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How do the psychological stressors in young adulthood impact your cognition?

The youth is dynamic and full of energy. Our youth itself makes us stronger than anyone. We must try to live joyfully just like the young leaves which are fragrant. We must endure like the leaves through heat and cold.Young adulthood is full of highs and lows and ups and downs, a critical development period in the course of life. But during this time our attitude towards life is all that matters, it can transform the negativities and open our minds to reach out to multiple possibilities in life. Recollecting the anecdotes shared by Ellen Degeneres which are encouraging and inspiring for the youth. Ellen suffered from Depression due to financial instability, societal pressure and her multiple personal challenges but we remember her as a victorious person who overcame all the challenges with her determination and with a positive outlook towards life. Problems in youth are inevitable but with the right approach everything is possible. 

The psychological development in young adulthood has made this stage unique and worthy of attention. Jung notes that “if the individual is sufficiently well prepared, the transition to a profession or career can take place smoothly”. But an adult might find it difficult to adapt to this transition  because there are a range of problems encountered  starting from one’s own self to the external environment. This is the age when the person steps into the external world and experiences the various aspects of life. Balancing becomes an important task which sometimes seems difficult for young adults. There are substantial changes in the personal, professional and societal aspects of life, balancing and effectively coping with the uncertainties becomes unimaginable and out of reach, which might result in hopelessness, helplessness, lack of motivation and lack of meaning in life.  

 An abundance of research indicates that teens and young adults are experiencing increased levels of stress and depression. In recent years, APA’s annual “Stress in America” survey has gathered data only on adults. An abundance of research indicates that teens and young adults are experiencing increased levels of stress and depression due to some of the major  problems.  

  • Financial stability– Young adulthood is the stage where we strive for financial independence which when achieved gives us a lot of confidence and zeal for life. As humans we have the tendency to compare ourselves with others who are doing far better than us in terms of job and finances. But we fail to understand that ‘the pace of our lives are different for different people and wherever we are we must not retreat and advance tirelessly to bring forth the capacities and maximum potential and utilize them in the correct way.  
  • Social and community aspect– Society plays an important role in shaping our identity.  The societal system directly or indirectly influences our thought process and it also influences the decisions that we make. In this process of transition when we start to logically question the system, the illogical beliefs prevalent in the society might lead to frustration and a sense of helplessness. This is the time to remind ourselves with the lines written by Victor E. Frankl-“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” 
  • Identity development- In this stage we explore our identity and become more self aware. In the process of self awareness we try to solve certain complex questions about ourselves and find out the answer which helps us to know ourselves, our personality and values and goals. Often our family, peers and society influence the way we see ourselves, our lives, choices and decisions. But if we fail to explore our true self ,what we really are and what we want in life. We might end up in an unhappy confusing state leading to persistent dissatisfaction and feelings of meaninglessness in life.
  •  Relationship aspect – According to Erik Erikson who introduced the eight stages of psychosocial development, we face a crisis at each stage. By resolving the crisis, we develop psychological strengths or character traits that help us become confident and healthy. At this stage there is an urge for an intimate relationship and if that is not fulfilled a feeling of isolation generates in the adult. Sometimes a relationship formed in adolescence carries into young adulthood. We don’t expect the relationships to end but if it ends it can create a sense of loneliness and confusion. If we have been with a partner for a longer period of time, our identity has formed in conjunction with the relationships. It leads to generation of spectrum of emotions which sometimes affects the well being and mental health of the adult. This void or the sense of loneliness compel the person to lose hope in their life.
Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development | Stages of ...

The young adult period is characterized by rapid changes and adjusting and coping with the different aspects of life which at times becomes a major problem. The young adult might undergo a lot of internal changes and develop a quest to know the answers of different complex questions which involves the process of self awareness and awareness about the functionality of the external world. This process is tiring for some people and they might lose the direction to resolve the matter. In this case, it is very important for the adult to seek help from a professional who will eventually work with him to explore the ideas and the answers. Hopelessness, helplessness and lack of motivation are some of the important concerns of an adult which might develop symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. Thus finding a therapist, seeking help, going for sessions must not be stigmatized but must be encouraged because unless we don’t learn how to accept the darkness, deal with it  and  master skills to cope with the negativities, we might not be able to engage ourselves in the process of happiness. Reaching out to professional and sharing our thoughts and situation with them will help us to overcome the challenges with firm faith and hope. 

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