My interview with on managing election anxiety 10/14/2016

In the minds of many, the 2016 election has become a circus inciting fear, anger, and anxiety. Rather than discussing platforms and programs, candidates, supporters, and the media use fear-based rhetoric. By painting a catastrophic, black and white picture of the evils of one candidate, the opposing candidate positions themselves as a hero.

Many people worry what will happen to themselves, their family, and the country post-election if the “wrong” candidate takes office. While there may be valid concerns about what changes may take place and how they will affect you, feeding your fear results in narrow vision and a panic response. Our election process often leaves the majority of folks feeling like their opinions and votes don’t matter. This feeling of helplessness activates the fight/flight stress response polarizing folks into name-calling fear-induced mobs. Others intentionally withdraw to protect themselves from anxiety.

Here are some tips to manage your election anxiety:

  1. Validate your concerns without feeding your fears. Catastrophizing, cynicism, all or nothing viewpoints feed the fear. Instead, acknowledge your concerns and determine what plans you will put in place to lower your potential risks.
  2. Commit to living in the present rather than fearing the future. Take one day at a time and problem-solve once facts become fully evident.
  3. Remind yourself of past achievements. We have all made it through difficult circumstances and hard times. Remind yourself of personal and corporate stories highlighting strength, fortitude, and perseverance.

This too shall pass. It is just a season. We, as a nation, will come together and overcome any potential hardships. We are “One Nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

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