Modern Day Anxiety Theory

My mother always used to tell me that in her time and in her country, the prevalence of anxiety was almost non-existent. I always argued back that it was probably the same, but just less reported since it wasn’t as openly known or talked about. But now, as I return to living simply and focusing my life on only the things that matter most, I see that maybe she was right. Anxiety is much more prevalent in modern day western countries and I think I may have a theory as to why that is the case: Today’s generation, especially those in developed nations, expects perfection. Everything is easily available at our fingertips and this perfection wrongly seems like it is actually an attainable goal. When it’s not attained, we are afraid of feeling an unfamiliar emotion we are not used to- the pain or sorrow that comes from true challenges- and cover it up by distracting our minds with various forms of media and technology.

In older times, and in less developed countries, the challenges are real and when good things come, they’re unexpected and appreciated as the blessings that they are. There is time to reflect on life rather than staying busy and addicted to distracting the mind. There is no fear of not being able to attain perfection and feeling unfamiliar feelings, because those things are not expected and quite frankly, they’re just used to it. Unlike most of the things I post on here that I believe so fully, this is just a theory based on my own experience as an American in the age of technology as compared to many people I know  who are from varying generations and parts of the world. However, as someone who spent many years battling random bouts of anxiety for seemingly no reason, I realize now that a lot of it is subconscious fear of losing control of not attaining the perfection that seems so easily available to me.

What do you all think? Why is our generation so much more prone to anxiety over things we expect but have no real control over, as opposed to the less fortunate (if you can call them that) who understand and accept they have no control and should simply enjoy whatever good things do luckily come their way?

Leave a Reply