Been feeling a little anxious recently? An underlying sense of stress following you throughout your day? A sense of dread anytime you turn on the news?
It turns out, you aren’t alone. Pundit after pundit has commented that this is one of the strangest elections America has been through in recent memory, and aside from creating a media spectacle, the election is actually increasing the stress levels of everyday Americans. This election just seems to have more tension surrounding it – and both sides believe that if the other candidate wins, the consequences will be dire. The tense cultural climate this election has contributed to is taking a toll on Americans, so if you’ve been feeling some election-related stress, you can rest assured that it’s not just you.
Stress is a normal human response to situations that we feel as a threat. When we’re stressed, we tend to get a little irritable, our heartbeat might increase, our reaction time might speed up, and we’ll tend to make quick, impulse decisions. From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes sense: if we’re stressed by the presence of a large predatory animal or another person that’s out to do us harm, we do better when we make decisions quickly and definitively.
In modern times, though, we often feel stressed by things that don’t pose any immediate or real danger to us. In the case of the election, the heated nature of the discourse and the seemingly dire consequences of the results of the election, can cause us to feel threatened, uncomfortable, and stressed. And if you’re feeling this way, you’re in better company than you might think.
As it turns out, this election is producing a lot of stress for most Americans. The Pew Research Center found that 55% of American voters were “disgusted” by the campaign, and only 15% felt “optimistic” about it. In fact, more than half of adults reported feeling “afraid of the election outcome” in a Gallup poll. By the numbers, it’s clear that this election has been a significant source of stress for Americans all over the country.
If you’re feeling stressed out by this election, that’s ok: it’s a perfectly normal response and one you share with many other Americans. That said, there are some things you can do to soothe election stress and make the next week more bearable. Here are a few tips for dealing with election stress this year:
Naturally, if you need someone to talk to about election stress or any other issues you’re facing in your life, I’m here to help. As a therapist who’s worked with clients throughout the Manhattan Beach area for years, I’ve helped countless clients deal with stress and anxiety from personal events, trauma, and even larger cultural happenings like elections. You can trust me to take a non-judgmental stance in all of our discussions, and I’ll work with you to help you find the root of any problematic emotions you’re experiencing and work through them. If you’d like to pursue therapy for yourself or a loved one, feel free to give me a call at (310) 892-2572 or reach out to me on my contact page.