Politics can be a hot-button issue for many people. In an election year it's often the differences between us that get emphasized in the news instead of what brings us together. Worry over the future can cause added uneasiness to our lives and leave us feeling helpless or more anxious than normal. Make sure to be proactive and manage any anxiety that springs up instead of letting it take over your life. Here are five reliable ways to short-circuit your presidential election anxiety.
1. Be Present
If you find yourself getting anxious about the election don't ignore it. Stop what you're doing take a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself more fully into the present moment. We often find ourselves getting anxious over events that haven't happened or that could happen. Take a moment, breath and realize that in the present moment you are okay.
2. Walk Away
It's easy to fall down the 24/7 rabbit hole of election news coverage. This is especially true on social media where multiple articles may hit your stream every hour. Being informed on current issues is important and positive. However, mainstream media also thrives on creating a certain amount of anxiety in order to drive page views. Be aware when you hit overwhelm or begin to feel a lot of uneasiness and put down your phone, shut off your computer and take a break.
A meditation practice is a great way to create a quiet place of reflection and refuge in your daily life. Meditation reaffirms that emotions like fear and anger come and go but don't define who we are. It's also an opportunity to just breathe and let your mind wander until it finds a clear space of calm.
4. Volunteer to Help
Sometimes the best thing we can do with our anxiety or nervousness is transform it into action. If there's a campaign you support find out more about what you can do to help. This will not only channel any anxiety you have into action but will help you connect with something larger than yourself and meet new people.
5. Cultivate Resiliency
It's good to remind ourselves that the only things we have control over are our own thoughts, emotions and actions. We can't control the world around us and trying to can create a lot of worry and heartache. Instead of being attached to any one outcome practice being resilient and flexible. If things don't go your way today remind yourself that tomorrow you can pick yourself up and get back in the game.
It's easy to feel anxious about the future especially during a presidential election year. The more we can manage our sense of anxiety the more clearly we can see the events around us for what they are and understand what actions we can take to make a difference. Start your own inner revolution one breath at a time.