This years election is causing more stress than any other prior election that I can remember. It doesn’t matter who you are for, against or just think they both need to be tossed out and beg for a do-over, the fact is that this election has touched a raw nerve in most people. I am going to discuss some ways to help cut down that stress (at least try).
When things in our life start to consume us we get many different medical symptoms. Blood pressure can sneak up, blood sugars and cholesterol can spiral out of control. We quit sleeping, have more reflux and are generally on edge. Yes, the election can trigger all of these but this is bigger than the election. This is how we handle stress in general so this applies to everyone. We will never be without stress but we can learn how to avoid it consuming us.
Let’s look at some survival tools you can use when life is stressful:
1. Take a step back and breathe and ask yourself if your worrying would help. This was very clear to me when I watched the movie Bridge of Spies. Mark Rylance played a spy that had been convicted by lawyer Tom Hanks. It didn’t look promising for the spy and when asked if he was remotely worried Mark’s response was always “would it help?”. I LOVE that! Next time you are getting sucked into that worry spiral step aside and ask just how much the worrying is going to help. I’m positive the answer is not at all.
2. Exercise – one of the best stress releases. Crank up that music to drown out your own pervasive thoughts and get that heart rate up and sweat!
3. Try to spin it into a positive outlook. As much as I don’t like the political ranting on facebook, I spin this into being thankful that our society is starting to wake up and pay attention. Find something positive about the issue, the person or the situation and this will help shift the tide.
4. Turn it off – if there is something that is truly consuming you emotionally you have to learn how to turn it off starting at least 2 hours before bed. This might be turning off the television, not reading the paper in the evening, getting off that computer or smart phone hours before it’s time for bed. Fill that space with something you do enjoy like read a book that captures your attention, do a hobby, stretch, etc.
5. Meditation – I have found when anxiety is high it becomes very difficult to meditate. However, you might be able to listen to a guided meditation and focus on someone walking you thru it. Meditation is a life long skill that has been shown over and over to decrease all types of diseases. Take it in short and predictable bites and gradually work up as tolerated.
6. Tapping – Tapping, also called EFT (emotional freedom technique), is a simple tool that can help so many issues including anxiety and insomnia. I don’t have the time or space to go into how to do it here but the basic premise is using your fingers to tap certain pulse points to release all that stored up negative energy. Check out Nick Ortner’s tapping videos and he will walk you thru it. This is so easy to do and it really does work so at least try it!
8. Need more help? Then let’s review some supplements that may take the edge off. I keep some of these on hand in my medicine cabinet so go to the What’s in My Medicine Cabinet section for more info