Elections and Stress

Stress can be a national epidemic for all genders and ages during election season. Stress can be positive, but chronic or negative stress is negative and reduces your functionality. Political instability can be challenging, regardless of geography, religious beliefs, or age. The transition of power may cause stress and anxiety about the political environment.

According to the American Psychological Associations survey, Presidential elections can be a source of significant stress for more than half of all Americans. Some indicated stress about the future of the nation and others were stressed about the political instability times. Stress that accompany the election season has different symptoms which vary from person to person. Common symptoms include emotional symptoms such as worry, tension and irritability. Physical symptoms can be experienced also being headache, eating and sleep problems.

Social media also impacts American’s stress level when it comes to elections and politics. Stories and news related to elections are easily and constantly accessible to youth twenty fours a day in print, radio or social media. Most of the Americans considered the election season as a significant source of stress. The political news bombards everyone inlcuding the youth.

Most of the youth were experiencing emotional and physical distress during the time of the 2016 presidential election. Physical distress means difficulty concentrating, insomnia or hypersomnia and overeating etc. Physical distress was frequently paired with emotional or psychological distress which made them feel exhausted throughout the election season. Voters were particularly worried about potential discriminations. Feelings of hopelessness and insecurities about their future opportunities increased.

News about election and post-election implications have been difficult to escape which left the youth as stressed as they were before the election. Not only the voters of the losing party, but supports of both party candidates and even supporters of no particular candidate also explain the level of stress during or after election seasons.

The American psychological association has offered the following tips to deal with election related stress.

  • Limit your media consumption to avoid election stress. If the twenty-four hour news cycle creates stress then reduce your level of news you take in but stay informed. Not only news, but you are also required to cut social media discussions to avoid stress and improve functionality.  
  • Take digital breaks or spend time enjoying pleasurable activities to balance the level of continuous stress.  
  • Avoid getting into political discussions if you think they have the potential to get into conflict.  
  • Be aware of the frequency with which you are discussing political issues with people around you.  
  • Don’t forget to cast your vote. A citizen’s voice does matter and you are taking a proactive step to a productive future.  
  • Just keep in mind that whatever the result will be, life will go on. Maintain a balanced perspective.