A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) has found that 52 percent of American adults find the 2016 election to be a substantial source of stress in their lives. Some may be surprised and others may not be so surprised. Across party lines most can agree that the media coverage of this election can be completely overinflated. That’s why it’s so hard to avoid exposure and triggered stress due to differing opinions. But if you want to take control of your mental health, know that this added stress is just that: added. Learn how to worry less and find mental peace.
According to the APA survey, men and women are equally as likely to feel election-related anxiety. Additionally, the stress isn’t split down to one party. Each party shares their fair share of stress so that the divide is virtually equal with 55 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans reporting elevated stress.
Moreover, the largest groups experiencing stress are people 71 or older and Millennials. Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers are less likely to sight stress. So not matter who you are, you’re probably feeling some type of stress or experiencing it from time to time. If you are stressing, then your overall stress level will likely have increased, according to the survey results.
Election-related anxiety is not one to take lightly and there are certain steps that you should take so you can make it to and past November 8, 2016.
How To Decrease The Added Stress
Not everyone deals with stress in the same way but there are quite a few ways to try and avoid adding on stress to your already busy life. Here are a few ways the APA suggests you go about it:
- Don’t be afraid to change the subject- If having conversations with someone who has opposing opinions gives you a lot of stress or anxiety, then politely make it known you wouldn’t like to talk about politics. Your mental health is more important than trying to convince someone to see it your way.
- Limit your media consumption- Steer away from social media and media in general. Don’t become obsessed with knowing every single last detail and limit your media consumption.
- Channel your energy- Use your passion and put it towards a cause. Volunteer in your community, join local groups, or advocate for a specific issue on your own. Instead of getting angry, put your emotions to good use by getting active.
- Be mindful that life will go on- After November 8, life will continue to go on. Relax and try not to consider the “what-if’s.”
Try not to be consumed by stress for the remainder of this election season. Make positive decisions for the benefit of your mental health. Next time, instead of getting into a heated debate, share these stress-free methods with that person. We could all use a little breather after this long campaign season. So relax and take a deep breathe for your health.