How to Navigate Election Stress without Losing Your Head
So you may have noticed there is a general election going on. There’s lots of news everyday about the state of the country and our future, but very little clarity on what might be round the corner. This kind of uncertainty can create a whole load of inertia and hesitation in people, so what can CBT do to help you unravel the election stress snarls in life’s smooth process?
The first thing to realise is that no matter who gets into power, there is no idealised state and there will be good and bad on both sides of the equation. You may be a little worse off in the short term or certain benefits you may have enjoyed could be curtailed. What’s important about this is that you understand that adaptation is required after June 8th.
It’s all too easy to look at life as something that happens to us. Even if you are constantly winning battles and overcoming obstacles, there can be a tendency at low points for you to bemoan your luck or blame some cabal of other people who have made life difficult for you. The truth of the matter is that at every single point you define your own reality and it’s up to you to make the best out of any situation you are given.
Some people sum this sentiment up as when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But often I think this is too harsh and presents a version of reality where life is a grind and real trudge through difficult moments.
Of course, this may not at all be the case. Take a look around at your life and realise that very little has changed. The people you love are still in your orbit, you have the skills that you have learned throughout life and the benefits of all the good choices you have made.
At times there almost seems a preoccupation with happiness in the western world. We push ourselves towards this standard of nirvana-like perfection where unless we are absolutely buzzing with narcissistic self-delight then we are not enough. But actually when you start to carefully reframe your life with a better perspective on what’s possible you realise that contentment and love are higher aims.
One of the most important facets in developing contentment is gratitude. We are not saying you should be looking at some of the harder lessons life has taught you and be thankful for your misery, but ultimately gaining a richer appreciation for everything around you will help you understand how it all plays a role in your contentment.
So whatever the result of the election, as long as you focus on that which is within your own control – your mindset, approach, attitude and energy – then no matter what the future throws at us, from Corbyn through to May survival is guaranteed and there’s a fantastic life waiting in front of us – so use all the tools at your disposal to ride out the elections stress.