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Coping with Election Anxiety, Regardless of your Political Views

Ah, deep breaths. After all, you probably tensed up upon hearing the word election. During tumultuous times like these, working within ourselves is more important than ever.

Division is at an all time high. Stakes are too. But we're familiar with division, aren't we?

After all, we live with a divided mind 24/7, 365. A mind that never shuts up. A mind that tells us one moment that things are okay, and then the next moment that our life is falling apart.

It's the same mind that tricks us into thinking our life is doomed, and yet tells us to continue to act in destructive ways.

In short, we live with a mind that doesn't know what it's talking about. Kind of similar to the collective mind of my home country, the United States right now.

Seeing as we're no stranger to this type of division, shouldn't we know how to deal with it? Aren't we experts in effectively managing our neurosis?

The answer is no. We haven't even learned to deal with our own minds, so how are we to manage the collective mind, especially when it's so chaotic?

Like all topics of this blog, the election is no different than anything else that happens around us.

There’s what’s going on outside, and what’s going on inside. The election is no different, yet, it feels different. It feels much more important. At its core, it's yet another outside event, but perhaps we feel its magnitude because we believe our entire world views are at stake.

Regardless of your political views, the reason you’re so up in arms is because the entire way you look at the world is at risk of being broken, or so you think. This is scary. This causes emotionally charged responses, typically plagued by fear.

But your fear-based response to the happenings around this election are no different than your fear-base response at home or in the workplace.

This is good news, because it means its workable.

Neither you nor I can control anything related to the election. We have our sliver of influence, which is our voice and our vote. Aside from that, we don't control how the votes are counted, and we certainly don't decide who gets to declare victory.

So why are you working at that level? Why are you exerting so much energy over things you simply cannot control? Only a fool spends his time trying to dam the ocean, yet we're all doing the work of a fool when it comes to our fears and desires about other people.

A wise person looks within, and realizes he has all this garbage stored inside. Rather than blaming the people, places, and things around him, he turns inward to work at the root, where the source of the garbage lies. He realizes that only then can he be free of the mess he caused within himself.

It is your job to respond to the election, and all its aftermath, in a way that is productive. This you do have control over. This is within your sphere of control, unlike the actions of other people.

There are a lot of scary things happening now, regardless of what you believe or who you support. But that also means there's a lot of opportunity to work on yourself, to work within yourself, to question, examine, and befriend the part of you that gets scared.

This you do have a choice over. This is within your control.

Live with substance!

Gabe Orlowitz

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