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How to put a fork in political discussions at the Holiday table

For the first time in four years a controversial presidential election has added stress to social occasions including Thanksgiving.

Some people wish they could avoid family members who didn’t vote for their candidate, other people plan to cut the turkey and hope for the best.

Fitness trainer Jenny Schatzle even warned her workout classes to shut down stressful conversations by leaving the table, giving hugs and asking loved ones why they are thankful.

Licensed psychologist Don MacMannis, Ph.D., with the Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara said exercise helps reduce stress.

An American Psychological Association survey found 52% of Americans consider the election a source of significant stress.

His focus is on children. “We know from brain research we have mirror neurons and what that means is emotions are contagious,” said MacMannis.

He recommends creating a politics free bubble especially when children are present.

He said listening reduces stress, so if the subject can’t be avoided, be a good listener.

Educators are taking to students about stress. They say it is important to stay true to what matters at Thanksgiving and during the holidays. They teach children to be kind, tolerant and courteous.

Maybe aduls with political differences can learn from their kind-hearted kids.

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