US Election|Democratic supporters more worried about defeat? Experts break down sources of stress

This year’s U.S. election is seen as the most important in history, and a survey shows that 76% of Democratic supporters are stressed about the outcome, a higher percentage than Republicans. In an interview with The Apple, Dr. Vaile Wright, a clinical psychologist and spokesperson for the American Psychological Association (APA), breaks down the different sources of stress among supporters of the two parties and offers three tips to help readers relieve stress in what is likely to be one of the tightest election campaigns in history.

She also offers three tips to help readers relieve stress in the tightest race in history.
The majority of Americans are stressed, with supporters of both parties experiencing slightly different levels of stress, related to values and power, according to American Psychological Association spokesperson and clinical psychologist Wright.

According to an earlier survey, 76% of Democratic supporters in the U.S. feel pressured by the poorer-than-expected election results, a higher percentage than their Republican counterparts (67%). According to Dr. Wright, the fact is that the majority of Americans are under pressure, and there is a slight difference in the degree of pressure between supporters of the two parties, which is related to values and power. “Republicans value freedom more, while Democrats tend to be more compassionate, so the latter will feel more pressure when they see others suffering (e.g. patients suffering from the epidemic and the unemployed, etc.); while the Republicans are the ruling party, with power and resources, they will feel less pressure.

Overall, the number of Americans feeling stressed about the election has jumped 16 percentage points from four years ago. According to Dr Wright, this is because people are aware that the leader they elect will have a significant impact on their daily lives, and because of the uncertainty of the election results, “people don’t know when they will know for sure who will be president, whether there will be a peaceful transition of power, etc.”. In addition to the election, climate change, health care, mass shootings, Wuhan pneumonia and the federal government’s response to the epidemic are also major sources of stress for Americans.

When people feel stressed, the first physical symptoms may include muscle tightness, teeth grinding, insomnia, changes in appetite, increased heart rate and sweating, as well as psychological symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, nervousness, worry and sadness.

Dr Wright offers three tips to reduce stress. Firstly, “prepare yourself psychologically with high expectations, as most election results will not be finalised the next day and there is a chance that the results will not be clearer until mid to late November. Secondly, “take care of yourself, i.e. eat healthy, sleep well, stay active and maintain social contacts, even if only through the Internet”. The third is to “stay informed and take a break from social media and the news”.

She specifically mentioned that people should manage their social media habits, such as turning off auto-alerts or stopping following someone, saying that “Twitter is a source of increased anxiety, except that sliding your phone can add more anxiety than actually communicating, such as clicking Likes and replying.

The Axe Throwing Venue in Brooklyn, NY has received over a thousand booking inquiries per week since it reopened in late September.

In New York City, axe-throwing activities have recently emerged, allowing people to put down their phones and throw axes at a dartboard to cool off. According to the manager of Bury The Hatchet, its Brooklyn branch received more than 1,000 bookings per week after it reopened at the end of September. However, due to the epidemic, the venue can only open 25% of its original capacity and about half of the bookings are turned down each week.

According to Matt, axe throwing not only helps to relieve stress, but also to meet up with friends, which is one of the reasons for the event’s popularity.

Matt, the store manager, noted, “Since we reopened, business has continued to rise. Everyone comes here with some pressure, and it’s hard to be stuck at home all the time. Most people don’t come here to talk about the problems they’re facing. They come here to let go of everything, to let go of the anger and resentment they feel at being stuck at home, to release that energy and have a good time together,” he said.