Have you ever ignored the news about elections or felt your stomach in knots after seeing political campaign ads? You’re not the only one. Many of us feel our hearts drop when hearing about upcoming elections, but whatever is putting you off voting or getting involved, remember not to fall into the trap of believing that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance, in the political setting, is anything but bliss. As we’ve seen, ignorance is disastrous.
According to the American Psychological Association’s 2020 Stress in America™ survey, 3 out of 5 US citizens are overwhelmed by the number of issues their country faces. Moreover, 77% of Americans admitted that the nation’s future is a significant source of stress. That’s concerning as a country’s governance should bring a sense of safety and stability. Once those core principles are disrupted in any country, a society begins to experience anxiety.
Face your fears and use the tools you already have to think logically, improve resilience, and humanize politicians.
Putting Critical Thinking In Motion
We live in a world of easily accessible and constantly flowing vast amounts of data, most of which are neither valuable nor valid. It’s not surprising that many crumble beneath the information overload, feeling confused about which “truth” to believe. And that’s where critical thinking comes in handy.
Asking questions that make you argue with and undermine every piece of political news you read is the foundation of critical thinking. Look for bias-free information instead of emotionally charged social media posts. Ask yourself what the message is behind the information you’re reading and whether the piece provides you with accurate data or simply plays with your emotions to elicit empathy, anger, or even pity.
But what should you do if the fear of the unknown gets the best of you? Fight anxiety with facts and fill up the gaps in your knowledge with well-conceived research. Once you learn to consume news and social media with a critical eye, you’ll be able to see why the creators are attempting to awaken your emotional side and what’s behind their manipulation. Nurturing your critical thinking abilities means that you’ll be able to use your logic and reason to fight unreliable news outlets.
Building Resilience Through Understanding
Election season often triggers tensions and anxiety as it’s generally filled with mudslinging, mind-numbing advertisements, and hard-fought debates. If you are uncomfortable with conflict in the first place, you might be tempted to hide in your house with the television off during the months preceding elections.
To survive these hectic, highly-charged times and avoid feeling overwhelmed, but also to learn and grow from it, you need to build resilience to widespread nonsense by simply gaining knowledge.
Distinguishing facts from fiction, avoiding being led into misinformation, and watching out for fake news is indeed hard work. But it’s all worth it, as you’re investing resources into overcoming your inner challenges and contributing to society by widening your political awareness.
If you want to check whether you genuinely understand what you’ve just read, try to explain it in simple words to someone unfamiliar with the topic. Once they understand your point, you will have just gained the best asset in our modern world – comprehension.
A fear of authority figures is a type of social anxiety, bringing up feelings of severe awkwardness or inferiority. It’s in human nature to detect who holds authority based on respect and who earned it by abusing their power or being in a privileged position. This fear of authority, especially political figures, determined by the global media and personal experiences, can be quickly resolved by humanizing political figures.
Assume you regard politicians as equal conversation partners with whom you engage in light-hearted debate, try to perceive them as allies rather than a foe. Look for characteristics in politicians that bring out their human qualities rather than placing them as powerful politicians.
This is more important than ever as the United States’ political environment, with its 99th place, barely qualifies for the top 100 countries in the Political Stability Index 2020. This demonstrates that the US is on the verge of a significant political schism that only the country’s citizens can bridge.
The future of politics lies in your hands, so overcome fear and find your voice to speak up about matters that affect your life.
If you don’t know where to start, visit our website and learn to fight the fear of politics.