I have avoided this topic for too long: Politics.
This article is not about fake tweets, Obama care, yelling, NRA, Me Too, Supreme Court Justices, name calling, idiots, school shootings, Russia, North Korea, or creating crisis. It is about you and me and our mental wellness.
If you think our political climate doesn’t affect your mental health and that of your family and friends, you might reconsider. Brothers don’t talk to brothers, people are shamed if they disagree with co-workers, and friends are discarded because of differences in their political views. Families, communities, and friends are split, and for what? For what?
I know there is always political discord, but what we are experiencing now falls into my category of crazy-making, which is conducive to anxiety, depression, anger, and illness. Shame on us!
We are smarter than to throw people who care about us to the wolves because we are incapable of listening, reasoning, and allowing two thoughts to be on the table at the same time. Conversations around issues, outcomes, and solutions seem to have evaporated. There might be a valid right or left, red or blue, but there is seldom an absolute right or wrong.
Remember the bell-curve. We are dangerously living in both extremes, and not in the middle of the normal range.
I like to hear what others are thinking as well as speak my thoughts while someone listens. I don’t want my words silenced with interruption and increased voice volume because our beliefs don’t align. Have we forgotten what we learned in kindergarten?
I asked two people what helps them combat this seemingly contagious disease attacking our nation. One said, “I’m on news blackout.” The other said, “I volunteer and increase my creative activities. It’s restorative.”
As for me, I’m sick of it all. What I want is out of my control, so I increase what I need: Watch Fox and CBS to get varied points of view; make sure I’m in safe company before trying to visit about yet another Whitehouse eruption; walk, bike, and write more; consciously connect with lifelong friends; read books that transport me to a more grateful world.
Respect, civility, and having a voice improve mental wellness. If we can’t STOP stirring the pot, and recover cooperative ways to live and work together, we are in danger of losing, and losing big.
How do YOU contribute to the craziness? What do YOU do to protect or restore your mental wellness?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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