How Being Distracted by Politics Can Impact Your Health

 

Do you feel stressed about the election and politics in general? You’re certainly not alone. This is a significant source of anxiety for a huge share of the population. Unfortunately, it can have a detrimental impact on your physical and mental health.

Whether your current concerns are tied to the relentlessly negative news cycle or worrisome discussions with loved ones, political distractions can lead to the following health issues:

Insomnia

Like any source of anxiety, political concerns can make it difficult to enjoy a restful night’s sleep. Sadly, a growing body of research suggests that many Americans have struggled to sleep since the 2016 election. One especially concerning study suggests that one in five adults has suffered sleep loss due to political worries.

Tossing and turning isn’t just frustrating — it increases the risk for suffering a variety of chronic health conditions. For example, people who chronically fail to get enough sleep are more likely to suffer heart attacks or strokes. Poor sleep is also a chief risk factor for a variety of mental health conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder and postpartum depression.

Isolation

The current political strife has prompted a lot of infighting among family members who previously agreed to disagree. These fragmented social connections can spark a sense of isolation, which increases the potential for developing everything from depression to high blood pressure.

Previously, our friends and family members played an important role in combatting health concerns, but these days, they often inadvertently contribute to them. This isn’t the time to retreat from loved ones, however. Instead, find new ways to support one another — and if needed, commit to chatting about non-political topics.