Expert Pitch
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

How to Handle Election Stress in an Exceptionally Stressful Year

When you tune into election coverage or think about the upcoming Election Day, do you feel your heart pounding loudly in your chest, or your face feeling hot, or experience a wave of negative emotions? You may be experiencing election stress.

Every four years in the autumn of a U.S. presidential campaign, people can experience such stress related to the election. And this year, the election is occurring against a backdrop of remarkably turbulent times. In the midst of a long-lasting pandemic, economic uncertainty, civil unrest, and observable ramifications of climate change, stress has been our close companion throughout this unsettled year.

Alicia Walf, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and a senior lecturer in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says that no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, election season means change, and change is stressful.

Walf can explain what is happening to the human body as we listen to politicians and pundits, and she can analyze why election stress is happening with such force for so many in 2020. She can also offer tips to help individuals deal with their election stress through the next week — and perhaps beyond.

Here is a link to her bio:


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