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Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene — Inauguration Causes Stress

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017 – 12:27 PM

By Dr. Arlene Barro

The world is watching Donald Trump become the 45th President of the United States. During the Inauguration Ceremony, I hear John F. Kennedy’s voice as if it were January 20, 1961, “My fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” His words remain true today and forever.

For those celebrating Trump’s presidency this is a day of rejoice. For those overwhelmed with stress, mourning the loss of their presidential pick and fearing the new president, they have no solution. They do now. Honor Kennedy by following his advice. Focus on what you can do for your country. Work to unite, not to deny or divide. As Michelle Obama said, “We’re stronger together.”

Our country has significant domestic and foreign challenges. Joining together will strengthen our ability to face the expected and unexpected. You can change yourself andthe country concurrently. Here is how.

Say, no to isolation

The Surgeon General of the United States said that our number one health problem is not cancer or heart disease but isolation. He referred to it as a disease. Social isolation has been linked to shortened lives, cognitive impairment and verbal fluency decline.

When you go to the Internet for all your needs, you eliminate opportunities for human interaction. Moreover, social networking is not a substitute for talking to people in person. Not only are adults experiencing the negative impact of social isolation, but also our children are exhibiting poor written and verbal skills.

What happened to human qualities, ie. empathy. If adults and children had the capacity for empathy, would they bully others online? Perhaps not if they can visualize themselves as the victims of bullying and reject it. Those who feel totally isolated and anonymous will not experience empathy.

Interested in stepping outside the isolation booth? Repeat this mantra to yourself, “I came here to live out loud.” Who said that? At the Golden Globe Awards, Viola Davis, in her tribute to Meryl Streep, quoted her.

I believe if you focus on living out loud, you can eliminate social isolation. To do that, start reducing the time you spend on the Internet, including social networking. Plan activities which you can enjoy to meet new people and reconnect with friends. By engaging in social interaction, you will distract yourself from focusing on Trump. The fear and stress will significantly decline. You will be ready to consider a new attitude toward Trump. Yes, you can! It is easier than you think.

Avoid the Trump tweets

When Trump thinks it, he tweets it. The media reports every tweet as if each one is of equal importance. Do not make the erroneous assumption that all tweets deserve yourattention. They do not.

If Trump’s tweets ignite your anxiety, ignore them. It is not necessary to watch every move Trump makes which could heighten your distress. Instead let Congress and a wide array of federal agencies do that job.

Frequently, I am asked why Trump tweets. He does not want the media and others to speak for him or misrepresent his messages, nor discuss unproven allegations about him. Protecting the Trump brand is especially important, when he walks on to the world stage as Mr. President. The power of his brand is critical to reinforce and strengthen his leadership.

Evaluating Trump’s achievements

The media reports minute by minute the activities of the president and all those key appointees that support him. If you want to reduce your stress, do not focus on those accounts. Instead, watch for the results. Presidents are judged by their achievements. Trump has already decided how he wants historians to evaluate his presidency. That vision will guide Trump to strive for success. In his mind, every achievement will become a new building which deserves praise.

Questions about presidential stress? Email Responses could appear in her next column.

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-trained behavioral educational psychologist and professional speaker. She is the author of WIN Without Competing!, a business, career, and personal strategist and founder/CEO of barro global search, inc. on Wilshire Boulevard. Episodes of her radio show are available at

2 responses to “Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene — Inauguration Causes Stress”

  1. For those of us who never “hang out” on the internet, the 1st suggestion may not apply here. But even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can’t escape hearing about the tweets if you listen to/read the news. So I will agree with your 2nd suggestion.

    As far as #3, waiting for results: that would be fine if you had uncertainty about what the President planned to accomplish: Many people believe they *know* what President Trump is planning to accomplish based on his promises (and other expressed views) on the campaign trail. And if you are opposed to those views, you are going to experience stress. I believe one by-product of participating in demonstrations and trying to exert our influence ahead of time, is reducing that stress.

    Funny, however, when was the last time before now that ever we *really* expected a candidate to live up to *all* their campaign promises?!

  2. David says:

    President Trump is not a professional politician. He is a professional business man. Where President Trump has created jobs and developed buildings, professional politicians have tried to maintain THEIR career. I feel my stress levels have decreased knowing that we have an individual in office who will stand strong and put this country first. I agree with the tweeting point of view. President Trump has no time to constantly explain himself through the media (He’s trying to get things done) Many people were distressed when Obama took office but no one (to my knowledge) burned down a Starbucks. People on the left seem to be angry. I say, rejoice a peaceful transfer of power and allow the 3 branches of government to work. Great article.

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