In July 2019, the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that the rates of teens and young adults reporting mental distress, depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions has risen significantly over the past decade. Experts began to wonder if the increase matched the rise in time spent on smartphones and online social media.
There are proponents on both sides of the argument as to whether too much screen time is leading to increased anxiety and depression — some feel that time spent on social media isn’t time spent connecting in real and meaningful ways; others feel that there isn’t a strong correlation between technology negatively impacting mental health, and that perhaps one of the reasons we’re becoming increasingly aware of how many people suffer from anxiety and depression is because this younger generation is more readily willing to open up about it.
The good news?
According to Steve Ilardi with the University of Kansas, it’s clear that this younger generation “intuitively grasp how we live now is not ideal for us… this relentless cascade of stressful notifications and images is not good for them and they get it.”
Not only do teens understand the impact of being online, they’re also being proactive about countering its potential effects. A recent study from the Pew Research Center showed that 57% of teens, ages 13-17, are trying to limit their use of social media. They’re actively looking for alternatives to help manage their emotional health, which is why having apps like Stop, Breathe & Think at their fingertips can provide the support they want and need.
Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children adds that teens spend an average of nine hours a day online.
Knowing that we won’t be doing away with technology, Stop, Breathe & Think believes that it’s vital to advance with modern times, including bringing tried-and-true mindfulness practices into your every day.
According to Stop, Breathe & Think’s co-founder, Jamie Price, “Our mission is to tackle the growing epidemic of anxiety and the mental health crisis of young people. To do that, we have to also reach them where they are.”
Taking even a few minutes to practice mindfulness can clear your head, so you can focus on what’s truly important, rather than on “keeping up” with what’s asking for your constant attention.
If you haven’t yet checked out the short, guided meditations in our Stop, Breathe & Think app, download it today.
We’ve designed it specifically to alleviate anxiety in your daily life, and studies have shown how users are able to find more calm after even a few quick minutes of practice.