The results of the 2016 Presidential are wreaking emotional havoc on our nation, communities, friendships, families, and, in turn, our health. Here are some tips on how to cope—and help turn the dark into the brighter side.
It’s Not a Him or Her Thing
Regardless of your political persuasion, you are feeling it—we are all affected. The blame game will never do anyone good. Once we take a few long, deep breaths, a bit of time, and some small steps and back away, we can begin to put certain things into perspective.
Deep down, none of us want to hate or be hated. Our innate inclination is to love and care for others in our species. It’s a basic, genetic survival mechanism. If aliens from another planet invaded, we would all convene and huddle together as humans, right?
OK, most of us would.
Your Convictions Matter
Whichever candidate one voted for this election, seems to have mattered more (to each voter) than any other election in recent history. And because of that, it is especially imperative that we respect one another’s feelings, opinions, beliefs, and choices, regardless of the results. We may not agree with one another, but respect should be the ultimate priority.
Hermann Hesse, author of Siddhartha, said, “It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.”
Surely, this is easier quoted than practiced—especially if we’re emotionally charged. But it’s worth contemplating, at the very least.
Symptoms of Anger
Emotional – Failure in facing and dealing with anger in a productive (and resolution-seeking) way can cause a boatload of problems. Emotionally, you may feel constantly irritable, snappy, and impatient, have bouts of rage or depression, feel stress, and/or displace your negative feelings onto others unwittingly.
Physical – Unaddressed and/or indulged anger can cause heart palpitations, tightening of the chest, dizziness, back pain, increase blood pressure, migraines, and extreme fatigue.
Those who experience prolonged periods of anger and anxiety increase their risk of stroke and heart attack. Other physical and emotional developments can include sleep disorders, memory loss, and disintegration of personal relationships.
Working it Out for Yourself and Your Health
If you want to stay healthy, here are few concepts worth exploring and maybe even putting into action.
– Take a Break from Thinking About it. Your mind is a brilliant entity, but it can also cause you strife if you let it run aloft. Playing the scenario over and over of what has made you mad, will make you crazy. Distract yourself from ruminating by choosing a relaxing and/or fun activity. Give yourself a break. It might turn out that you’ll feel better and be able to better understand other perspectives.
– Apologize if You Went Overboard. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to criticize, judge, name-call, especially when we’re passionate. But maybe you were too harsh with someone, perhaps a family member, a coworker, or (Oops, oh no!) a friend. Political leanings are never worth hurting ones we care about. We can hold true to our beliefs, yet still be “nice” to those we love who don’t see the world exactly as we do.
– Remain Gracious. Humility and grace are such beautiful attributes. You can be generous and objective without being phony. Just remember that your friend (or other fellow humans) have feelings and beliefs, too. You may not share the same, but invalidating theirs does no one any good. Just nod, smile, and carry on. You’ll feel much better than insulting, fighting a fight that’s a lose-lose, and then feeling horrible afterwards. Remember: Grace.
– Communication and gentle, from-the-heart words are about the best we can do to express our care for one another. (Well, besides gift-giving, but that’s another article.) Offer your “biggest” mature person, and perhaps in return, you’ll find some personal satisfaction and maybe even in the best scenario, some enlightenment.
Eating well, exercising, and good sleep are essentials to high-quality health. But if you want optimum results, keeping your anger and emotions in check matter a whole lot, too! Here’s to a kinder, healthier outlook, and richer, human-caring world…