Why do we vote? You’ve heard all the usual reasons, people died so you can vote, people in other places cannot vote, it’s your civic duty etc. how about voting because it will contribute to your wellbeing?
Here are five reasons why voting is good for you…..
1. Express yourself
It’s easy to lose ourselves in the sea of information, claim and counter claim of election campaign media. Election Day is the day when the media is silent (especially if we turn off social media feeds) when we get to express our views and make our choices. As we saw with results in the UK and US in 2016, the vote can be an outlet for people to truly make their voices heard and to be noticed. The feeling of being noticed, heard an understood has a huge role to play in our wellbeing.
2. Feel connected
The act of getting out and casting your vote for a candidate or a proposition is a way to stake your claim to being part of society and community. As social creatures, we need to feel connected to others in order to be able to lead happy lives. When an elderly neighbour of mine found that he was no long on the electoral register he plaintively asked the question “doesn’t my vote count?” not being able to vote left him feeling marginalised. Voting can help to make people happier because it can confirm their existence as a vital member of society with a role to play in the life of their nation.
3. Keep positive
Voting helps us to stay positive; the belief that a vote can make a difference is routed in maintaining a positive outlook on life, the idea that we have some control on what is going on in the world. Casting a vote allows us to tap into hope and positivity, two powerful emotions that can carry us through difficult times, so are well worth stocking up on.
4. Some gentle exercise
In cities like London the polling station is in the neighbourhood; at a local school or community centre which is a short stroll from where we live. Walking to cast that vote is an easy way to add to the daily 10,000 step fitness goal. Go later this evening and walk off dinner, I think we all have permission to skip the gym tonight.
5. Mindfully explore
How many of us always use the same walk to the car or to the local transport hub, never really seeing our local area? That stroll to the polling booth will get us walking through parts of the neighbourhood that we’ve maybe not seen for a while. Its a chance to get out there and mindfully explore of the local area. Feel the breeze (or rain) on our faces, notice the varieties of flowers in the front gardens on route. Lets do without getting stuck in our heads, drafting emails, Facebook posts or planning our holiday arrangements. Let’s be in the moment and focus on what we experience on that walk to the polling booth. We can use this time to flex our mindfulness muscles.
So there we have it, voting is good for you. You know what to do.
Be fit. Be well. Be happy