Whether you’re for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, both sides will agree that this election has been dynamic since the beginning. With all the twists and turns, it’s no wonder voters’ stress levels are taking a hit.
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The American Psychological Association (APA) says 52% of adults who participated in its survey acknowledged that this year’s presidential election is a big source of stress.
“We’re seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican — U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election,” Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy, told FOXBusiness.com.
One of the biggest triggers of stress for most voters comes from social media. Nearly four in ten adults (38%) say that political and cultural discussions on various social media platforms make their blood boil.
Even a hospital in Southampton, New York is barring its patients from heated political debates in the gym.
Jessica R. Swiatocha, the manager of wellness services & cardiopulmonary rehabilitation at Southampton Hospital, tells FOXBusiness.com that heated political debates have made patients uncomfortable, which ultimately led to the hospital’s decision to hang up a sign barring election discussions.
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“I do feel that more people are stressed out this election and it is a more negative election than we have seen in recent election cycles,” says Swiatocha. “I clarified to all of our patients that they were free to discuss politics but not debate because it was causing stress to other patients in the gym. All of our patients are either recovering from heart surgery, have had a heart attack or a cardiac intervention or suffer from CHF (congestive heart failure).”
Stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It can increase blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and anxiety. Stress can also decrease the body’s immune response.
Survey findings also show that election-related stress does not confine itself to a certain demographic. However, Hispanics are most likely to say that the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress at 56%, followed by Whites and Native Americans at 52% each.
Some companies are even trying to capitalize on the mounting stress levels of voters. Earlier this month, GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) over-the-counter headache medicine, Excedrin, sent Twitter into overdrive before the final debate with its promotional tweet, “The possibility of a #DebateHeadache is high. Be prepared with Excedrin.”
Scott Yacovino, senior brand manager for Excedrin, told FOXBusiness.com that the move was really based off of health research.
“We talked to Americans across the country and uncovered that 68% said the 2016 Presidential Election has caused more headaches than any other election,” he said.
And, if you’re looking to keep your stress levels at bay until Election Day, the APA advises you to avoid social media and only read or watch the news to stay informed, then go for a walk or spend time with your family. Also, try to keep your political opinions to yourself.