The fast-paced and changing lifestyle we live in today can have a very negative effect on the mental health and emotional balance of millions of people around the world.
Moreover, some of these changes are so frequent that they are even standardized as something to be resigned to, so they are not seen as a real problem to be solved. It is understood that this is the price to pay for living in 21st century Western societies, although this is in reality a fallacious reasoning.
In this article we will see what they are habits and social dynamics typical of today’s lifestyle that expose us to excessive stress and anxiety.
What are the main elements of psychological pressure in an accelerated lifestyle?
In Western societies, a very fast pace of life has returned to normal; This set of habits, routines and cultural phenomena of information transmission includes various psychological elements that contribute to generating states of anxiety and stress. Below we will talk about the most important.
1. Problems of conciliation
One of the phenomena which generates the greatest psychological distress in contemporary societies is the difficulty of reconciling work and personal and family life.
Growing demands and the accelerating pace of an ever-changing labor market make it difficult for many people to maintain full and satisfying family life with their partners and children.
This frustrates many workers who are unable to find free time to spend time with loved ones. results in anxiety, stress and even a predisposition to depression or burnout syndrome.
2. Need to compete and train constantly
Another source of anxiety and psychological pressure that is very present in the world of work is the growing competition between employees of the same company or the same sector of activity as well as with companies and workers from other parts of the world who operate via the Internet and who may be potential competitors.
Likewise, this growing competition forces the employees of any company to constantly update their knowledge and learn new tools and techniques useful in their work. This competitive dynamic means that the constant training of workers is no longer seen as a way to learn what we love, but as a way to add value to the job market.
3. Difficulty making new friends
As stated, in the current labor market we have less and less free time to devote to group leisure, leisure or any personal activity that allows us to disconnect from professional obligations.
Many activities no longer get done due to a long or exhausting work day, and that also includes social life and the ability to meet new people in any public place.
In the last stages of youth, increasing difficulty in meeting people of the same age and forming new romantic or friendships is another element that can affect anyone psychologically, as social fabrics based on informal ties (through extended family, neighborhood communities and friends) that were once common in neighborhoods and villages s ‘weaken and break down into small nuclei and disconnected from each other.
4. Unstable labor market
Another characteristic of this period of uncertainties both personally and professionally that we had to live through is an essentially unstable labor market, among others. due to the rapidly changing world of technologies and working methodologies.
Unlike decades ago, when it was assumed that a job could last a lifetime, most Western employees today know that continuity in the workplace is far from assured.
5. Difficulty disconnecting from work
Accelerated lifestyles are also characterized by an increasingly blurred distinction between work and personal life., which prevents many employees from being 100% disconnected during their free time or on weekends.
Some elements which have contributed to accentuate this overlap between work and life are teleworking, permanent Internet access, electronic mail and also any other means of communication with work.
In addition to this, the importance of developing a personal brand image or branding also contributes, at times, to noticeable psychological pressure on many employees.
6. Constant distractions during leisure time
The existence of social networks or applications that keep us busy for a long time and even make us lose track of time it also causes great long-term psychological distress.
Habitual use of this type of hobby can lead to a great emptiness in the person and a feeling that they have wasted a lot of time with games or social media that could have been spent on some other better activity.
7. Overcrowding in cities
The overcrowded living conditions in some cities are also a real psychological problem for many people: in almost all countries there is a tendency to abandon the rural environment and focus on big cities.
In addition to this, the lack of green and calm spaces to relax, the increasing noise and pollution, are also stressful elements which in case of severity can lead to anxiety, stress or other health problems. mental.
8. Psychological impact of the fear of contagion
The social and health crisis caused by the COVID pandemic that began at the end of 2019 has brought about a real change in the lives of millions of people and has ostensibly accelerated all those stressful elements that we have seen in the previous lines.
The appearance of this virus has led to a greater number of stressful situations and elements of additional psychological pressure, which, if necessary, should be treated by a mental health specialist.
But beyond the coronavirus crisis, we must not lose sight of the fact that in an increasingly globalized society the risk of large-scale pandemics has sharply increased, and these appear relatively frequently, reinforcing the emergence of psychological disorders associated with anxiety and risk. aversion.
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I am a Psychologist and Certified Mindfuless Instructor with many years of experience dealing with stress and anxiety issues. I offer face-to-face and online sessions.