Lately, something made me think is stress contagious? I am sure you also are wondering about this because I wouldn’t be here if you didn’t.
What I found out surprised me, and it may surprise you too. Are you ready to find out the answer to this question we both asked?
If the answer is yes, what can you do to avoid it? Is there something you can do?
Here you can find three simple ways to avoid stress. But are they help you for real?
Maybe it’s better to find a cave deep in the forest and stay there? Believe me, I thought about it too. Somehow I think it’s not the answer. It is more like running away.
Do you ignore the problem?
I usually want to solve problems and not hid or run away. I know many of you want to change your life, make it better by letting go of the past. It’s good if it works for you.
Too often the same thing happens with stress and stress-related issues. In fact, it’s almost the same in many cases. Of course, you ask, how? Simple!
Sometimes we ignore stress and don’t think it’s an issue. Stress will fade away eventually. Right?
Usually, it doesn’t, especially if it is a chronic stress that stays with us for long periods of time. It’s dangerous because it can make people ill. I believe that many of us don’t see this danger that stress can cause to our health and well-being.
Do you ignore the problem? Do you ignore your stress and hope that it will leave you on its own?
Okay. First things first. What is the answer to the question I asked at beginning of this article?
Is Stress Contagious?
Yes. Stress is just like a virus that attacks your body and mind. Did you know that you can “catch” stress from other people around you like the flu or any other virus?
Stress can make you feel terrible, emotionally and mentally drained, and it can lead to dangerous consequences.
In fact, stress is worse than a common cold, because it’s not predictable and can cause any kind of illness physical or mental.
How does it happen?
For his research, Tony Buchanan collected data from thousands of people. The part of his experiment was to make students stressed and tensed. They needed not only to give a public speech, but also do math tests, and later he said that by watching these experiments made him feel bad.
For me, it seems normal and understandable, because I usually pick up other people emotions and feelings around me easily. So too often I feel emotionally drained.
Yes, I was always too sensitive. In fact, I was like that as long as I remember myself, and this is why I usually avoid being in a crowd. I think that sometimes I confuse these emotions I feel with my own emotions, and I can’t see the difference. But it’s more complicated than that, and I am not sure if I can explain properly.
I fully understand that stress is contagious because we as human beings pick up on how other people around us are feeling. Of course, it depends on the person. Some people are more immune, but others like me are too sensitive to these energies, emotions that aren’t theirs.
Another study at the University of British Colombia shows that when teachers felt exhausted, tired, their students had high levels of stress hormone cortisol.
Interestingly, nobody knows how long this stress contagion can last, and maybe is different for each person who was exposed stress by other people.
Of course, we don’t fully understand this connection, and these experiences may be changing us in many ways, and we don’t even know how or for how long the effect last. But there is always something we can do.
How to Avoid It?
You can’t fully avoid being affected by stressed people, but there are certain strategies, tips that may help you.
Are you ready to learn how not to catch this dangerous stress virus? Okay! Let’s start!
1. Go for a walk
Psychiatrist Dr. Judith Orloff on her guide suggests that you need physically distance yourself from the source of the negative contagion.
Going for a walk is a good idea especially if there is a natural area nearby. Nature and natural elements are an amazing way to relax, balance yourself and reduce any kind of stress or other negative feelings you may have.
2. Block out everything negative
When you know the situation ahead of you will be stressful, you need to be prepared and think positively, surrounding yourself with happy memories and emotions that can help you fight stress you know is coming.
You can do a short meditation or envision something you love and enjoy.
Who doesn’t know the laughter is the best medicine? Remember some kind of joke or situation that makes you laugh. You will definitely be more immune to stress or stressful people.
How stress affects your breathing? It becomes more rapid than usual. Right? So what can you do about it?
When you feel that it looks like you caught stress virus, you should pay attention to your breath.
It’s important to remember to breathe about 12 breaths per minute, and this way you can decrease your body’s stress response. I think many of us don’t understand how essential is our breathing, and it can help us to avoid many problems for our health and well-being.
Writing about your emotions can be very effective and may help you avoid the effects of stressful events.
Write without thinking too hard or any judgment. Let out everything!
Putting your emotions and thoughts down on paper help can you relieve stress and make it easier to deal with situations in your life that make you stressful or worried. It is like a therapy which is good for your well-being.
Stress is contagious and you can get affected by other stressful people. It’s not only your stress you need to worry about, but also other people’s stress. But it’s better to not to worry at all, but do something to avoid it, to manage it even before it truly begins.
Go for a walk, breath, write – these simple three ways can make a difference, and I am sure it will be easier to deal with stress and stressful people in your life.
Is stress contagious for you? What do you think? Do you think you are immune to stress that comes from other people? Let me know below!
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Founder of How To Reduce Stress Naturally