This year’s election – and all the hoopla surrounding it – is stressing everyone out, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA).
The unrelenting coverage of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s extreme battle for the highest seat in the country, and arguably the world, has caused more than half of American adults stress, regardless of which party they support, the poll says.
Lynn Bufka, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy, says in a news release from the APA,
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.
She adds that, “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.”
In total, 52% of Americans over the age of 18 agreed that the election is a somewhat or a very significant source of stress, US News & World Report says. The number included 55% of respondents who identified as Democrats and 59% who said they were Republicans.
The survey also found that 38% of respondents said that political and cultural dialogues on social media caused them stress. Over half of those who use social media said that the election was a somewhat significant or very significant source of stress, compared to 45% of people not on social media.
Men and women were equally likely to experience election stress, but there were some differences when it came to generations. The most stressed were those from the Silent Generation, 60% of whom said the election was a somewhat significant or very significant source of stress, followed by Millennials at 56%, and Baby Boomers at 50%. Generation X was the least stressed, just 46%.
in order to cope with election stress, the APA recommends taking a break from social media, television, the internet, radio and basically anything that might offer news. Focus on family and friends, avoid discussing the election in situations that may raise conflict, and take action on issues of personal concern.
Lastly, the APA says to vote, so that all the stress wouldn’t have been for nothing.