The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes


WHEN PEOPLE TALK about “the next big thing,” they’re never thinking big enough. It’s not a lack of imagination; it’s a lack of observation. I’ve maintained that the future is always within sight, and you don’t need to imagine what’s already there.

Case in point: The buzz surrounding the Internet of Things.

What’s the buzz? The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart.”

But here’s what I mean when I say people don’t think big enough. So much of the chatter has been focused on machine-to-machine communication (M2M): devices talking to like devices. But a machine is an instrument, it’s a tool, it’s something that’s physically doing something. When we talk about making machines “smart,” we’re not referring strictly to M2M. We’re talking about sensors.

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn’t worth very much if there isn’t an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real time.

Cloud-based applications are the key to using leveraged data. The Internet of Things doesn’t function without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data coming from all these sensors. The cloud is what enables the apps to go to work for you anytime, anywhere.
Let’s look at one example. In 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing many people, because of steel plates that were inadequate to handle the bridge’s load. When we rebuild bridges, we can use smart cement: cement equipped with sensors to monitor stresses, cracks, and warpages. This is cement that alerts us to fix problems before they cause a catastrophe. And these technologies aren’t limited to the bridge’s structure.

If there’s ice on the bridge, the same sensors in the concrete will detect it and communicate the information via the wireless internet to your car. Once your car knows there’s a hazard ahead, it will instruct the driver to slow down, and if the driver doesn’t, then the car will slow down for him. This is just one of the ways that sensor-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication can take place. Sensors on the bridge connect to machines in the car: we turn information into action.

You might start to see the implications here. What can you achieve when a smart car and a smart city grid start talking to each other? We’re going to have traffic flow optimization, because instead of just having stoplights on fixed timers, we’ll have smart stoplights that can respond to changes in traffic flow. Traffic and street conditions will be communicated to drivers, rerouting them around areas that are congested, snowed-in, or tied up in construction.

So now we have sensors monitoring and tracking all sorts of data; we have cloud-based apps translating that data into useful intelligence and transmitting it to machines on the ground, enabling mobile, real-time responses. And thus bridges become smart bridges, and cars smart cars. And soon, we have smart cities, and….

Okay. What are the advantages here? What are the savings? What industries can this be applied to?

Here’s what I mean when I say people never think big enough. This isn’t just about money savings. It’s not about bridges, and it’s not about cities. This is a huge and fundamental shift. When we start making things intelligent, it’s going to be a major engine for creating new products and new services.

Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things; it’s the one that’s going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the next five years. In my next post in this two-part series, we’ll explore just how big this is going to be.


The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes



Why Should You Eat Watermelon Everyday?

This weeks Futuristic Friday post we are looking at one of the most important things in the future. Your health! This article is packed full of interesting tidbits that explain how eating watermelon everyday can have a positive impact on your future self. Enjoy! – National Watermelon Association


Experts recommend that increasing consumption of watermelons can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease! One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. Some health benefits of watermelons are they help prevent asthma, prevent cancer, reduce risk of blood pressure, reduce inflammation and are great for the skin.

Benefits of Watermelon

For all watermelon lovers, here’s the good news. Experts recommend that increasing consumption of watermelons can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease! One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. Also, the National Watermelon promotion Board states that watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Have a look at all the health benefits of watermelon due to which you should consider consuming this delicious fruit everyday:

Asthma Prevention

So, your risks of developing an asthma can maximize if you’re not consuming enough nutrients, especially Vitamin C. Hence consuming this fruit can help increase your nutrient intake.


Watermelons are an excellent source of antioxidants and can help combat the formation of free radicals that are the cause of cancer. Lycopene intake, for example, has been linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer prevention in several studies.

Blood Pressure

According to the American Journal of Hypertension, watermelons are known to reduce blood pressure of middle-aged adults with hypertension. The study also showed that watermelon consumption improved arterial function.


Watermelons contain choline which alleviate chronic inflammation. This vital nutrient aids in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It also helps in the transmissions of nerve impulses, maintains the structure of cellular membrane and helps in the absorption of fat.


