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Calming Election Anxiety

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Are you stressing out over the election? Do your teeth ache and stomach churn every time you see those negative ads in television? Has the angry chill of the politics of division gotten next to you? It's bad enough that we have this economic tsunami crashing around us every day, and now we are enduring the spoils of a seismic election impact.

So what if we do get the "other" folks in office? How will you be affected? What can you do about it? This question applies no matter who you think the wrong choice might be.

Whether you're worried about the elections, work, home or personal issues, stress and anxiety can take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health. Many serious illnesses are caused in part by stress, and constant worry can leave you feeling worn down, irritable and out of control. So how can you learn to manage your anxiety?

While everyone manages their stresses differently, here are a few things to try the next time you're feeling overwhelmed.

Try rigorous exercise. Whether you kickbox, jog or play a game of tennis, getting your body moving will help reduce endorphins, improving your mood and making you feel better about anything you're worried about.

Meditate. When you feel yourself being overwhelmed with anxiety, try taking a few minutes out of your day to clear your mind of your worries and meditate. If you have trouble doing it alone, try using a guided tape or music designed especially for meditation. Breathe deeply. Sometimes just concentrating on your breathing can have a calming effect on your state of mind. Count your breaths and concentrate on breathing in and out deeply.

Focus on something else. Fight your anxiety by temporarily shifting your attention to something else unrelated to what you're upset about. Limit your intake of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can add to any existing anxiety and make you feel worse than you would otherwise.

Be optimistic. No matter what you're feeling anxious about, you can help make yourself feel better by taking an optimistic view of things rather than focusing on all the things that could go wrong.

Look at the big picture.

Sometimes things that don't really matter in the long run can get you all worked up in the present.

Remind yourself of how your worries will fit into the larger picture of things and it may give you some perspective.

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