Relieve post-election emotional tension

Olivia Jones

A giant eggshell has covered the streets and sidewalks as tension is rising among people of all ages, race and genders after the election results Wednesday. 

Professors don’t know whether to make the topic taboo or open it up for friendly class discussion. Employers are warning employees not to discuss political opinions with customers or guests because no one knows how the other is going to respond. Families are scared to tell their loved ones who they voted for and how they really feel about the election results. 

Our country is manifesting an even deeper divide and the future is unpredictable, but this probably would have occurred no matter who was voted into office. 

We don’t need to flee the country or hate on and label every single person who supports the president-elect. The same goes for those who supported the other side. 

One important fact that I think all of America, or the world even, should remember is that there weren’t just two candidates. We had several third party candidates listed, and the media did a poor job at representing them. This shouldn’t have been a lesser of two evils election, this should have been a chance for the third-party candidates to have a chance. 

A vote for any of them wasn’t a wasted vote, so we need to stop condemning those who voted this way as well. If enough people had voted third party, the popular vote would have shown those numbers and perhaps caused a flag in the system. 

People are fired up, people are scared, people are tired of talking about it. For those who push the voices away and ridicule those who feel passion for either side, this is a very real thing. We can’t just remove ourselves into this little bubble of reality, deciding that we are immune to all possible consequences and outcomes. The people wanted change and that’s what they’re about to get, whether it’s “good” or “bad.”

It’s almost like each person is an actual IED and we are just waiting for someone to go off, a riot to break out, chaos to proliferate. What can we do in the meantime? Hold on to our values.

We can make sure that the places we are directly involved with are demonstrating love and acceptance to all who reside there—our apartment complexes, workplaces, classrooms. We have to direct our energies locally and invoke love there first. We can transform all the hate, all the frustration, all the fear into love, compassion and motivation. 

Emotional tensions cause physical pains in the body. Right now, those tensions are extremely high and it’s safe to say that most of America’s hips are probably tight. When we’re stressed, we subconsciously tighten—fists, core, jaw, you name it—and with the hips being a central point of the body, they end up tightening as well to counteract the balance shift.  

Ease some of the internal turmoil and release the build-up in your hips. Try holding pigeon, gecko or cow face pose on both sides for about five minutes each a day. This will give you a moment to pause and make sense of your thoughts. Direct your breaths toward your hips, sinking a little deeper with each exhale. Encourage opening. Encourage a release. 

Some hidden emotions may actually arise, so be sure to pay attention and don’t force anything away. Let all the pain, repression, anxiety and frustration go, and turn it into something else. Understand yourself first and then create a game plan for the future. 

If we act out of frustration, we may end up regretting the outcome. If we act out of compassion, we can spark a chain-effect of similar actions and restore peace to our communities one hip-opener at a time. 

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