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Coaching Ourselves in the Aftermath of Elections

I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted! I am thankful that my life will not be bombarded by TV, radio and newspaper ads about how to vote. Now it is time for me to sit down and think about what needs to be done next. How am I going to react to either having the people I supported elected or how do I react to the people I wanted in office not winning their elections? Am I setting a healthy example of managing myself to my family and friends? How can the children in my family learn from how I choose to work with the results?

Going Forward

Think of what a coach would say after a football game. Would he go into the locker room after a loss and say, “We lost! What are we going to do? How are we going to cope with this defeat?” No, a good coach would sound more like, “Good fight! You gave it your best shot and I am impressed with your passion and ability to stay in there until the end!”

Next, a strong coach would point out some of the outstanding plays and say, “We are going to focus on our strengths and examine what we can improve.” When a coach says we are going to focus on improvement, it puts the focus in a new direction. A new box of possibilities is being opened. He does not bad-mouth the opponent or propagate negative emotion in the team by pointing out all the differences between the teams. He simply focuses on what his team can do better.

The coach, after a win, does very much the same thing. “Our team won! What can we do to get better? How can we work better together? We can now focus on improving the areas we think need more attention.” He does not bad-mouth the opponent or propagate negative emotion in the team by pointing out all the differences between the teams. He simply focuses on what his team can do better.

Our Behavior Counts

Our personal response to a win or defeat could be viewed from the above vantage point. It does not help your “cause” to be negative and depressed sending out words of anger and dread to friends and family. I have been asked by many of my patients how I feel after the election. My response was this: “I work to support what I believe to be healthy for my community. I will support the ideas and policies I agree with of the individuals who won and work to educate the officials of options they really have.” I do not allow stress into my life so I will work to embellish the good and educate away the bad.

Don’t Take it Personally

I think it is a mistake to put all your eggs of life into one basket. Our entire life is made up of situations – good and not so goodm creating the color and texture that makes us individuals. Take this election and use it as an opportunity to grow yourself. A state of expansion is powerful and will serve you well going forward. Our physical health can become compromised by the significant stress of loss; any type of loss will create the same symptoms in the body. If you are experiencing severe stress, it is important to discuss the issue with a professional. They are trained to help you identify the emotional turmoil you are experiencing and work to reconfigure your routine habits. If you look at your life as a series of situations that occur to everyone at one time or another, you may not feel so out of sorts. Political elections fit into this category. Knowing that we all suffer emotional and physical pain, disability and reduction in strength and stamina will help you find support and training on the issues you decide are important to you. Find the focus the coach was speaking of in the above paragraph. You need to make deep-hearted choices on how you are going to manage your physical and mental health. Are you going to be your own best friend or are you going to say to your body and mind: “I only liked you when you were working the way I want, I don’t want you any more?” Or do you say about our political system, “I only liked you when you were working the way I wanted, I don’t want you any more?” FBN

By Dr. Karon Lynn, Au.D.

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