No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, one thing is certain: Most Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential election are feeling all over the place emotionally. Whether it's elated and excited for president-elect Donald Trump's win, or distraught and confused over Hillary Clinton‘s defeat, you’re not alone if you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotion.
"Most people are walking around with tension in their body, which is exacerbating the flurry of thoughts in their mind and worries about the future," says author and psychologist Elisha Goldstein, MD. “Mindfulness allows you to be aware of the contracting that’s happening in your mind and body. And to quite literally just soften it.”
Goldstein, who created a six-month online mentorship program called "A Course in Mindful Living," tells Yahoo Beauty that spending a few minutes softening your body, taking deep breaths, and observing how you're feeling will allow you to be able to pay attention to your needs during these difficult times.
“Taking a moment [to practice mindfulness] cools down our nervous system, balances out our brain and turns down the parts that are constantly trying to figure things out,” he says.
Lodro Rinzler, a meditation teacher and co-founder of MNDFL studio in New York City, believes that we shouldn’t think of our inner emotions as something we should excise from our body. He says, "It's just part of who we are. So actually becoming aware of the energetic display in our mind, which is emotions like fear, anxiety, and anger, and to not say, 'Oh, this a bad thing or bad emotion. I shouldn't feel it.'"
In addition to mindfulness, Rinzler says that meditation allows us to gives ourselves the space and the time to feel the way we feel. Since the first presidential debate, the practitioner saw a spike in emotion classes at MNDFL "because a lot of people are struggling with their emotional content right now."
Through the process of meditation, Rinzler is teaching others not to be too judgmental of ourselves. "We are actually giving ourselves permission to be genuinely interested in the way we feel, and the more we explore our emotional content, the more we learn that we don't have to be led around by it," he says. "We don’t have to spin out and act on it. We don't have to run away from it. If we remain in body, we can remain confident in the way that we feel."
Both experts strongly recommend mindfulness classes, as they are a great way to remain connected to the larger community. Meditation apps such as Meditation Studio and Insight Timer are also beneficial to the process because they make everything readily accessible, according to Goldstein. "It helps you tap into something, sit wherever you are, and you don't have to wait to get to a special place to start practicing," he says.
Rinzler agrees, adding that the apps are "helpful in guiding us through a process of our own when we are triggered." He says, "It can be as simple as waiting for the subway and we feel swells of emotion come up and we can use some guidance. I think that's perfect time for using an app. But there's something about being in community and having teachers who are personally attentive to you that can't be replaced. It's like we are all in it together when we sit down to meditate. And if we are feeling pain or fear at this time, then we're all in that together too."
But if there’s one lesson on mindfulness and staying connected to fix in your memory, it's this one from Rinzler: "Yes, the person that we elected wields tremendous power, but they have zero power for how we show up for other people in our life and how we love one another."
Whether you’ve got 10 minutes alone or a full hour for reflection with a group of people, we’ve found seven meditation apps that will help guide you on a journey to mindful living.