How to Stay Clear Despite Negative Media During Elections

Elections are pivotal moments in any democratic society, providing citizens with a voice to shape policies and hold leaders accountable. However, the intense political fervor and campaign excitement can take a psychological toll on voters.

As Indians eagerly await the election results on June 4th, many are grappling with anxiety and stress. You may find yourself feeling restless, on edge, or even experiencing physical symptoms like a racing heart or butterflies in your stomach. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “Election Stress Disorder.”
The constant barrage of negative campaign ads can significantly contribute to heightening anxiety levels. These ads often employ fear-mongering tactics and highlight worst-case scenarios, leaving voters feeling stressed and uncertain about the future.

Negative ads play a role in increasing our anxiety, and they are plentiful during election seasons. Once we hear a negative ad that contradicts our beliefs, our brain goes into defensive mode, and stress levels tend to spike.​
David Brown
A behavioral health specialist
Elections stir up strong emotions because they represent more than just politics – they encompass our hopes, fears, and visions for the future. With so much uncertainty and heated debates, it’s natural to feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.

Moreover, elections can breed divisiveness, making us feel like we’re on opposing teams. This polarization can leave us feeling isolated and disconnected from others, exacerbating feelings of loneliness and distress.

The constant influx of information from various sources can also overwhelm our cognitive abilities, making it challenging to discern fact from fiction. We may inadvertently fall into the trap of confirmation bias, solely paying attention to information that aligns with our preexisting beliefs while disregarding contradictory evidence.

Despite our best efforts to stay informed, the relentless media coverage surrounding elections can be overwhelming and inescapable. So, how can we maintain our well-being and stay clear amidst the negative media frenzy? 

Here are a few strategies to consider:


Take breaks from constant news coverage: In today’s 24/7 news cycle, we’re bombarded with information, leaving us unsure of how to process it all. Periodically stepping back from the constant barrage can help protect your mental health.


Engage in productive time management: Seek out activities that provide a sense of fulfillment and calm, such as going for a walk, reading a favorite book, or savoring a cup of coffee in silence. These practices can help lower stress levels and promote emotional balance.


Accept what’s beyond your control: Trying to control every aspect of a situation can increase restlessness, anxiety, and stress. Strive to stay grounded and accept the things you cannot change.


Increase social engagement: Lean on your support system – friends, family, or trusted individuals – whenever you feel anxious or overwhelmed. Sharing your feelings and concerns can provide comfort, perspective, and a sense of connection.

Remember, seeking emotional support is a sign of strength, not weakness. The Emotional First Aid Academy offers a compassionate and non-judgmental space to explore your emotions, providing guidance on how to navigate the challenges of election season with resilience and self-care.

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