The Deep Breathing Exercise That Will Help You Deal with Election Panic

Clone of Rock the Vote
Photo: Getty Images

If you can feel your blood pressure creep up a few points every time someone mentions the 2016 election, then it's time to find (and maintain) your zen during the final days of the White House race. "Consciously connecting to your breath will help you ease the election anxiety," says Gabrielle Bernstein, self-proclaimed spirit junkie and Philosophy's wellbeing ambassador.

It's one of the best ways to calm your nervous system and release anxiety, even though most of us are more likely to raise our voice, throw a fit, or punch a pillow." Follow the below steps any time you're feeling fired up—it's so simple that it can be practiced anywhere, from waiting in line at the poll to anxiously awaiting the election returns on your couch.

The posture: Sit cross-legged in easy pose.

The hands: Place your hands so that your thumb is pressing against your pointer finger. The pointer finger is otherwise known as Jupiter, so when you press your thumb against this finger you ignite your knowledge.

The breath: This Kundalini meditation suggests that you breathe in eight strokes through your nose and out for one stroke through your nose. If yogic breathe is new to you and it’s hard to breathe in that much air, then breathe in for four strokes instead of eight. Breathe in four strokes through the nose and breathe out one breath.

VIDEO: 18 Stars Who've Exercised Their Right to Vote

The time commitment: You can do this meditation for one minute and experience miraculous results. Put this meditation in your back pocket and use it whenever stress arises. The Kundalini yogis suggest that you do this meditation for 11 minutes for 40 days.

Practicing at home and need an extra boost? Bernstein recommends scenting the room with lavender. "The smell will assist with the meditative process," she explains. "It's the best scent for calming your mood and clearing tension, so get a lavender essential oil or candle." Chamomile tea will also do the trick, she notes. So light a candle, pour yourself a piping-hot cup, and wait for the returns in Lotus position.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles