Newswise — Journalism professor Whitney Phillips can talk about ways to cope with political panic. Her research and experience teaching have found that political panic and political aversion often have a key thing in common: high levels of anxiety.

Her studies looks at where political communication, interpersonal communication, and information dysfunction collide. Her research shows that, while we need to be plugged into the news cycle, we also need to consider issues of citizen wellbeing and mental health, since nothing shuts down engaged citizenship faster than stress and overwhelm. Equally critical is interpersonal communication; According to her research, we need to focus on strategies for having difficult conversations about issues that make us angry and people we fundamentally disagree with.