Are Politicians Causing Us Stress? (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Politics and Stress--second part of three part seriesIn my first post this week (Part 1), I posed the question “Are politicians causing us stress?” and then answered with a definitive “YES.” And while I used my first post to highlight the most obvious way this is true—namely the stress-generating effects of all the emotionally-charged political rhetoric that gets spewed around during any major election period—I also alluded to the possibility that there are other, less obvious ways that politicians may be causing us stress as well:

“…I would like to argue that there are two other much less obvious, but perhaps even more important, ways that politicians contribute to our stress.  These two ways are more indirect in nature, and a lot more sinister in their consequences.  And they go far beyond just the surface layer of all the bashing, posturing, and inflammatory public rhetoric that’s currently going on…[and they may be]…contributing greatly to the stress we experience…even when we are not in an election cycle!”

Less Obvious Way #1

Our whole political system is fraught with weaknesses, inefficiencies, corruption, dishonesty, and many other sinister qualities that continually send disempowering messages to everyone living in our society.  Yes, our political system also has its strengths as well, but the negative impacts are not insignificant, and they may be having adverse effects on people far beyond what we typically notice.

One such disempowering message is the way politicians model problem-solving behavior (or I should say non-problem-solving behavior) to our citizens, every day.  The nature of politics is such that while most politicians “say” they are committed to solving major societal problems, when you remove all the smoke screens, they are frequently NOT! 

To truly try and solve today’s major societal and political problems, politicians would need to take strong, principled actions that would invariably anger many of their constituents.  But this is anathema to the average politician, especially if they want to remain in office.  So, they can only “pretend” to be interested in truly solving problems.  Thus, they specialize in making only token efforts, or massively overstating the benefits of the few new laws or regulations they do pass, to make it appear “as if” they are getting down to real roots of our problems, when in fact they aren’t even close.

Stress = Problems In Our Lives

Now what if we were to model the same type of problem-solving behavior in our own lives?  What if we were being subtly, subconsciously influenced by all this pseudo-problem-solving behavior on the part of our so-called “leaders”?  And what if, based on their lead, we satisfied ourselves with only making token efforts to deal with our own personal problems in life?

In other words, what if we are being subtly conditioned to pat ourselves on the back for just making well-intended efforts, even if our problems are not being adequately addressed or solved at all?

Well, if you try to model the same non-problem-solving behavior that our politicians tend to use (and glorify), then you’re going to end up with lots of recurrent, persistent stress in your life.

As I’ve pointed out in many previous posts on this blog, and in most of my other stress mastery training materials, “stress” is just a word that we use to stand for very specific problems in our lives.  These could be work-related problems, school-related problems, financial problems, relationship problems, health-related problems, public speaking problems, etc.

The key point is that the amount of stress we either have or don’t have in our lives is always going to be dependent on how skilled (or not skilled) we are at dealing with, or preventing, many of the common problems that we all frequently use the word “stress” to refer to.

Don’t Underestimate This Less Obvious Influence

Now you might think we would all clearly recognize that politicians aren’t really committed to solving difficult societal problems, or that their faulty, dysfunctional problem-solving tendencies won’t have much effect on our own, personal problem-solving efforts, but you’d be wrong if you made that assumption.

One key reason is because this modeling of ineffective problem-solving behavior, which starts with our politicians, gets amplified many times over.  We have media pundits who constantly applaud the wonderful problem-solving actions of their favorite politicians, even though the actions they are boasting about aren’t really going to improve the problem much at all.  We also have television shows and movies that glorify this same dysfunctional problem-solving behavior.

And when you talk amongst your friends, or your co-workers around the water cooler, this same level of superficial, mindless, “the emperor has no clothes” problem-solving mentality “pollutes” the entire social environment around you, and makes it appear that real, in-depth, courageous problem-solving behavior is somehow not all that important.

It is these types of subtle, pervasive, mindset-influencing impacts of “accepted” political behavior that troubles me and makes me wonder how much this is contributing to our daily stress.  You might want to think more deeply about this yourself.  And please be sure to check out my next and final post in this three-part series on Politics and Stress, where I’ll tell you about another subtle, but powerful influence that I believe is even worse, and is negatively affecting us all.

Special FREE Download Gift!

Free Downloadable Four-Book Stress Relief Library

To get your own complete download of this entire four-book Stress Relief Secrets REVEALED library, go to http://beststresshelp.com and download it right now. Also, when you get these four PDF e-books on your computer, don’t just let them sit there! Don’t promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to reading them later. That usually doesn’t work, and it’s very likely you will never, ever get around to reading them. And the information they contain is way too valuable and useful for you to miss out on any of it.

Once you do download these four e-books, I’m going to send you an email every day, for the next seven days, to support you in reading them all.

Go to http://beststresshelp.com right now and submit your best email address. Then, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your intentions. When this email arrives (if you don’t see it within 10-15 minutes, check your spam folder), please click on the highlighted link and you’ll go directly to the download page, where all four e-books can be downloaded as one composite .zip file.

Best wishes and happy reading (and learning)!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Les Dossey August 30, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Hey Mort,

I just wanted to let you know that I am following and looking forward to tomorrows conclusion on this series.

Only the Best,
Les Dossey
Man’s Man Coach
http://lesdossey.com

Reply

Doc Orman, M.D. September 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Les: Thanks for your note. Hope you like the full three-part series.

Reply

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