It’s a food for great skin! Watermelons contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

Edited by Pragya Sharoff

Member Monday: Nunhems USA Helps Growers Become Members

Watermelon farmers are the lifeblood of the National Watermelon Association.  Without their dedication to the soil there would not be a need for the Association.  Thankfully though, there are those that have the diligence and the fortitude to urge little sprouts to grow into the developed vines that bear us so much fruit.

That being said, it is imperative that we draw more growers into our Association so that we can share with them all the tools that we have to offer.  With new laws, disease pressures and other adversities, the National Watermelon Association can and does help growers face them with their best foot forward.

Nunhems logo

Bayer Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems) understands how important growers are, that’s why they have chosen to fund first year membership to eligible watermelon farmers who aren’t members of our great association yet. By partnering with the Association, Bayer is opening the door to this possibility for growers.  Having the ability to show growers that we are there for them will be beneficial for all in the long run.

We would like to officially welcome four new grower members who have taken advantage of this unique opportunity. Gary Cecil from Owensboro Kentucky has joined the Illiana watermelon Association. Greg Wright from Byers, Colorado, and Gerardo Alberto Flores Cavazos from Mexico have both joined the Texas Watermelon Association. Galen Crawford from Ontario, Oregon is now a member of the Western Watermelon Association. We are thankful that these watermelon growers and their family businesses have joined our watermelon family and will begin to benefit from the member services that the Association offers to them, all through the work and support from Bayer Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems) generosity.

Members:  If you know of a watermelon grower that is NOT a member of our association, please share this opportunity with them. The more members that we have, the stronger that we will become as individuals and as an association. When we are stronger, we can do more to help our members and the National Watermelon Association.

Why Millennials Are Out-Selling Boomers and Xers

By Tom Silk


Much has been written about the annoying habits of millennials, and I myself have been known to tell my 20-something reps to get off Tinder and pick up the phone. As the head of a sales and marketing team that is mostly millennials, I’ve had my fair share of the well-documented annoyances of the younger generation, but I’ve also noticed something else. My millennials are selling better and smarter than many of our company’s older, more seasoned sales partners.

The Sales Landscape Has Changed

Historically, buyers relied on salespeople for information about products and services, so the salesperson needed to be “consultative” and provide expert advice on the industry, as well as the company and its offerings. Today’s buyer has already visited Google, Yelp and Consumer Affairs, and watched your case study videos before they ever speak to you. They may have already reached out to LinkedIn contacts who have used your services to get the inside scoop.

Older, more traditional salespeople still believe they are the main sources of information, and they miss completely that their job is to assist the sale rather than to educate the buyer. They are constantly trying to send materials and supporting proof that will make their case.

Millennials intuitively understand that this is usually a waste of time, because they have grown up using social media and the Internet at large to do research before making purchase decisions. The 28-year-old sales rep isn’t calling the buyer to educate them, but to assist and support them in their research and answer any lingering questions that have come up and to move the sale along.

The Buyer Doesn’t Want You to Take Them to Dinner

Another advantage the millennial salesperson has is that they intuitively take up less of a prospect’s time. They don’t set up in-person meetings just to “build relationships.” And the thought of having a formal call to answer a simple question when you can send a text message or e-mail is preposterous. Buyers love this!

As their manager, I love this too, because it means I get almost zero requests for T&E budget from my millennial team. They aren’t trying to take a prospect out to dinner to discuss our latest product features; they send them a quick text message with a link to an article that covers them. And the buyer doesn’t want to go to dinner with them, so they appreciate being allowed to take in this information on their own terms.

Buyers Are Just Like You and Me

Millennials largely grew up learning to treat authority figures as equals, and they converse with buyers as such. They are also less likely to have enough experience to be embarrassed by saying or doing the wrong thing, so they just go for it. Older reps tend to put the customers on a pedestal, which can feel uncomfortable and make for stilted communication. Today’s buyers react better when there is honest, human conversation rather than brown-nosing.

There is no doubt that less experienced millennials can learn a great deal from salespeople who have been at it for decades, but the more seasoned seller also has some adapting to do to reach the modern buyer. We can all take some valuable cues from millennials who have grown up in this new world of online research, texting and emojis. You might find yourself improving your sales performance while saving budget, paper and time

John Lapide #nwaMemberMondays

john and grandson lapide

‘Our strength begins with our farmers. With relationships dating back over 20 years…’ This statement, found on the Melon 1 website, reflects the value they place on longstanding relationships. This is also indicative of the value founding partner, John Lapide of New York, places on relationships. The National Watermelon Association has been the happy recipient of John’s friendship and involvement for over 13 years.

