SELF – This Is How All That Election 2016 Fear Can Impact Your Body

Fear can impact your body and it’s no secret that this historic election has engendered strong negative emotions in people. Fear and stress have taken a toll on many.


To understand more about the physical impact of chronic fear and anxiety, I was asked by SELF to weigh in about some of the physical manifestations of fear and stress, and I was happy to help out with this great piece.


It can also build on itself and cause other symptoms, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF. “Panic, irritability, anger, concentration problems, fatigue, appetite, and sleep problems can all be manifestations of fear,” she says. “It isn’t always easy to take control of anxiety and channel it productively, especially in a situation where people feel powerless, and even victimized.”

Clark agrees. “The key to managing fear and anxiety is not simply to quell it, but to find ways to use it towards solving the problem,” she says. “So, in the case of this unpredicted and scary election for almost all Americans, the call of our collected fear is to see where we can take control, and do something—and for everyone, this action will be different.” Many people may benefit from getting involved in politics or activism. “Taking action is the best way to harness our fear for its designed purpose—to use it for growth,” Clark says.


Alicia H. Clark, PsyD