Welcome to the 2016 Election Anxiety Meditation Course. Please remove your shoes.
Today, we are going to focus on tuning out the latest polls from Gallup and Quinnipiac. We are going to forget everything we know about pledged delegates. We are going to travel to a place where the CNN Countdown Clock does not exist.
Let's begin with a simple relaxation technique. Have a seat on one of the mats. Cross your legs. Straighten your spine. Feel your breath.
Now, open the email app on your iPhone. Unsubscribe from all newsletters you currently receive from POLITICO.
Good, now exhale.
Open your Facebook app. Find your friend from high school, the one who posts racist Michelle Obama memes and says "libtard" a lot. Tap the button that says "hide from news feed." Now find your friend from college, the one who posts 900-word diatribes about "crony capitalism" and smokes a vape pen in his profile photo. Hide him from your news feed, too.
And exhale again.
Lay down flat on your back. Imagine a world where no one with an egg avatar can reply to your tweets. You are resting on a beach towel, the soft warm sand underneath you. You begin to hear the theme song for MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” but it is instantly drowned out by the sound of ocean waves.
“Our next guest is Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson,” a voice inside your head says. But no: it is not.
Dig your toes into the cool sand. Relaxation pulses through you. Who is Piers Morgan, anyway? You can’t even remember.
A soothing voice whispers from the sea: You don't have to read that think-piece.
Try to breathe as slowly as you possibly can. Visualize all the tabs open on your web browser—Twitter, FiveThirtyEight, the WikiHow page for "apply for Canadian visa"—and close them one by one.
You come to the final tab: “Watch Hillary Clinton Learn to Whip/Nae-Nae on The Dr. Oz Show.”
No. Watch the sunset instead.
A waiter arrives with your strawberry daiquiri. He has no opinions on Bernie Sanders.
Take a deep sip of your drink. The drink is cool against your throat. A colleague sends you a link to an outrageous story on Breitbart, and you do not click it.
A koan: What is the sound of a link to a hate-read not being clicked?
You are floating away on a cloud now, high in the sky. Up here is warmth, and silence, and happiness; down below is a foreign policy debate moderated by Ann Coulter and the cast of Duck Dynasty.
Scan your body for any remaining traces of anxiety or discomfort. Perhaps you have tension in your shoulder from the time Ted Cruz called a basketball hoop a "ring." Perhaps your eyebrow twitches every time you think about Hillary Clinton's social media presence.
Maybe you are haunted by a lingering memory of Rick Santorum.
Feel a calming energy flowing to these places. Feel your lower back unclench, as you remember that the election is only 6 months away, and that people have survived much worse things, like the final season of "Lost." Follow that calming energy down to your toes, and know that in exactly 174 days, you will never have to hear the words "Crooked Hillary" again.
There are things in life you cannot control, like the weather, or Donald Trump's poll numbers among evangelical white women in swing states.
And then there are things in life you can control. Now breathe deeply, arise, and repeat your mantra:
Do not click the link. Do not click the link. Do not click the link.