John Lapide is the epitome of  hands-on leadership. He served the Association as President in 2009-2010 and as an officer for four years. He is currently an active and engaged leader on our Executive Committee as well as the Co-Chair of the Auction Load Committee. John is also involved as a member of the Budget, Food Safety, Nominating, Liaison, Public Affairs, Research, Promotions, and Convention Committees.

You can see that John Lapide jumps into everything he does with both feet. We’re proud to call John a member of our ‘Watermelon Family’ and appreciate his hard work on our behalf. His family is also proud of him; here’s what they have to say…

“As with most people who grow up with a family business, John began working at a very young age. I met John in college in September. Right away I knew he was “the one”, so in December, I proposed and he said yes. After we got engaged, he wanted to introduce me to the business, so for Easter vacation I went to his home on Long Island. Every day we worked with his mom, dad, brother & grandfather. We were there at 6 in the morning and stayed as late as 1 am one day for a delivery, working side by side. John talks about going to his high school graduation, going out for a quick to lunch to celebrate, and then all the men leaving to go back to work. There have always been long hours and very few days off in this life. Following in the footsteps of the hardworking men in his life he admired, his grandfather, great-uncle and father, John has always been dedicated, had pride and a genuine love for the watermelon life. Over the years I’ve seen a real passion grow in him. He’s always educating himself on the newest technologies and methods for growing and ways to combat pests and diseases. He has a close working partnership with all of our farmers to ensure the successful futures for all of us. When he served as President of the NWA in 2009, our children attended the convention and it was a really proud moment for him. The next year in 2010, our daughter Patty & her husband Jeff,  came to work for the business in Brooklyn. Since then, Jeff has begun to run our shed in Hamilton, NJ and Patty has been working to raise the next generation of watermelon brokers – our grandchildren, Nate, Ben & Autumn. Our youngest daughter, Marian, has recently expressed an interest in learning about what we do and I think nothing would thrill him more than to have both Marian & her husband, Peter, become involved with the business and help carry on the legacy.”  – Alisa Lapide

“Growing up, I didn’t really know or understand exactly what my father did for a living. I knew he worked really long hours and that meant missing out on a lot at home. When my grandfather passed away when I was 17, I saw a man who I couldn’t believe could possibly work any harder do just that. Going on the road and growing our business by partnering with farmers and long time friends to begin paving the road for the business as it is today. Now that I’m an adult and have a better understanding of what he does I have a tremendous amount of respect for the sacrifices he made when I was younger. Because of that hard work we have an amazing business that has been able to support and employ our family. Family is the most important thing in the world to John Lapide. Every decision he makes is made with careful consideration of how it will impact not only our “blood” family, but our “watermelon” family. Every time we expand or build a new packing shed, it’s to build the future for our family. I’ve never seen this more than since the birth of my children. Anyone who knows John, knows that my three kids, Nathaniel, Benjamin and Autumn are the main driving force behind his determination these days. I’m so thankful that all his hard work has paid off and he’s now able to spend time with them and enjoy their childhood because he’s earned that privilege. I know I’ve painted pretty lovey -dovey picture of him – and it’s definitely not all sunshine and roses.  But my father is passionate about this industry, it’s future and guaranteeing the best possible future for all of us.” – Patty Lapide Osterle

The stories that many of us could share would take up volumes of pages to cover them all, yet missing so many. What i have come to know is a man that has a fierce passion to do what is right for the association. I fondly remember a phone call just a day after he had brain surgery (that may explain things) a few years back to remove a tumor. The knuckle-head that I gladly call my friend was selling watermelons within hours of that surgery. Work-a-holic? However, I witnessed a sensitivity arrive when he became a grandfather. He still remained fiercely competitive and passionate, but those grandkids are definitely in control.  And, maybe that’s a good thing. – Bob Morrissey


Thank you for your service John.

lapide family



Millennials In Produce

It’s no secret that Millennials are exceptionally different than the generations before them. Technology has given them different eyes with which to see the world. Their approach to life and all the aspects in it is so distinctly different that many struggle to relate to these “new-comers”. Their work style is foreign to Baby Boomers and Generation X. It leads us to wonder how the next generation will affect our industry, the produce industry, in years to come.

