Anxiety is something that has a huge influence on today’s society. The feeling of dread, fear, worry and panic is nothing new but has a significant uptick today, especially with the youth.
A classic treatment for anxiety are pharmaceutical drugs but cognitive therapy is a common approach as well. However it can be treated in different ways, and music has proven to be one of them.
Neuroscientists from the United Kingdom think that they found a song that could result in an astonishing 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety.
ANXIETY & GENERATION Y
According to a survey made back in 2013 more than 50 percent of American female students reported episodes of overwhelming anxiety. Also, in the U.K one third of all young women and one in ten young men, suffer from panic attacks.
“Generation Y, or the youth born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, is the age of depression. Growing up has always been difficult, but this sense of desperation? That’s new”, says Marjorie Wallace, CEO of the charity Sane.
Rachael Dove on Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y
“The reasons behind our generation angst are the rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schools. Also, even though it sounds ungrateful, one of the reasons might even be the “luxury” of having too much choice”, says Dove.
According to a psychologist from London, Pieter Kruger, people who feel they don’t have a choice are more resilient, they put the blame on others or simply life, however if you have a variety of choices then you have no one to blame but yourself.
Another contribution to anxiety is the advanced technology we have nowadays. Millennials without their gadgets feel exposed and these things tend to be their ‘window to the world’. But there’s a dark side to this feeling, known as Fomo (Fear of Missing Out).
“This Fear of missing out is real and can be a constant addiction that affects anxiety levels and a general sense of well-being,” says Kruger.
He further explains that social media allows us to constantly compare everything, from relationships and looks to wealth and standard of living. This can actually cause depression in people who compare themselves to others.
THE CREATION OF THE ULTIMATE ANTI-STRESS MUSIC
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. found out that listening to a specifically designed song can have a profound influence over the levels of anxiety.
Their study was conducted on participants who were given difficult puzzles to solve. This immediately triggered a certain degree of stress in them. While doing this puzzles they listened to a range of songs, and the researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate and blood pressure throughout this experience.
They found out that one song in particular resulted in 35 percent reduction in participants’ usual anxiety and an astonishing 65 percent reduction in their overall anxiety.
“Weightless” was specifically designed by Marconi Union to reduce stress levels.The song has carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which slow down the listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones.
This song is so effective, that many of the female participants became sleepy while listening to it. The lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson strongly advises against listening to it while driving.
If you don’t believe this, experience it for yourself here: