The rising stress levels in our youth is a much discussed topic these days,and there are reasons for it. In the last decade our society has changed immensely, we are getting farther away from our core. Although we might be more advanced in terms of technology and have shortened distances with things such as face-time, we are still unable to provide our mind and soul with the very basics which are important for our children’s well-being. There is an increasing gap in the contradiction between our instinct and life values of today. We are a confused amalgamation of religion, culture and foreign influences of the west (through media and education), which is making our life choices complicated and unreal. The increasing level of unhappiness amongst the new generation is because of low self-esteem, peer pressure and the focus on quick results. According to the latest research, teenage girls are twice as more likely to be depressed due to social media than boys. Social Media is setting unrealistic and unreal expectations of love, beauty, relationship, success and over all life. The beauty that was in the process of achieving something is being discredited with shortcuts and the focus is merely on the results. If we actually got babies delivered through pelicans, the importance would never be the same. For me motherhood has come through a long journey, the nine months of pregnancy, the process of birth and then the process of struggling every day has taught me and is still teaching everyday what it means to be a mother. Writing letters, waiting for responses, using that one landline built and increased the excitement, importance and value. Being connected to the process inculcated patience, resilience and strength of character. Now there is too much availability, superficial beauty and brands but lack of involvement, connection and faith. The law of utility in economics proves that the gratification and satisfaction is greater initially and then it keeps lowering.Due to convenience of the gadgets our accessibility to porn, people, travel, tour everything has become so easy that the gratification levels have lowered and so has the excitement. Life has become more about checking the tick marks, posting success on Facebook then actually living it. We have started focusing on the superficial and external for our anchoring and this is a big mistake. The external will always be limited, changing and unpredictable. We are associating our identity and self-worth with material and we need to cultivate our identity with stronger and more concrete aspects The organic natural process of puberty where teens are transforming mentally, physically and emotionally is a time where the appearance is changing and so are their emotions and they are evolving, trying to find their identity. Now the young generation has stopped giving space to that natural process because reaching the benchmarks and the targets set up by social media is what is on their mind all the time.Things like peer pressure to have the perfect figure, perfect boy/girl friend, perfect grades A* by the parents is what life is all about. They are struggling more and more to achieve those benchmarks and standards. Perfectionism is very addictive because it is very seductive. It is so great to think there is a way I can do things where I can never be held in judgment by other people, that I can totally escape criticism. But it doesn’t work. (Brene Brown) Reality has become impossible so a greater need to detach and just pop up anti-depressants or have drugs to get some calm.Goals are set high and so are ambitions but no one is actually training us how to cope with this increasing pressure. We have started focusing on the superficial and external for our anchoring and this is a big mistake. The external will always be limited, changing and unpredictable. We are associating our identity and self -worth with material and we need to cultivate our identity with stronger and more concrete aspects. The moment anyone takes on to an identity, the intellect starts protecting it, as that is its job, which is merely means of survival. Intellect is part of the brain and not complete intelligence. Thoughts are an occurrence of the limited data that we have gathered. There is more to a human being, which needs to be explored and validated. Looking at the youth and the rising issues means we need more than intellect for the development of a complete individual. How to conduct our mind, body and emotions to be satisfied. Understanding full potential of what it means to be human. We are a highly refined and sensitive machine, and we don’t know how to operate ourselves. The required coping skills are not taught to the next generation, which isaffecting their future lives. Our education system is flawed as it is just focusing on one aspect of our brain,which is more about data collection and survival. Our education instead of exploring the potential and creativity of the child, tries to impose a structure, which is predetermined and a product of somebody else’s wisdom.Instead we need to teach a child how to explore and enhance his/her own capabilities. Cinema, literature and education areprojecting unrealistic heroes, showing only one side of the picture, making the children have an unreal benchmark of perfection and impossible goals of happiness hence creating a utopia, which is unachievable. Because of this what we are deprived of seems like the biggest void, and in that state of compulsiveness reality is distorted. “How can I be substantial without casting a shadow? I must have a dark side too if I am to be whole, and by becoming conscious of my shadow I remember once more that I am a human being like any other.” (C.G. Jung) England has started mindfulness as part of their school programs, teaching children how to regulate their different emotions, hence equipping them for a better life in the future.How about we start focusing on the process rather than on the results and acknowledging ourselves as a holistic individual with an interconnected mind, body and soul. Momina Ahmad is a psychological therapist and a business development manager at a publishing house.She is also a corporate trainer in emotional regulation and holistic development of an individual, cultivating socially connected mindfulness. The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, February 24th 2019.