease.
Traditionally, feelings of anxiety were designed to keep us out of danger. When we were walking through the forest and heard wolf howls, our anxiety would tell us to turn back to the safety of the village.
But that old-fashioned application of anxiety no longer applies. Our lives are incredibly safe. In fact, anxiety is prevalent for different reasons today. Physical danger is rarely among them. Read on to learn more.
People Are Overworked
Overworking is a major source of anxiety. When you feel like you’re constantly battling deadlines and managerial expectations, it can make you feel exhausted. You wonder how you’re going to make it through.
Despite having plenty of money for food and shelter, most people feel a sense of panic before going to work. It’s not the lack of resources that’s the problem: it’s the fear that they will be taken away. We believe that we always need to perform at a high level to keep our jobs and succeed materially. If our boss fires us for underperforming, we worry that we might not be able to put food on the table.
In that sense, the old anxiety triggers are coming back to bite us. It’s not wolves that are the problem (or other predatory creatures), it’s our own fear of famine. These days, it’s not like we can go to the forest and pick berries to eat anymore. We have to earn money to survive.
Overwork comes into the picture because of how the labor market works. It’s incredibly competitive, so people believe that they have to remain in the office all hours to keep their job. If they don’t, they might not get paid in the future or it could affect their CV.
This sort of thinking is a vicious cycle. The more overworked you become, the more anxious you feel. You’re then not able to work as effectively, pushing you to stay longer and try harder.
Societal Pressure Is Taking Its Toll
In our society today, people can’t be themselves. Instead, they must fit the mold that society sets for them. They have to dress a certain way, live in a specific type of house, or have so many friends.
All these pressures can lead to anxiety. That’s because achieving them is challenging. Society’s standards aren’t achievable by everyone. It’s simply not possible. Some people will always feel left out.
Feeling like you’re not on the same level as the people around you can be anxiety-provoking. You can feel like you should be doing more to get ahead and succeed in life. And that gnawing sensation is enough to make you feel anxious like you’re not doing enough with your life.
There’s No Purpose
In the past, religion and faith gave people a purpose. But since the rise of scientific naturalism, that’s fallen by the wayside. It’s now up to each individual to define their purpose in life. Everything else, we’re taught, is random chemicals bouncing off each other in the void.
A lack of purpose is anxiety-provoking because people can’t choose a direction. They feel stuck, having to somehow create one for themselves. There are individuals who can do it, but they’re few and far between. The majority of people struggle enormously.
We’ve Lost Ancient Skills
In the past, people used herbs and meditations to relieve anxiety and reconnect to the source of being. But in the West, we’ve lost a lot of these traditions. Brands like Simply CBD and Calm are trying to reconnect us to the old way of doing things, but it is by no means mainstream.
The fact that we’ve lost these ancient skills is a real tragedy. Life has become very serious for a lot of people. But these practices remind us that the toils and struggles that we face really don’t amount to much. In fact, there’s not a lot of point considering them at all.
Anxiety is a real issue in the modern world, and multiple factors seem to be driving it. Incessant work combined with a serious approach to life is leading to an epidemic of unnecessary angst. Fortunately, there are now movements and brands fighting back, helping people restore balance.