The decade gone by has been a helluva ride! Be it on the social or mental front, the ride has been quite challenging for many. However, it has got its own share of things to cherish as well.
When it comes to mental health, a lot has been said and addressed by people across the world. While there is a long way to go before we’re a stigma-free, mental health-positive society–we still have come a long way in the past 10 years!
With 2019 coming to a close, let’s take some time to glance at the last decade and see how it impacted the mental health of millennials.
1. Acceptance of mental illness
For the longest time, mental health was considered routinely different in comparison to physical health. This disparity and unequal treatment of mental and physical illness led to increased awareness about mental health.
Further, people started to accept and understand the subtlety of mental health issues and addressed them in an empathetic manner. As a result, millennials are now more open to therapy than ever before. Isn’t this a positive sign for the future?
2. Mentally healthier workplaces
Long working hours and tight deadlines can contribute to your mental illness to a great extent. To help employees thrive at work, many employers have started to recognise the importance of having a sound mental health. Conducting workshops and in-service trainings on self care, and stress management has been a positive step towards creating mentally healthier workplaces.
A lot of organisations have even started offering free gym memberships and incentives to employees who participate in wellness programs.
3. Surge in TV shows addressing mental health
In today’s time, most of us are glued to our TV sets, binge-watching web series. Of late, there’s a surge in shows depicting mental health disorders like OCD, anxiety, and depression. Mental health is now being understood and addressed in a better way. A lot of TV shows now portray honest depictions that not only help in taking away the stigma, but also educate the viewers on what it’s really like to have a mental illness.
For instance, ‘This Is Us’ is an NBC favourite that is famous for keeping things real. It portrays grown men dealing with emotions and mental health.
Other than this, ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ is a comedy-drama series that attempts at avoiding the clichés surrounding mental health.
4. Rise in number of online therapy apps
With increased awareness about the importance of having better mental health, leading therapy providers have come forward to provide people with improvised therapy apps. Let’s understand it in a simpler way: what do you do if you cannot afford therapy but are struggling to handle mental illness alone? You could bring to your rescue these therapy apps. Reasonably priced, and most often free, these mental health apps make therapeutic techniques more accessible.
For instance, ‘Headspace’ app will make meditation easy for you. If meditation isn’t your thing, ‘Self-Help for Anxiety Management’ (SAM) app might be the perfect pick for you. It allows you to track anxious thoughts and provides with self-help techniques.
While the majority of these apps do not have enough research to support their claims, various experts in the health mental health domain predict that they might play an important role in the future of mental health care.
5. Transcendental meditation: A gateway to better mental health
As our lives become increasingly busy, work-related stress, depression or anxiety are some of the common mental health issues that we all might be at risk of. To deal with all of this, meditation plays a crucial role. Meditation have been used to channel mindfulness. You must be thinking that the trend of ‘meditation’ has been there for a long time now– but thanks to pop-culture, media and Instagram influencers that it has become more popular, relevant and impactful in today’s time.
Of late, transcendental meditation has gained popularity among the millennials for all the right reasons! Multi-tasking is inevitable in today’s fast-paced working culture where most of the people are either burned out, lonely or depressed. Here is where transcendental meditation comes to help. It is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness.
6. Digital detox
There is no denying the fact that most of us are reliant on social media in some way or the other. This dependency on social media can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. If you often find yourself checking your phone multiple times a day or end up browsing through various mobile apps all day long, here’s an alarm call for you!
In the past few years, digital detox strategies are being adopted by individuals to cut down on their screen time and instead, focus on improving their real-life and mental well-being.
7. #FkTheFilterChallenge or #BoycottTheFilter
Guilty of taking million selfies till you get the ‘right’ one?! If yes, then this one’s for you. Striving towards being the best or the need for perfectionism is on a rise. Trying to get a ‘perfect’ mind, body and career is not bad. The problem arises when these aspirations reach an unrealistic level.
For instance, acing that ‘perfect’ selfie by applying that ‘perfect’ filter can have a negative impact on mental health to a great extent.
In an attempt to put a halt to the same, a recent #FkTheFilterChallenge or #BoycottTheFilter trend is doing the rounds on the internet. It encourages people to celebrate their true beauty. So, you post a selfie without any filter! This trend is a wake-up call to cherish our real selves and we hope that this trend is here to stay.
With a positive shift in people’s perception towards mental health issues, let’s move on to the next decade and see what it has got in store for all of us!