Is Election Season Bad for Your Blood Pressure?

Election Day has always been a day the public takes pride in partaking in. Going to the polls and getting that little “I Voted” sticker is part of our country’s makeup.

But you may notice that you don’t always feel so hot around that Tuesday in November. You may feel anxious, irritable, or just downright sick.

That’s because election season does a number on your health. And, as it turns out, your blood pressure may be at risk.

I Voted sticker

I Voted sticker | Bethany Clarke/iStock/Getty Images

How your emotions affect your blood pressure

As one doctor tells USA Today, the emotional impact that Election Day has on your health can directly impact your health. “Stress hormones,” Marc Siegel writes, “including adrenaline and noradrenaline are released at a time like this and they increase heart rate and blood pressure, and increase risk of heart attack and stroke.”

And you don’t have to be heavily invested in a candidate or a proposition to feel the effects of election season stress. Constantly being inundated with political advertisements ahead of an election can make you feel overwhelmed and cause your blood pressure to spike. Science Daily confirms negative political TV advertisements have an effect on voters, So if you’re someone who posts up in front of the television for long periods of time around an election, you’re likely exposing yourself to even more negative advertising, which has the ability to raise your blood pressure. (And your blood pressure will be on the rise anyways from spending too much time in front of the TV.)

heart monitor

Heart monitor | Evryka23/iStock/Getty Images

How long can these effects last?

As scary as it is that election hysteria impacts your health, you may be thinking you’re in the clear once that one week in November has passed.

Unfortunately, the toll election season takes on your health can be long-term — especially if you’re dealing with the grief of your chosen candidate losing.

“There is also the risk of ongoing anxiety and depression, especially if your candidate lost,” Siegel continues. “People transfer their hopes and passions and expectations onto their chosen politicians. There is a lot of emotional pressure tied up in the elections.”

Siegel recommends doing your best to turn off the TV, log off social media, and simply stepping away from all things election-involved. He also suggests not holding on to negative emotions towards election results. “In short, continue to engage in your regular activity, and resist the tendency to keep fighting for a cause that has been lost,” he suggests. “Those are positive responses and much better for your health than holding on to anger or bitterness.”

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