By Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
First it was the vitriol and inescapable negativity of the presidential campaign, and now it seems that we wake up daily to an endless stream of shocking executive orders and headlines questioning our national security and the foundation of our electoral process. Our current environment, amplified by 24-hour news outlets and social media, has created a level of stress, nervousness, and resentment that has intruded into many people’s lives and intimate relationships, the likes of which I’ve not seen in nearly 30 years of clinical work.
Some people are worried about losing their health care or about future economic distress. Others are angry about the travel ban while others fear for their civil rights and personal safety. The list of concerns is daunting.
If you’ve been nervous or anxious since the election, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a recent survey, you’re in the majority. “Nervous Nation: An Inside Look at America’s Anxiety in the Age of Trump,” commissioned by the online healthcare site CareDash.com, found that more than half of Americans (59%) are anxious because of the November election results. Half (50%) of Americans are looking for ways to cope with the negative environment; and more than a quarter (26%) are engaging in negative behavior such as drinking or smoking more often, eating unhealthily, or arguing with loved ones more frequently as a result of their election-induced anxiety.
If you’re among the tens of millions currently anxious in our nervous nation, here are few things you can do: