Political season stress can take a toll on your body

News 8's Sonia Azad shares some tips to keep you body healthy by avoiding stress brought on by election season.

In a survey released this month by the American Psychological Association, 52 percent of American adults say the election is a significant source of stress in their life.

“How the candidates are handling themselves is not the best,” one man told News 8.

“I’m feeling pretty pessimistic about the shape of U.S. politics and, in general, about America these days,” Ian said. “It's a little bit depressing, to be honest."

Nowadays, it’s more than just attack ads. Candidates are throwing shade and incideniary language at each other on a daily basis.

“It makes me mad, sad, irritated,” said one 18-year-old, first-time voter.

Then, there are all those memes.

Ian told us he hasn’t lost any Facebook friends over this election yet, but admitted that “it gets close sometimes.”

Jokes aside, a lot of folks are feeling overwhelmed by the negativity plastered on walls and screens.

“I think, with a lot of people using social media as their main news source, it's a constant feed," said Parkland Hospital Mental Health Counselor Jacqueline Juarez.

Juarez said what happens to the psyche when you stress is serious.

“Our bodies produce cortisol, and cortisol is the stress hormone,” Juarez said. “It can really create different reactions in your body, whether it's difficulty processing the foods that you eat or difficulty maintaining your blood pressure level."

To avoid that type of natural reaction in the body: step away from social media, tune out the debates, and avoid mixing family and politics.

Juarez had one more suggestion.

“Unfollowing friends that are posting things that are really polarizing," she said.

Then, there’s one woman News 8 caught up with in downtown Dallas who told us how she stays low-stress about the presidential debates: “I'm interested in meditation and stuff, so I don't watch.”

Experts say that regardless of your political leanings, it’s a good idea to take a time out and find some ways to de-stress.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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