First Class of Future Watermelon Farm Leaders - Wiggins, Singletary, Page and MooreGeneration Y people want to enjoy their lives and the time that they spend, whether the time is paid or not. They tend to lean towards jobs that are interesting and fun, that don’t necessarily “feel” like work. As a recently employed millennial, I understand the draw to find a position that is intellectually engaging but is still enjoyable. Fortunately, for me, I have found an occupation that does just that and so much more. I get to use my creativity and (will) work with others to get major projects done correctly and working fluidly. My job is fulfilling and makes me feel as though I am working towards a greater purpose than just myself. That greater purpose and feeling of fulfillment is key to Millennials.

Millennials have a higher job turnover rate than their parents and grandparents. Perhaps this is because they are trying to find something that they enjoy and feel is worth sticking with. Fortunately for me I have found the “perfect fit” for myself. For the produce industry it’s important for us to appeal to the younger generation. With only 3% of college graduates choosing positions in agriculture we NEED to draw them to us and make these future employees want to stay and grow with our companies, association, and industry.


If we provide these future employees with incentives for working in our companies, we can anchor them in and create a future for this industry. These incentives can be, but aren’t limited to, flexible schedules, professional development, training, team work and collaboration. Many of these incentives are beneficial to the companies too. Things like professional development and training will only create better workers and work environments.

The double edged sword of Generation Y is that they will require us to change, but all the while we need them. Without them we can’t proceed into the future. They may present some obstacles, but change is inevitable. Millennials can revolutionize and bring new ideas and technologies to our industry. Generation Y will help us bend and work with our ever-changing market.

Kelli Wilder

Harthin, Carrie. “Connect. The Network Media Partners Blog.” » Driving Millennial Engagement. Network Media Partners, 02 May 2016. Web. 06 May 2016.

College graduate agriculture job statistic. Digital image. Facebook. Adam Putnal, n.d. Web.
Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.

From Watermelons to Witnessing – #nwamembermondays

Stockholm_February_2016_04  Stockholm_February_2016_03  Stockholm_February_2016_02

Our Watermelon Family is diverse, yet unified in mission and purpose. Nevertheless, there are times when a greater call redirects our path and we must respond. Jonathan Mayhue, of H. C. Schmieding Produce, and his wife, have heard such a call on their hearts and plan to answer as soon as the watermelon season comes to a close.

The call to the international mission field came to approximately two years ago for Jon and Amanda Mayhue. While Jonathon was studying Missiology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and diving into the Great Commission given by Jesus in the book of Matthew Chapter 28, he and Amanda began seeking exactly where the Lord would have them go to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through a series of divine events the answer to that question would be Stockholm, Sweden.

They are honored and excited share the call God has placed on their hearts with their Watermelon Family. The Mayhue family, including their two boys, Magnus (age 6) and Atticus (age 4), plan to make the move to the Stockholm area by Fall 2016. Jon plans to continue in sales at Schmieding Produce throughout the ministry fundraising process including the duration of the 2016 watermelon season.

Stockholm is a city made up of 14 islands with an expansive suburban area. Over 20% of the population of Sweden (~2.1 million people) lives in Stockholm county. Over a quarter of Stockholm’s residents are immigrants speaking 13 different languages. The city is culturally diverse, rich in history and tradition, renowned for tolerance, equality and considers itself to be on the cutting edge of the human advocacy movement. Considering the great diversity of this city, only about 4% of people consider themselves evangelical or Christ followers. Sweden in general is increasingly disengaged with the traditional expression of church and belief in God; resulting in over three-quarters of the population declare they believe in no god at all.

Stockholm Sweeden perspective

The Mayhues are believing that God is and will continue to  grow a body of believers in Sweden walking in abundant hope and shining the light on an eternal identity in Christ Jesus. In Sweden, they will continue the work of establishing Bible study-focused, Christ-centered small groups within each neighborhood within Stockholm and throughout its surrounding towns. Jon and Amanda desire for their family to be a catalyst to teach and encourage disciples, who desire to make disciples, to further reach Stockholm and Scandinavia for Jesus Christ. This is a big task, but we serve an even bigger God.

