How to Deal with Stress of the Election
In the last few weeks, there has been a huge increase is stress across the country. Every four years about this time it happens, but due to social media, it has increased. It’s called election stress!
It might even be affecting you, but you’re not aware of it.
Here’s what happens- someone on social media creates an outrageous post, often bashing the “other side.” We then feel the immediate reaction to post and offer a rebuttal. Even if we don’t reply, if we look at enough of these posts, our attitude becomes poor and we’re aggravated, but we are not even sure why. Election Stress…
Election stress is very generalized, meaning we may find ourselves more anxious and argumentative, and we are not sure the cause. Frankly, election season brings out the worst stress in all of us, because it’s polarizing. There is little middle ground. These social media posts just creates more division and people dig their heels in to defend their own standpoint.
Who knows, maybe you’re the one who understands it all and that is your thing. Personally, I have never enjoyed the drama that the media creates and we all get pulled in. I would rather focus my energies and attention on my relationships.
Here are a four simple, but not easy, techniques to help deal with the election stress.
- Be Prepared- We need to be aware that for the next couple of weeks, political discussion or arguments may arise from anywhere on social media, (our family, friends, etc.) We should simply have our guard up to NOT be argumentative and be hyper vigilante when in certain circles.
- Acceptance- Know that you will not change anyone’s point of view. If you “win” your argument, you are more likely to just ruin a relationship or business. So accept people for their viewpoint and better yet, acknowledge their “take.” Saying something like “that’s interesting” or “can you tell me more” will go a long way in diffusing any disagreements and allowing that person to be heard.
- Respond, don’t react- When we react, we fire off an answer with little thought. Before posting, take a break, and come back later. If you still feel the need to post, go ahead. But make sure you’re calm before posting.
- Listen to Johnny Cash– The song- The one on the right is on the left, It’s a tale of how politics can really get in the way. Who was Johnny Cash?
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness