Not too many people would disagree that this has been the most unusual presidential election in modern day history. The build up to this election has caused social media “friends” to “unfriend” each other; posts on both sides of the aisle spewed with outrageous stories and half-truths; media predictions that were way off the mark; and the popular vote won by the losing candidate.
With the election of Mr. Trump some people are thrilled and others are scared. But emotions are still raw and running high among the two different camps. I contend that all of this does nothing good for our mental health.
If you are celebrating a victory you might feel happy, but in many cases are still fighting with people who are protesting or who are against Mr. Trump. I have seen people calling each other names on social media. For example, the protestors are called “cry baby’s,” “spoiled brats,” etc. So if you are doing the spewing of derogatory name calling, I have a news flash – it is still not good for mental health to get all upset. Conflict causes an increase in anxiety and the more you spew the more anxious you get. The bottom line is you probably are not going to influence whether the protestors line the streets or not, so maybe accepting some people are not too happy is the faster path to a peaceful mind.
On the other hand, if you are mourning Hillary Clinton’s loss it can feel depressing and sad. There is also a tendency to start predicting how the country is going to hell. How all decisions Donald Trump makes will be the end of America. Painting this kind of negative picture also raises anxiety and can trigger depression. There has never been any single president in the history of America who has “ruined” the United States. I really doubt one person can have that effect.
What is best for our mental health? In my mind the key to a balanced and healthy mind comes down to a balanced perspective. Trying to respect whatever feelings this election may have brought up and moving toward having some closure. Learning to agree to disagree and find a common ground with each other is critically important.
Of course we always have the option to “take all our marbles and go home.” Continuing our disputes on Facebook and bringing all that negative energy to whatever environment we are standing in. But ultimately negativity affects the person who is carrying it more than it affects anyone else.
Let’s try not to judge each other and learn to respect our differences. Our mental health depends on it.