Raise your hand if you’re completely fed up with this election.
The narratives are nasty and triggering, the Facebook feuds are endless and let’s not even discuss those debates. Enter this brilliant video from The Cut, which captures the essence of how we all feel about this election in under three minutes: Livid.
Jibes aside, there are high stakes at the polls on Tuesday. Many people feel that their core ideals and identities are on the line. This perceived threat can lead to a lot of burning anger and stress. A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that the majority of Americans are feeling high-strung because of the current election cycle. And the best way to deal with it is to let it out, according to science.
Research shows harboring negative emotions like resentment and anger can be damaging to mental and even physical health. Experts agree that releasing those emotions in a constructive and healthy way can keep your well-being in top shape.
Below are a few ways to expend that (justified) election anger:
Go for a walk.
There are seemingly endless benefits to going for a stroll. Research shows it can improve your mood, keep you calm and even help ease depressive symptoms if you head outdoors. Experts say having relaxation strategies ― like walking ― is one of the best ways to manage anger.
Write out what you’re feeling.
Taking a pen to paper can be incredibly cathartic. Writing out your anger allows you to sort out your emotions in a thoughtful and logical way. And research shows it can help you feel better: A 2007 study found that putting emotions into words can have a therapeutic effect on the brain.
Try seeing a therapist.
PSA: Therapy is a very useful tool, even if you don’t have a mental health condition. If your frustration or stress is interfering with your everyday life, it might be time to reach out to a medical professional. The process is designed to equip a person with coping strategies for anger, anxiety and other negative emotions that may be overwhelming.
The ultimate way to do something about election anger in particular is to head to the polls. You have a say in what happens.
“In a democracy, a citizen’s voice does matter. By voting, you will hopefully feel you are taking a proactive step and participating in what for many has been a stressful election cycle,” the American Psychological Association advised.
Don’t you feel better, now?