The Future of America Leaves Many Stressed

With many stressed after the election, here are some ways to help manage your symptoms.

woman looking at phone stressed

A new poll from the American Psychological Association (APA) reveals that 57 percent of Americans say that politics are a large source of stress. The stress is elevated even more when reports of terrorist acts, police violence and personal safety fears blanket news and social media outlets.

A prior survey from October 2016 found that 4 in 10 American adults said that social media like Twitter and Instagram played a significant role in their stress.

What is stress and how does it affect us?

Stress is a physical reaction to increasing demands in our lives like work, money and even politics. When the brain processes this feeling, it causes the body to respond in a fight-or-flight way, including increased stress hormones and faster breathing.

Stress also causes symptoms like headaches, muscle tension and lack of energy. While these are the most common signs, others include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Nervous habits like fidgeting or pacing
  • Body pains like stomach aches or nausea
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Increases in activities like smoking or drinking

How can we alleviate stress?

You don’t have to let political stress affect your day-to-day; there are ways to get relief. First, the APA suggests limiting your media consumption and avoiding presidential discussions. If the stress continues to affect other areas of your life, like relationships or work, try the following:

  • Make time for a more restful sleep (seven to nine hours a night is best).
  • Keep an optimistic attitude and laugh when you can.
  • Engage in relaxing activities like reading or exercising.
  • Create positive connections with people.
  • Give back to your community through charities or volunteer work.
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine.

If you still feel stress is negatively impacting your life, you may also talk to a physician or therapist for help in managing your symptoms.

More On

9 tips to stop stressing and actually enjoy the holidays

video

9 tips to stop stressing and actually enjoy the holidays
31% of people who participated in a poll said they anticipate being more stressed during the holidays this year. What this video for tips to calm your...
10 Healthy Ways to Handle Excess Stress

slideshow

10 Healthy Ways to Handle Excess Stress
From exercise to meditation, here are 10 ways to manage unchecked stress.
Holiday stress & finances

video

Holiday stress & finances
Dr. Jen Caudle, Dr. Betsy Chung, and Dr. Bertha Hidalgo explore the correlation between financial stress around the holidays and mental health.
How can I manage stress in my life?

video

How can I manage stress in my life?
Stress is unavoidable, but it doesn't have to get the best of you. In this video, psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein shares a simple approach to succ...
5 ways to save yourself from toxic productivity

video

5 ways to save yourself from toxic productivity
Toxic productivity is an unhealthy desire to be constantly productive, even if it is detrimental to other parts of your life.