We have many patients complaining of stressful symptoms related to the upcoming election! The non-stop media coverage, our own social media fixations, and the nasty and divisive tone of this campaign have been like no other. We’re glad when we can help our patients with relaxing acupuncture treatments. Our recent newsletter includes an article on how to manage the stress of the political season. Remember – it will be over very soon and life goes on!
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports a significant majority of Americans have experienced what they are calling “election stress disorder” ESD. These findings reflect anxiety about the tone, process and outcome of the Presidential and down-ballot elections across a very wide range of our society. From young to old, people of all ethnicity, religions, income levels, professions, regions and other classifications have widely reported typical anxiety-related symptoms based on the elections and our exposure to them.
We see many patients in our acupuncture practice who display signs of ESD, election stress that negatively impact their Shen or spirit and agitate their liver causing irritability, anger, sleeplessness, indigestion and other disorders. Acupuncture is very helpful for these conditions but is more important that individuals learn how to deal with the incessant noise and combativeness of the election cycle in their daily lives.
The APA has made the following specific recommendations to help with these fears and upsets. I have recommended them to my patients and I hope they’ll be helpful to you.
Watch enough news to be an informed, engaged citizen. Then change the channel, turn off your news feed, or simply do something else. Walk the dog. Play catch with the kids. Read a book.
Avoid Election Conflict. Try not to participate in conversations you know are going to lead to conflict over the issues or the candidates.
If you feel passionately about your side, then volunteer to make calls, go door-to-door, or help with a voter registration drive. Do something proactive, but don’t bring it home.
Understand we have a robust, resilient system of government designed to withstand tough elections and intense disagreement. The separation of powers and our system of checks and balances will ensure stability in the coming months.
This is the number one thing you can do. Early voting has already started around the country. Voting early feels great. Once you vote, you know you’ve done what you can. And there’s a bonus: lines are generally shorter.
By and large we can celebrate the political freedoms we enjoy. We can argue passionately, make our strong opinions heard, and have infinite sources of unfiltered and uncensored media (maybe too much!) and at the end of the day and the election season we can come together as people who all basically want the same things – peace, security, freedom and respect. Most people around the globe cannot experience benefits of our vibrant democracy.
Where ever you stand, whomever you support... ultimately we decide how we feel, what we allow to stress us and how we respond to stressors. If we can assist you with ESD or any other life stress reductions... please contact us!
Post by Peter Kadar, L. Ac. D.O.M.
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