(WXYZ) – Many Americans are suffering with election stress disorder, which has been defined as an intense concern about who is going to be our next president.
The American Psychological Association conducted a survey of 3,500 adults back in August. They reported that 55% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans said the election is a source of stress. Those who are on social media are more likely to feel that stress, with 4 out of 10 adults reporting this negative emotion due to online political discussions.
This has been a contentious election, and research shows when people are exposed to negative news, it can have a detrimental effect on their mental health. Psychologists also say it can affect a person’s personal worries, which they may see as more threatening and severe.
The symptoms people can feel are heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and a sinking or doomed feeling. If you’re suffering from any of these and you want to lower your stress, you can do a few things.
First, you can read your news, and limit how many video reports you watch every day. Paper media doesn’t give the same emotional experience as television.
Secondly, limit your conversations about politics. This may help avoid heated discussions, which can fuel your stress.
Third, when your stress levels are up, take a break! Either Go for a walk, listen to music or meditate. It’ll help clear your head.
Lastly, get out and vote on Tuesday! Make your voice heard, and you’ll feel better for taking a proactive step.
If you feel that election stress has been interfering with your ability to carry out daily activities, then see your doctor. Prescription medication could be effective. I’d recommend experimenting with different relaxation techniques and as they are very effective in managing anxiety and stress.
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