Political stress is real, and it can take a toll on our mental health. According to a study published in the journal Health Affairs, the 2016 presidential election was the most stressful event of the year for many Americans. In fact, 64% of respondents reported that the election was a very or somewhat significant source of stress in their lives. From the stress of conversations with loved ones, to the uncertainty of the future, it’s not hard to understand why political stress gets us so worked up.
But did you know that voting is good for your mental health? Believe it or not, research shows that there are some pretty amazing benefits to casting your ballot. From reducing stress levels to improving moods, voting can have a positive impact on your overall well-being.
One of the most important benefits of voting is that it can help to reduce stress levels. Studies have shown that people who vote tend to have lower levels of stress than those who do not vote. This is likely because voting gives us a sense of control and empowerment over our lives and our communities. When we feel like we are making a difference and that our voices are being heard, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. We are no longer just worrying about it, we are doing our part to do something.
In addition to reducing stress, voting can also improve our moods and make us feel happier. This is likely because voting gives us a sense of purpose and belonging. Knowing that our vote can make a difference in the world can be a powerful motivator to get out and participate in the political process. When this happens, we feel like we are part of something larger than ourselves, it can boost our mood and overall happiness.
There you have it! Voting is good for your mental health! So, get out there and exercise your right to vote! It just might be the best thing you’ve done for your mental health for a while!
Samantha Morel, Ph.D.