Stressed out by the presidential election? You are not alone.
More than half of American adults report that the 2016 election is a “very or somewhat significant” source of stress, according to an online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association.
“We’re seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican – U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election,” said Lynn Bufka, the association’s executive director for practice research and policy.
Stress is one thing Republicans and Democrats have in common: 55 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans say the election is stress-inducing.
“Election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and video on social media that can heighten concern and frustration, particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory,” said Bufka.
Indeed, nearly 4 in 10 adults said talking politics on social media causes stress. In addition, adults who use social media are more likely to say the election is a significant source of stress.
While men and women are equally likely to say the election is a source of stress, younger voters and older voters are the most likely to be stressed out by the election.
The association has some tips to deal with stress – beyond unplugging entirely until Nov. 9. It recommends reading “just enough to stay informed” and taking frequent news breaks.
Also “avoid getting into discussions about the election if you think they have the potential to escalate to conflict,” the association says.
“Whatever happens on Nov. 8, life will go on,” the association says. “Our political system and the three branches of government mean that we can expect a significant degree of stability immediately after a major transition of government.”