It’s that time again… The presidential election season is upon us here in America and emotions have been extra high because of it. Every election season creates tension as the government is in a state of flux, almost as if we’re in limbo, anxiously awaiting to see how things turn out. This is especially true when the current president is a lame duck and we know for sure that a new face will soon be occupying the White House.
This particular 2016 election has seen more tension than ever as the established parties have produced the two most polarizing presidential candidates in history. Citizens feel uncertain and highly stressed, without knowing what’s going to happen to them or the future of their lives and country.
Election Anxiety is a Real Thing!
This stress and tension is enough to make anybody feel on edge, but election season presents even more challenges for empaths, as empaths have to feel this type of energy coming at them from multiple different places, from many different people.
While it sometimes feels like it would be nice to live under a rock until well after election season is over (or to just flee the country altogether! If only!), this unfortunately just isn’t practical. Therefore the modern empath (see what I did there?) needs to have things they can do (or not do!) to help them cope when everybody’s emotions are on edge.
Below are three things that I have been experimenting with to help me not get too emotionally wrapped up in this election. I thought I would share them in the hopes that they may help other empaths keep their cool so that we can all get through this election while being as emotionally balanced as possible. I hope they help!
3 Tips to Deal with Empathy During Election Season
1. Avoid the news
Avoiding the news is something I have employed for many years now, and I have been much happier for it! I used to worry that by avoiding the news I would be uninformed about what’s going on in the world, but what I discovered is that not keeping up with the news has made me a whole lot less angry with the world (surprise bonus!).
You see, ever since yellow (or sensationalist) journalism made its debut in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, news outlets realized that shocking news sells big bucks. To this day, news outlets still report on the worst stories imaginable, because they know that people will pay attention to it, if anything because it’s like a train wreck: it’s horrible, but you can’t seem to look away.
And with the internet and instantaneous news available right at our fingertips, it is not difficult at all to be in the loop with all of the terrible news of the day. This is especially true during election season, as there is no shortage of awfulness to be reported. Being constantly bombarded by the worst of the worst can make anybody feel like the world is nothing but a savage and terrible place, creating mass emotions of fear, anger and resentment, which is definitely not good for empaths!
While I think it’s important for voters to make informed choices when they head to the polls, I personally do not think it’s necessary to stay up to date with election-related news 24/7. Read up about the candidates and research initiatives and other ballot measures to make the best decisions possible. But don’t lose yourself in the nastiness of daily election news. It’s a sure fire way to make an empath feel stressed, angry or worse.
2. Stay as grounded as possible
As I always say, grounding is the most important thing empaths can do to not lose themselves in the sea of emotions. This is especially true during election season when it seems that everybody’s emotions are heightened and it’s next to impossible to escape from it.
Because grounding helps one to reconnect with themselves and the earth below them, it is a fabulous tool to use when election-related stress and anxiety become difficult to deal with. Regular daily grounding techniques, meditation practices, exercise, etc. are all great ways to shrink your world so that you become more focused on you and less focused on everybody else.
3. Focus on what you can do to contribute to the good in the world
In general, empaths tend to be sensitive people who struggle with injustice in the world. This is something that gets stirred up a lot during election season as it seems as if the world is full of nothing but injustice, which is very difficult to not be upset about (it is for me at least).
Since like attracts like, if you are focusing on how angry or upset the current political state is making you feel (boy do I understand this!), you will be much more likely to pick up on similar angry-type emotions from others. This can lead to a bad cycle where the anger just keeps feeding itself. I used to get trapped in this cycle a lot just a few years ago until I stopped spinning my wheels and started focusing on what I could do to help make things better, rather than just stewing in my anger.
Becoming an acupuncturist helped me dramatically in this regard, because it provides me with an outlet in which I can focus on helping people feel better. Knowing that I am doing even a tiny bit of good in the world really helps me to not pick up on so much of the despair that so many others are feeling right now. It also helps to know that by feeling good and uplifted by what I am doing, I am not contributing to the cycle of negative emotions that are so prevalent right now.
I highly recommend finding an outlet that allows you to focus on what good you can directly do in the world. This can be anything from baking cookies for your neighbors for no reason to volunteering at a soup kitchen to simply sending a positive and uplifting text to somebody. Focus on doing good and know that you are contributing to bettering the world, something that will not change regardless of the outcome of the election.
The Bottom Line
Elections are always tough, but the good news is, it doesn’t last forever. Try your best to stay as positive as possible (no Facebook fights, guys!) and this election will be over sooner than you realize. And who knows! The outcome may even be pleasantly surprising! I’m nothing if not an optimist. ?
We’re all in this together. Here’s to seeing you all happy and emotionally well on the other side of November 8, 2016!