Question: I have been watching the news since the election cycle began and I am finding myself very stressed listening to both Trump and Clinton, and their surrogates. Can you help me?
Answer: The research validates what you are saying. The current election is the most stressful one to date. Many people are feeling stressed due to the amount of media coverage, and the constant arguing of surrogates on news shows.
There is good news. The good news is that the election will be over in a few weeks. The other good news is that you have the power to choose what you listen to. Practice taking some time off from the election. If you are in your car, change the station from news to music. If you are home, make a conscious decision to do something differently other than listen to the news. Also, I would suggest that you practice a relaxation technique such as stop, breathe, reflect, choose. When you are aware that you are worrying about the election, say to yourself “stop.” If you are alone, say it aloud. If you are with someone, don’t, as they will wonder what they should stop. Then take a deep breath in, that triggers the body’s relaxation response. Thirdly, reflect on what it is you would like to focus your attention on. Finally, choose the most positive thought in that moment.