Throughout this journey, Jon and Amanda have found great encouragement in Romans 10:13-15, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”’ The Mayhue family has seen God begin to provide prayer support and financial provision for this ministry in an awesome way! They ask that you would keep their ongoing journey to Sweden and the ministry there in your prayers. If you would like more information about this ministry and how your family can be a part of what God is doing in Sweden please visit


Nicole Schrader


Following the Facebook Frenzy #nwafuturist


Facebook followers 2

Two weeks ago, 9.5 million people tuned into a 45-minute live stream post to see a watermelon explode. Buzzfeed’s Facebook Live video not only had more viewers than many television shows, it was the primary focus of several talk shows and news articles. It seems the phenomenon created quite a stir. Social media specialists everywhere are modifying strategies to include live-streaming videos in hope of riding the wave created by Facebook. Although live-streaming has been around for a while, now that it has been embraced by Facebook, it’s universally acknowledged as the vehicle for future online social marketing. Facebook has apparently appropriated the audience that Periscope, Meerkat, and Snapchat had only begun to access. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is convinced that the personal connection that is made through live-video is the next big shift in how we communicate, and the company is offering monetary incentives to media agencies to create video content for Facebook Live.

Although watermelon was the focus of the extraordinary post and has gotten some favorable press, there are quite a few voices in the media that are not thrilled to follow the Facebook frenzy. News agencies are concerned that Facebook is overshadowing major news coverage and influencing popular opinion in ways that threaten their future. In her article on, entitled, ‘Facebook has Seized the Media, and That’s Bad News for Everyone but Facebook,’ Julia Greenberg warns that Facebook looks at news as a commodity to be sold and an experience to share and discuss. As more people go to social networks like Facebook for news, those platforms determine the value of the stories and influence the perspective of the audience. “Facebook now tells the industry what matters most, which dictates how resources are spent and what stories are told.” Julia cautions, “Facebook has immense power. It has become a crucial distribution platform for publishers. Facebook has the audience news organizations are trying to reach, so they have little choice but to chase it there.”

You may wonder if Greenberg’s perspective is extreme. Recent evidence seems to support her claims. On February 26th, 2015, major news publications covered the threat of a federal government shutdown, Senate debates regarding Homeland Security funding, three men arrested for providing material support to ISIS, etc.,  while a controversy over the color of a dress posted on Facebook received 28 million ‘views’, 105,000 ‘shares’, 16,000 comments, and 21,000 ‘likes.’  On April 19th, while Facebook captivated 9.5 million viewers waiting to see a watermelon explode, Assad’s ceasefire violations stalled peace talks with Syria, 300 people were arrested in Washington, DC while protesting the influence of big money in politics, New York held its primary elections, and Texas sought emergency aid due to severe flooding. My news feed on Facebook that day did not include much discussion about any of these issues.

Live-streaming video may indeed be the preferred medium for news, marketing, and communications in the near future, and social platforms may provide the best forum for discussion, but be aware that the news you receive may not adequately provide the best coverage of what is happening in the nation and the world.

Nicole Schrader

Greenberg, Julia. “Facebook Has Seized the Media, and That’s Bad News for Everyone But Facebook.” Conde Nast Digital, 16 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

The First Three! ~ New Grower Program #nwanewmembermondays

paul nuzzo's early melons Greg Wright, Galen Crawford, and Gary Cecil are the first three watermelon growers to take advantage of the promotional-partnership between the National Watermelon Association and Bayer.

The Vegetable Seeds division of Bayer and the National Watermelon Association have entered into an unprecedented partnership to attract new members into the Association. For the next two years, Bayer is funding first-year memberships to all eligible watermelon growers. Bayer and the National Watermelon Association want to spread this message to the watermelon industry: if you are a watermelon grower, we need you! We will fully fund your membership so you may explore everything the Association has to offer at no cost to you.

