We’ve all heard the expression “politics is giving me anxiety” at least once in our lives. But, is there actually a connection between politics and our mental health? Well, the short answer is a resounding yes! In this article, we’ll explore the ways in which politics and mental health intersect, using a mix of humor and research-based facts.
First things first, let’s define what we mean by “politics.” In its simplest form, politics is the process by which decisions are made in a community, organization, or country. In other words, it’s the way in which power is exercised and decisions are made that affect our daily lives.
Now, let’s dive into the connection between politics and mental health. It’s no secret that politics can be a stressful and contentious issue, particularly in recent years. The constant news cycle, social media debates, and heated discussions around the dinner table can all contribute to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and stress.
But why exactly does politics have such an impact on our mental health? For starters, it’s the unpredictability of it all. We can never be entirely sure what decisions will be made, who will be in power, or what the consequences will be. This uncertainty can leave us feeling anxious, especially when the decisions being made affect our personal lives, families, and communities.
Another factor is the sense of helplessness that often comes with political discussions. It’s not uncommon to feel like our opinions and beliefs are not being heard, or that we have no control over the decisions being made. This can lead to feelings of frustration, disappointment, and anger, which can all have a negative impact on our mental health.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways to mitigate the negative effects of politics on our mental health. For example, limiting your exposure to political news and discussions can help reduce anxiety levels. We recommend setting aside a specific time each day to catch up on the news, rather than being bombarded with it 24/7.
Another strategy is to become more politically active. This can mean getting involved in local or national campaigns, volunteering for a political party, or simply having discussions with friends and family about political issues. Engaging in these activities can help you feel more in control and empowered, which can have a positive impact on your mental health.
It’s also important to remember that there is always humor to be found, even in the most tense political situations. Humor can help us diffuse the stress and anxiety that often comes with political discussions. Whether it’s a funny meme, a joke, or a sarcastic comment, humor can help us keep our perspective and not take things too seriously.
Research has also shown that being politically active can actually be good for our mental health. A study published in the Journal of Social Science & Medicine found that people who were politically active reported higher levels of life satisfaction and well-being compared to those who were not. The study also found that people who were involved in community activism and political engagement reported higher levels of psychological well-being.
So, what’s the bottom line? While politics can certainly have a negative impact on our mental health, there are ways to mitigate this. By limiting our exposure to political news and discussions, becoming more politically active, and finding humor in the situation, we can help protect our mental health.