Young adults live in a fast-paced world with a million different stimuli competing for their attention. Whether its social media, video games or Netflix, young adults are more connected than ever but also less happy. Why is this?
One reason is that young adults are overstimulated. This overstimulation hits the dopamine button in our brain. Dopamine is a "feel good" chemical that our brain produces.
When we hit that dopamine button over, and over, and over again through over stimulation, we overuse dopamine and the result is anhedonia.
Anhedonia is a Greek word that means "no pleasure". It is characterized by the inability to experience pleasure or satisfaction. Anhedonia is often associated with depression.
Young adults with depression battle anhedonia and are realizing the next shiny object or the latest social media craze does not necessarily lead to happiness.
Young adults are craving more from life. If more digital connection does not satisfy, what can?
Young Adults & Savoring The Good
Positive psychology emphasizes the importance of savoring. According to positive psychologists, savoring is the attending, appreciating and enhancing of positive experiences in one's life.
Although savoring is connected to feeling pleasure, it's a much more nuanced reality. Savoring describes the process of becoming aware of the experience of pleasure and appreciating the positive emotions derived that experience.
The antidote to anhedonia is an intentional process of savoring. Instead of mindlessly seeking the latest form of pleasure, savoring encourages young adults to mindfully take in the good that surrounds them.
The following are savoring exercises that I have found helpful in counseling young adults who struggle with depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD/ADD, and other struggles like trauma or PTSD.
Instead of scarfing your next meal, take time to savor the experience. Absorption is the setting aside of 10-15 seconds to let something really sink into your experience.
If you're eating a cheeseburger, allow the smell of the meat to enter your nose. Enjoy the crunch of the pickles and the creaminess of the cheese. Let the fluffiness of the bun rest against your fingers.
2. Counting Blessings
At the end of your night, you can write down one positive thing that happened during the day. Don't just write it down and close the journal.
Take time to remember the experience and play it in your imagination. Give thanks for the good experience and share it with a loved one.
3. Avoid Kill-Joy Thinking
According to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), kill-joy thinking is an overemphasis on the negative and a disqualification of the positive. If something good happens in your life, let it stand on its own without nuancing it with the negative.
Focusing on positive experiences does not mean you are naïve or unrealistic. Positive thinking is realistic but hopeful.
It should not be confused with a Pollyanna mindset or toxic positivity. Optimism can coexist with challenging life circumstances.
Young Adult Therapy & Learning to Truly Savor the Good in Life
A young adult therapist that focuses on CBT and positive psychology can help you navigate your depression and anhedonia.
In counseling for young adults, you can work on the negative thoughts that get in the way of a more hopeful perspective.
Young adult therapy can also help you learn more strategies to savor the good experiences in your life. A therapist who specializes in young adult counseling can help you develop the skills you'll need to be more mindful of the positive in your life.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 50+ Years of Combined Experience in Young Adult Counseling Katy, Texas & Houston
At the Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our young adult counselors can help young adults overcome anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, school anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD and other emotional or behavioral struggles.
Life can be busy for a young adult. Starting young adult counseling can help you improve or overcome the challenges and obstacles that stand in your way of happiness and success.
If you are ready to start your healing journey with one of our young adult therapists, you can follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Meet with one of our experienced young adult counselors
Take that first step in your young adult therapy journey
Other Teen Therapy, Family Counseling, & Young Adult Therapy Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
We also provide other counseling and therapeutic services for teens, young adults, & families at our Katy, Tx location:
Board Certified Neurofeedback
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Quique Autrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Quique specializes in young adult counseling and helping young adults build upon their innate strengths while developing skills and tools to overcome depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, and more.
Quique views each individual through that lens and provides therapy for the family system which includes: teen therapy, young adult counseling, family counseling, marriage counseling & couples therapy.
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in young adult counseling, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.