Election Stress: Staying Positive in a Negative World

Election Stress: Staying Positive in a Negative World

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Here we are, just days before the 2016 presidential election. An election that at times has looked more like a reality TV show or a fighting couple in a race for the highest office in the land. 

Welcome to the Year of Negativity. You don’t need to look far to find negativity these days. Scroll the headlines or turn on your TV and you could quickly come to the conclusion that we live in a dark and angry place. 

But you can change that —by managing your attitude and actions. If you could use a boost of positivity in your life, consider one of these suggestions: 

1. Take action. If you don’t like a candidate then instead of complaining or ranting online about him or her, get involved. Hand out fliers, make calls, and work at a polling station. Do something productive. 

2. Set boundaries with people. You don’t have to engage in political discussions with colleagues, friends, and relatives. These can be contentious. Feel okay simply saying “I prefer not to discuss politics” and leave it at that. 

3. Stick with the facts. Rather than getting caught up in hyperbole and sensationalism be a good researcher and gather the facts about a candidate’s position. It’s easy to grab on to misinformation or disinformation and run with it just because you dislike a candidate – but doing this will only instill and reinforce your fear and anxiety. 

4. Unplug. In the era of 24/7 news coverage and social media, it’s hard to avoid an inflammatory tweet, a Facebook post suggesting a conspiracy theory, or a far left or right wing news source spewing propaganda. Pick a time to disconnect from all media (I’d suggest one hour before bed time) and up to that point pick one news source and stick with it. 

5. Vote. If you don’t vote, then don’t complain post-election. We live in a democracy. Exercise your right to vote and celebrate the liberties and freedoms you have. 

6. Take a step back. Look at the big picture. Sure this is a contentious election and we’re hearing more name calling than ever before, but keep things in perspective: there’s a system in place for a smooth transfer of power and our Nation has been able to do this for over 200 years. 

7. Pray. Prayer softens the rough edges and helps you acknowledge who is really in control of our lives.

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