Millennials are typically described as those born in the 1980s through the early 2ooo’s. That make them in their late-teens through their early 30’s today. And yes, we are seeing a rise in reports of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts in this age group. There has been a lot of speculation as to why this may be the case. Everything from increased technology/social media use (mentioned in the article below) to just more frequent reporting, but a new study looks at another possible cause.
This article, in bigthink, talks about a study done in the UK, with results published in Psychological Bulletin, which point to an increased personal demand for perfectionism, which leads to elevated expectations, as part of the problem. They looked at how this ’emphasis on individual achievement’ has led to ‘young adults feel(ing) pressure to measure up to an ever-growing number of criteria. Striving to reach impossible standards increases the risk of anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, and even suicidal ideation.’
One of the conclusions they reach is that young people need to learn to be more comfortable with what can be learned from ‘failure’ (I don’t like that word!) “Truth is, there is no such thing as perfection. And we learn far more from our failures than we ever do our successes. So instead of trying to be perfect, it might be best to perfect how to learn from the times we come up short.”
Ok, so here is where work with horses comes in! On any given day, we may have a ‘plan’ in place for what we want to accomplish while working with our horse. However, it is not unusual to discover that your horse is not on the same page. Things that worked last time may not be working today. The horse may be distracted or even agitated over things that are going on around them. Our clients have to learn to meet the horse where they are. The horse may need us to stand quietly and reassure them or they may need us to be a little more firm in our communications so that we are able to get their attention. Often work with horses is 3 steps forward and two steps back. Instead of striving for ‘perfection’ we are working on ‘improvement’ in our communication and in our understanding of our horse. This shift in focus from ‘me’ to ‘us’ is a first step in becoming aware that we are never in this world alone. What’s more work with horses can help reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, build leadership (partnership!) skills and just plan make us feel better!
If you or someone you know is struggling, we are here to help. Work with horses can be a powerful way to find a path to a healthier and happier life. Call or email us and we will schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.