By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Election anxiety is sky high today, with the country bitterly divided. The outcome is uncertain and we probably won’t know for sure, maybe for days.

Experts say Americans are exhausted from constant crises, on edge because of volatile political divisions and anxious because of the unknowns.

The election that has caused so much discontent has finally arrived.

“It’s just an amazing year with an amazing amount of negativity all over,” said behavioral therapist Dr. Steven Rosenberg.

Dr. Rosenberg, a Philadelphia therapist, says the election has sparked intense emotions and anxiety.

Fifty-five percent of Americans believe this Election Day will be the most tense day of their lives, according to one survey.

It says younger people are feeling the most anxious.

“What is it about this election that is making so many people so stressed?” asked CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl.

“It’s a real clash of issues,” Dr. Rosenberg said.

Plus, the election comes during a pandemic and civil unrest.

Storefronts all over Philadelphia are boarded up anticipating post-election disturbances and it could be a while before we know for sure who the next president will be.

“Once we know where we’re headed, once there’s some solid ground that we can place ourselves on, this fear of the unknown will disappear,” said Dr. Rosenberg.

Constant stress can cause everything from insomnia and weight gain to heart disease and diabetes.

“People need to learn to cope better with their emotions and their thoughts. Learn to clear their minds effectively,” Dr. Rosenberg said.

The best way to reduce election anxiety is taking a break from the coverage and do something fun or distracting.

“Get out and enjoy nature, take a good long walk. A nice sunny day will cure a lot,” said Dr. Rosenberg.

Exercise is a premiere stress buster, along with getting enough sleep.

Here’s one thing that many agree with — 67% just want the year to end and 2021 is less than two months away.

Finally, research shows voting can help make you feel better because it’s empowering.


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Stephanie Stahl