Your Voice, Your Choice: Why Voting is Good for Your Health

Tomorrow, March 8, is the day when Michiganders get to add their voices to the 2016 presidential election by participating in the Michigan primary. Your vote is your voice, which is why all registered voters are encouraged to Rock the Vote at your designated polling location.

Because voting is a right denied to many across around the word, it is only natural to have a sense of pride when you can cast your ballot. But beyond the mere satisfaction you may receive from helping select the next president, voting also has some surprising health benefits. Check out the five ways in which voting can improve your (and your family’s) well-being:

  1. Voting can make you happy: Being active politically has been linked with higher levels of happiness, likely because it makes you feel like you’re a part of a larger group of people who share similar views.
  2. Voting ties you to your community: Voting brings everyone in your neighborhood together for a greater cause, which can strengthen your connection to those you live near. (It goes both ways: Those who feel close to their community are also likelier to vote.) Those feelings of inclusion can lead to a higher quality of life and reduce feelings of loneliness.
  3. Voting generates inner peace: The act of voting has been shown to help reduce stress levels and the risk of developing common mental health conditions such as depression. That’s because when you cast your ballot, you often believe you are doing something that can make a real difference to your daily life.
  4. Voting empowers you: When you vote, you feel more in control over part of your life. This can actually translate into feeling more control over other areas that may need improvement, such as eating better or exercising more.
  5. Voting helps your kids, too: They may not be old enough to vote, but the majority of kids and teens are aware of elections and believe their lives will be impacted by the results. Talking to your children about the issues and telling them that you voted can calm their fears and reassure them that you’re acting in their best interest. Plus you’re setting a good example so that when they get older, they vote as well!

Read on to learn how community involvement improves your health:

Photo credit: Ed Schipul


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