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Post-election stress experiences real, psychologists say

An October poll by the American Psychological Association found 68% percent of adults reported this presidential election was a significant source of stress.
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 12:48 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - There are more Americans on edge about this presidential election than ever before.

If you’re feeling anxious about the outcome of the presidential election, you’re not alone.

An October poll by the American Psychological Association found 68 percent of adults reported the 2020 presidential election was a significant source of stress.

“Our false belief system will create these emotions, the sadness, worry and everything. Those really only last seconds our body. But when we get trapped and stuck in this emotional state it’s because we overthink it," said Sabrina Runbeck, a cardiothoracic surgery PA.

Some people feel excess worry which causes them to experience post-election stress.

People wonder what the results will be and when they will be announced.

“And that ambiguity leads to a greater sense of stress and anxiety," said Dr. Camden Morgante, a licensed clinical psychologist.

Dr. Morgante told me some physical symptoms include an increase in heart rate, sweating and difficulty breathing.

“There’s so much contention with this election that, I think people that we normally can find social support from maybe we’re on different pages now. We don’t feel like they’re safe places to go to,” explained Morgante, "But it’s really important to still reach out and find that connectedness and find that sense of empathy from other people in our lives.”

Ways to cope include exercising, cooking or crafting.

“I think that helps us when we’re so caught up in our thoughts and our anxieties and our fears and uncertainties to ground back down to the present moment of the reality of our life right now," said Dr. Morgante.

Dr. Morgante also recommended the Headspace app where there are specific meditations for election uncertainty.

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