As the voice of its members on important issues such as trade, labor, research and food safety, to name a few, the Association stresses the importance of Association involvement from new generations of watermelon growers and being a part of these issues as they start their careers.  And not to forget seasoned growers, the partnership welcomes them as new members in the Association as well.

In order to be eligible to receive membership in this program, growers must be new to the Association.

We’d like to welcome these new members to our Watermelon Family:

  • Gary Cecil of Gary Cecil Farms in Owensboro, Kentucky, a  new member of the Illiana Watermelon Association
  • Galen Crawford of Galen Crawford Farms in Ontario, Oregon, a  new member of the Western Watermelon Association
  • Greg Wright of Prairie Harvest Organics in Byers, Colorado, a new member of the Texas Watermelon Association.
“We are elated that Bayer has agreed to fund first-year dues to all new members and therefore aid us in growing the National Watermelon Association,” said Bob Morrisey, executive director of the National Watermelon Association. “We encourage growers in the watermelon industry to share their talents and strengths with the Association and allow us to share our expertise with them.”
“Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds and the National Watermelon Association Partner to Aid Watermelon Growers.” Nunhems –. N.p., 5 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

Why Are Millennials Anxious? #nwafuturisticfridays


young man unable sleep because of stress of problems

The root of anxiety is fear. But what we afraid of? Or more particularly, what are Millennials afraid of?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), ‘Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.’

In a study conducted by the APA and Harris Interactive, Millennials showed higher levels of stress and anxiety than any other living generation. The main causes they gave for their anxiety were work issues (76%), money (73%), and relationships (59%). Their concerns are not irrational, Millennials make up about 40% of the nation’s unemployment, the majority of them graduate from college without a job and a burden of financial debt, and they live at home longer which may cause relational frustration and hesitation to make relational commitments. These are the realities that they face. But theses concerns are not unique to Millennials, nor are Millennials the first to transition into adulthood and meet with issues that pose threat and create anxiety. So why is this generation at a greater risk to anxiety disorder and depression?

There are many varying opinions as to the causes of this higher rate of anxiety. Millennials report higher levels of stress factors in their lives and the APA suggests that they are not managing those stresses as well. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and regular meals, and maintaining a consistent exercise routine are effective methods for reducing stress and consequently levels of anxiety. But Millennials do not seem to be able to get a good handle on these routines. If not managed well, living with high levels of stress and anxiety result in very real physical disorders. Stress-induced gastrointestinal disorder, insomnia, chronic depression, hypochondria, panic attacks, high blood pressure, and eating disorders are just a few of the real consequences of anxiety that Millennials are experiencing.

There is a difference between stress and anxiety. The APA differentiates the two this way, “The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.”

Stress is inevitable and even necessary in this life. High levels of stress, in short bursts, motivates us to get up and get moving, to work harder and more efficiently. It can be exhilarating and push us to accomplish great things. Consider the lives of olympic athletes, mountain climbers, novelists, politicians, lawyers, surgeons, nurse-midwives, sailors, etc. The stresses they face keep their senses sharp and inspire perseverance in the face of challenges and obstacles. I read that ‘good stress’ does not involve ‘threat or fear,’ but I beg to differ with that opinion. There are real fears and threats that lurk in the shadows for all of us. Athletes often face serious injury, climbers fall, novelists face writer’s block and missed deadlines, politicians sometimes face security threats, and the list goes on. About the only stress that I can think of that does not involve some threat or fear is that which you might feel on a roller coaster – but even then there is a possibility of accident. We all fear failure and do our best to avoid humiliation.

Fear of terrorist attacks, too many choices which leads to decision paralysis, FOMO or fear of missing out in regard to social media, and the blurring of reality online that creates in some an expectation that they must obtain perfection, are some specific stresses that Millennials feel are unique to their generation (and perhaps Generation X).

How we choose to react to or manage the stresses we face on a daily basis will determine whether or not anxiety and its host of consequences will result. I am sure that there are many that would disagree that they have a ‘choice’ in the matter. Nevertheless, many have found relief by changing lifestyle patterns and seeking help and support. Time with friends, healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and exercise, yoga, and engagement in religious activities have all been found to be very effective in reducing stress and relieving anxiety. I leave you with that which I have found the most effective means of reducing anxiety in my own life in closing, Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Nicole Schrader