These are the microstressers that are damaging Gen Z’s wellbeing

Posted: 5th December 2023

Although they are still relatively young, it seems Generation Z are already struggling with life stress.

Eight in 10 Generation Z’ers feel overwhelmed by a myriad of microstresses and are suffering from burnout already.

Worries stemming from the putting off jobs, feeling anxious about socialising and over analysing text messages are causing those between their late teens and mid-twenties to feel swamped and on edge.

‌Now, just as the festive season begins, new findings show over half (56%) of young people consider Christmas to be one of the most stressful times of the year. The sudden increase in social gatherings is leaving almost 45% feeling anxious.

Experts believe very few people are aware of the how small day-to-day ‘microstressors’ can build up and eventually damage a person’s mental wellbeing.

‌Gen Z are more likely than most to be affected by small triggers, according to the research. They are much more perceptive regarding emotions and can notice a change in a friend’s text tone. Subsequently, they worry about what they have done and then endlessly procrastinate.

‌Results of the new study of 1,500 adults conducted by Extra Gum revealed that almost three quarters (71%) of Gen-Z experience a microstress on a daily basis. In fact, 81% reported that an avalanche of these triggers makes them feel defeated and burnt out.

Microstressors manifest differently for everyone, but the most common include a feeling of wasting time (51%); berating oneself for procrastination (49%); being late (48%) and anxiety about performance (48%).

To help ease these stresses, Gen Z knows what do to but sometimes, can’t find the energy to do it. Two thirds of Gen Z (60%) wish they meditated more, over a third (39%) struggle to find the time, a third (34%) don’t know where to start, while one in four (25%) don’t find meditation accessible.

‌The top Gen Z tactics to declutter their minds are to listen to music, (51%) chew gum (41%), sleep (41%) carve out ‘me time’ (37%) or going for a walk (33%). However, sleep is also one of the generation’s biggest concerns, with 53% found not to be sleeping enough.

‌To help youngsters declutter the mind and boost their spirit, Extra Gum and TikTok star Max Balegde have teamed up to launch a guided meditation series that brings a lighter side to a serious subject matter.

The series aims to help those who struggle with microstresses to spend a few minutes trying to find calm.

‌Max, 24, explained: ‘Being so immersed in today’s social media scene is beyond challenging – every word and move you make really counts and sometimes I find myself overthinking and my mind running away with me.

‌’I’m not really one for meditation and if I’m honest, it’s tough to find the time to take a breath. But by bringing a little bit of fun and humour to meditation, I’ve found my mind really relaxes into it. So come and join me in using these 5-minute episodes to have a ‘me-moment’ whilst also having a bit of a laugh.”

‌Meanwhile, Lucy Sherlock at Extra said: ‘Our research highlights just how much Gen Z experience microstressors in their day-to-day life but that they don’t prioritise time to themselves to ensure these worries don’t compound and take a longer-term toll.

‘Our goal with the Pieces of Mind guided meditation series is to be a quick and easy companion and solution, wherever and whenever you may need it, to mentally refresh.’

Source – These are the microstressers that are damaging Gen Z’s wellbeing (

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