Head to the Polls and Vote for Better Health

Head to the polls today and you may be casting a vote for your health – not just your candidate. Experts identify a sense of empowerment and control as a key element in maintaining mental and physical health. By casting a vote, you can do more than influence your government – you can impact your wellness.

While taking your turn in the booth may not reduce your risk of diabetes or lower your cholesterol, it may have a significant impact on your mental health. Voting doesn’t just help lessen psychological stress; research shows that those with a history of depression who are “engaged in the political process” are less likely to suffer future mental health issues. Community engagement has been directly linked with psychological well-being in a variety of reliable studies.

Researchers say that whether your candidate wins or loses, voters are happier when they feel they have taken a stand and exerted more control over their lives. By expressing an opinion, individuals are promoting their mental health, which, in turn, leads to better physical health.

And the benefits of voting and political discussion aren’t just limited to adults. Research also shows that children and younger teens who are active in their community are less likely to experiment with risky behaviors, such as drugs and violence.

+ Read more articles on treating and preventing mental illness.

Source: WebMD “Voting Counts as a Healthy Habit”

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