If you are wondering why you might be feeling more stressed out or anxious, realize that you are not alone. What you are experiencing could be a symptom of “Election Stress Disorder.” To provide more perspective, according to the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA), 68% of U.S. adults report the 2020 election is a significant source of stress in their life. This is actually an increase from 2016 elections where the poll showed a rate of 52%. This is a staggering 14% increase in only 4 years. In addition, if you do have a chronic health condition, the numbers showed that 71% of this population was suffering with high stress.
So what exactly is exactly stressful or anxiety provoking about the election? Majority of Americans in the poll stated that they worry about the future of our nation and current political climate. On top of all this, we are in the midst of a global pandemic with a baseline divided nation. Certainly one cannot forget the many months of racial turmoil in our major cities preluding the election. No matter who you speak to, nobody can deny that we are in unprecedented times, calling for more drastic measures to reduce stress.
I hope that you have now gained some insight into why people are feeling increasingly stressed or anxious. Lets now discuss practical steps you can start trying today to lower your stress and anxiety. Fortunately the APA has issued 5 following evidence-based recommendations to help people manage their stress, as listed below:
1) Avoid dwelling or ruminating on things out of your control. Instead focus on things that you can control.
2) Break the habit of jumping to bad outcomes in your thoughts.
3) Limit media consumption. This includes the news and scrolling through social media. This can be quite triggering.
4) Engage in meaningful activities and stay active.
5) Turn to family or friends for emotional support.