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Stressed out by politics?
You’re not alone, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, 57% of people in the US say the political state of affairs is a leading cause of stress for them right now.
It isn’t hard to see why! New crises and scandals hit the headlines every day. Fear-mongering is ever-present. The number of social and economic issues facing the country seems to rise all the time. And all that with an unpredictable leader at the helm!
Anxiety seems a rather natural outcome of it all.
If you can relate to these feelings, then you might benefit from some reassurance. Looking for some advice on how to cope with your political anxiety?
Keep reading to learn 8 ways to do exactly that.
1. Distract Yourself
Distraction is never a long term solution to your problems.
But it can absolutely have a positive short term effect.
Let’s face it, the sheer amount of political info we’re fed each day can feel overwhelming. News stories break every day that could imbue fear into the heart of many. It can seem like new crises are averted every day. It’s downright stressful!
As feelings of overwhelm arise, distraction can play a key role in reducing them.
Don’t worry about how you do it. Just find some means of turning your attention elsewhere. Go watch the game with your pals. Walk the dog in the park. Hang out with your family (and don’t talk about politics!)…Anything to get a break.
2. Turn Off the News
You can’t distract yourself with the news on in the background.
Remember, too much of anything is bad for you. Everyone should take a periodic detox. It’s a great way to stop getting overly involved in proceedings. For some set period of time, stay away from all forms of political updates!
Avoid newspapers, news channels, and social media, and so on. All of them contribute to your political anxiety. Only by turning them off can you reduce the effect.
3. Know What Helps
Everyone has their own way of dealing with things.
We all have particular activities, thoughts, processes and so on that help us through tricky times.
For some, that means going on a long run. For others, it’s reading a book. Maybe you enjoy going to the cinema, catching up with friends, or enjoying a coffee at the local shop.
However you get through adversity, now’s the time to do it. Unsure what helps? Think back to the last time you felt similarly. Ask yourself what made the situation better at the time. Recall something you did that helped and do the same now.
4. Get Active
Exercise is a known antidote to all sorts of negative internal experiences.
Try incorporating exercise into your daily routine. You don’t have to do much. Just do something to raise the legs moving and the heart pumping. Doing so will help reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your system.
Nicely, it will raise levels of serotonin too- a neurotransmitter known to play a role in a positive mood.
It can also help you sleep. And, if your anxiety is extreme enough, then you might be experiencing poor sleep at night. Unfortunately, the more tired you get, the worse your anxiety can become. That, in turn, can make sleep even trickier to come by.
Try exercising during the day to get you through it.
5. Take Action
The political system can feel massively out of your hands.
You aren’t a politician. But the matters at hand have a direct impact on your life and the lives of your family. It’s easy to feel powerless.
That lack of control can serve to exacerbate anxiety. After all, it’s often being in control that ameliorates anxiety- what’s controllable is predictable, certain and safe.
Taking political action of some sort may be helpful. It can restore a sense of control to proceedings. Equally, taking action is surely better than stewing in a state of nervous inactivity. Write letters to local politicians, start petitions, organize demonstrations (or take part in them), and so on.
6. Stay Up to Speed (To an Extent)
It’s important to turn the news off every now and again. But it can also help to be up to speed.
Being knowledgeable about all aspects of the situation can provide a perspective on it. What seemed threatening may turn out to be nothing to worry about at all. This is another form of taking control. You take the situation into your hands by understanding the nuances of it.
Having information enables you to form your own opinions. It also safeguards you from fear mongering and the ideas of other, misinformed individuals.
7. Read Something Different
Reading the news is good.
But be sure to read something else too! Indeed, there are many benefits of reading. It’ll stop you sounding like a broken record. It can also serve as a great distraction from the political state of affairs.
Settle down and read a novel or some other book that provides value to your life.
8. Get Mindful
Finally, mindfulness and meditation can be useful tools are your disposal.
Remember, anxiety is your primal brain working hard to protect you from a perceived future threat. It’s a natural part of your human makeup. But it can be unhelpful in extremis.
Staying present with what’s really happening in the here-and-now is a great remedy. You compassionately and non-judgmentally bring yourself into the present moment. Doing so keeps you in tune with your surroundings, grounds you in reality.
This process stops those worries and concerns having such a negative impact as a result.
Hope to Cope with Your Political Anxiety
There you have it: exactly how to cope with political anxiety in today’s current tumultuous state of affairs.
The world is full of things to worry about. Unfortunately, in a modern context, politics has become one of them. Around the country, millions of us are becoming increasingly stressed out about the current state of affairs.
Thankfully, there’s a lot that can help. Hopefully, this piece has highlighted some of the best ways to reduce the emotional challenges involved.
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