4 News Now Q&A: Keeping your sanity this election season

Your Questions Answered

Q: How do I deal with the stress of this election? 

A: With Election Day only four days away, if you’re feeling stressed out, you are not alone.

According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 70 percent of people say elections create a significant amount of stress. The APA’s survey also found that 77 percent of people are worried about our country’s future.

ABC News Anchor Dan Harris, who is also behind the “10 Percent Happier” book and app, recently did four podcasts called the “Election Sanity Series.”

Harris spoke with Good Morning Northwest Anchor Derek Deis about the fear of uncertainty during the elections.

“People feel out of control. And on top of that, they feel overwhelmed by all the information they’re taking in,” Harris said. “There’s a lot of anger and mistrust toward people in their family or people in their neighborhood with whom they may disagree. We’re at this sort of uniquely divisive moment in American history. so all of that just creates a lot of stress for people.”

If your candidates do not win, it can create even more stress after the election.

So, what can you do about it?

The APA recommends:

  • Mentally preparing for delayed results, as planning ahead reduces uncertainty.
  • Practicing stress reducing habits, like getting enough sleep and eating healthier.
  • Taking time to unplug from news and your devices, and do something nourishing, like reading a book.
  • Finding signs of hope, perhaps in things like the fight for social justice, or matters that are important to you.

But Harris would add something else: Meditation.

After a very public on air panic attack years ago, Harris has committed himself to daily meditation. His 10 Percent Happier app will send you daily video on meditation every day through Election Day.

“We’ll just give you some basic instructions to lower the level of anxiety, calm your nervous system a little bit and we’ll do it every day, right up until election day. So hopefully, you can stay engaged without losing your mind.”

Harris said most of the mediations are 10 minutes or less, but even one minute a day can still help.

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