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COMMENTARY: Take ‘alternative facts’ in small doses, avoid anxiety

COMMENTARY: Take ‘alternative facts’ in small doses, avoid anxiety

In a survey released earlier this month by the American Psychological Association, 57 percent of Americans say they are feeling more stress due to the current political climate, while 66 percent were stressed about the future of our nation and 49 percent were stressed about the outcome of the presidential election. In fact, 52 percent of Americans said the Presidential election was a very, or somewhat signi cant source of stress.

Suffice it is to say that those who voted, and their candidate of choice won, are rejoicing that they participated in the process. On the other hand, those whose candidate did not win, are nonetheless pleased that they participated in the process.

But the rhetoric has only just begun. Every news station that covers the political climate contributes to the dis-ease of rendering the “good, the bad and the ugly” as they see it. The problem is that the public is left to sift through what is true, not so true, or what is false, and then quell their emotions in the process, so as not to walk out of the door on their way to work, church, shopping or wherever shaking their heads or feeling “some kind of way.”

So what is the public to do? This is what the therapist says: First, understand in your conscious self that the news must be taken in-the-moment with a recognition of the slant of the person who is delivering the information–or alternative facts. Whatever your opinion, there’s an argument for it.

This counselor suggests that you take the information in small doses, avoiding an overdose that might cause anxiety, anger, and sleepless nights. Avoid indulging in deep political conversations on the job because it can potentially become devisive. Additionally, keep political conversations light at lunch. Remember, you do have to return to work.

One of the things that has “made America great” is our ability to express our opinions. Lately, however, it is advised that we should know, more than ever, the company we keep. Less the “company we keep” might become the company that discards and shuts down the ability to express opinions. Opinions are like tires, someone said: at some point in time, EVERYBODY HAS ONE. Stress and anxiety are frequent invaders of our calm and even temperaments. It seems that we find ourselves doing more and more to avoid “flying off the handle” or stepping on someone else’s toes. While there are several causes to which we connect our stress levels, have you noticed that one of the prominent stressors, lately, is the current political climate?

Here’s what the Counselor suggests:
• Remember that however we think or feel, there’s a television or radio station that agrees with our slant. You might just want to listen to that station only.
• Consider limiting your intake of caffeine so you won’t become edgy when someone says something that may cause disagreement or offense.
• Take deep breaths and think about what you are going to say BEFORE you say it. After you say it is too late.
• Get enough sleep so you won’t be cranky on the job. Turn in earlier and avoid letting the news or a disturbing movie be the last show you watch.
• Remember that “opinions are like at tires; everybody has one.” Keep your cool and remind yourself that your opinion is the best one to YOU!

By barbara w. green

Certified counselor and minister in Baton Rouge. She is the author of The Parent Anointing and The Great One. Follow her on Facebook or at www. barbaragreenministries.org

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