Trump Anxiety: Get Relief With These 6 Anxiety-Reduction Strategies

From Dr. Susan Heitler, MD. Author of Prescriptions Without Pills

Feeling anxious thinking about our President-elect?  If so, you have lots of company.  At the same time, many Americans feel pleased, and even ebullient, looking ahead to 4 years of Trump at the helm.  And sure enough, many are on the middle ground, looking ahead in wait-and-see mode. 

For the anxious among us, take heart.  Here’s five options to ease your worries.

1. Mindfulness: Next time you feel anxious, close your eyes and feel where the anxiety is located in your body.  How large is it?  What color?  Then keep observing it, allowing it to be.  Feelings have a way of rising and then gradually falling on their own.  

2. Do Or Become: As you see the anxiety and its’ size, shape and color in your body, ask yourself “And what would a ____ like that like to do or become?” 

For instance, If you see a hot ball of fire in your chest that’s about the size of an orange, ask “And what would an orange-sized ball of fire like that want to do or become?”  

Keep asking that question with each successive image, so if the ball of fire becomes a cool ice cube, you then ask “And what would an ice cube like that want to do or become? 

You will be finished when the image is something positive, for instance, “it would like to go to one of the plants in my house, settle into the soil, and provide water for it.” 

3. Best Possible Light: Ask yourself, “If I think about those anxious feelings in the Best Possible Light, what are they trying to do for me?”  And the, “What might be a better way to accomplish the same objective?”

4. List Your Concerns:  Write down a numbered list of all the concerns that come to mind when you close your eyes and think about the Trump presidency.  Then circle back and one by one think of what additional information might ease that concern.  One way to get that information might be to look for people who are Trump supporters and ask them what they like about the prospect of Trump being our President.  Just be sure that you listen to understand their perspectives, rather than to reject them with a knee-jerk  “Yes, but…” 

5. Temporal Tapping and Acupoint Tapping: Believe it or not, tapping on your head can make anxiety dissipate.  Check out my explanations of temporal tapping and the explanations of Gary Craig of how to do acupoint tapping.  These do-it-yourself techniques can be remarkably quick and calming.

6. Distraction: Decide that thinking about your Trump concerns only increases your anxious feelings, so instead you will focus your thoughts elsewhere.  Do your favorite activities.  Start a new interest.  Call a friend.  Read a book.  Put on upbeat music. Go out into the sunshine.   Do something that’s helpful to someone, anyone.  Think about the many things for which you feel gratitude. All of these are both distractions and emotional uppers. 

Life is not meant to be an endurance contest. If you feel anxious, so something to get back into the zone of well-being.  Enjoy!

About the author: Dr. Heitler, a graduate of Harvard and NYU and a Denver clinical psychologist, offers more information plus videos on anti-anxiety strategies at her website, and in her book, Prescriptions Without Pills: For Relief From Depression, Anger, Anxiety and More.

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