What makes young adults feel “stressed out”?

20 Aug 2018

Young adults spend more than six hours a day “stressed out”, a study has found.

A poll of 1,000 18-25-year-olds found money, appearance and career worries as well as fears about the future mean a large chunk of their time is spent feeling anxious or under pressure.

But one in 10 feel they have no-one to turn to discuss their concerns, leaving them to face their fears alone.

A further 67 per cent admitted they had come across problems in their life where they felt they had nobody to lean on for help.

As a result, 56 per cent have ended up in more trouble after keeping a problem to themselves rather than confiding in someone else.

The statistics emerged in a study by charity, UK Youth, to launch its #KeepMeSafe campaign, which calls on all organisations working with young people to “look” at their safeguarding policies, “listen” to young people and take action during National Safeguarding Month.

“It’s concerning to see just how long young people spend feeling worried or stressed and how many of them have to go through these issues alone, without anyone to turn to for advice and guidance,” a spokesperson for the charity said. “Despite living in our ever-connected world, young people need safe spaces more than ever.

“For many, their local youth club is the only place that provides them with a trusted adult to confide in and access to the advice, support and guidance needed to feel safe and build bright futures.

“But to stop young people feeling worried or stressed in a society where issues of grooming, online peer pressure, extremism and hate crimes are rising, many youth services need to be supported with additional safeguarding resources and training.”

The study found money worries are the biggest cause of young adults’ stress followed by fears about their future.

UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any advanced economy apart from Greece, report reveals

Concerns about their weight and overall appearance, as well as their health completed the top five. Getting a job, achieving a good work/life balance and getting onto the properly ladder are also among the common stresses young people have.

But despite spending such a huge amount of time feeling concerned, the average young adult has just four people they feel they could turn to for help.

Despite those aged 18 to 25 having an average of 165 friends on social media, 85 per cent still had moments where they feel lonely.

More than 40 per cent thought social media added to their worries and stress, while more than half of those said it leaves them feeling under more pressure to keep up with everyone.

Twenty-nine per cent said they struggle with the lack of privacy, 40 per cent said they feel as pressured to impress others and 33 per cent feel like they need to make their lives sound better than it really is.

But researchers found that even those who do have someone they can approach with a problem, do not always get the help they need with more than half admitting they had felt ‘fobbed off’ or ignored by someone, while 68 per cent find it difficult to share problems in the first place.

This leads to more than six in 10 respondents being more likely to battle on alone than go to anyone else if they have a problem or need advice.

UK Youth’s spokesperson added: “Safeguarding has hit the headlines recently but it’s something we’ve been working to strengthen for a long time now. Research from our network and these new stats suggest the needs of young people have transformed in the last few years due to online/offline pressures and societal changes.

“We’ve taken the positive approach to support our membership and work with colleagues across the youth sector to improve safeguarding and better support young people at a grass roots level in youth organisations across the UK.

Top 20 worries young adults have

  1. Money

2. The future

3. Appearance

4. Weight

5. Health

6. Getting a job

7. Getting into a chosen career

8. Finding a job which pays enough money

9. The health of a loved one

10. Meeting targets, deadlines and goals at work

11. Paying bills

12. Work/life balance

13. Whether I will have children in the future

14. Having a home

15. College and university deadlines

16. Getting onto the property ladder

17. Conflicts with friends, family and colleagues

18. Exams

19. Meeting a partner

20. Student debt

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