Is stress contagious

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Can Stress be transferred between people?

In my previous article Is negativity contagious i explained how the studies that were carried out showed that people could feel bad if they were surrounded by those who speak negative words.

Another interesting experiment was carried out to find out whether stress is as contagious as negativity or not. Some participants were given a test that made most of them stressed and some observers were assigned the task of watching over the participants while they take the test.

It was found that more than quarter of those who were observing the participants got stressed! In other words stress was transferred between those who were taking the test to those who were observing them.

There is a very important point to note in here, the observers had no connection to the people taking the test. They didn't even know them and this means that watching someone who is stressed will result in making you stressed even if he was a total stranger.

Why is stress contagious

In the Super powers course i said that the human brain has a great capacity to visualize imaginary scenarios. Add to this the mirror neurons found in the brain (special neurons that help you copy the emotions of others) and it will be clear why watching someone who is stressed can easily make you stressed.

I am pretty sure you also noticed how your body responds to the threats the people in the movies you are watching are facing. Your mind cannot sometimes know whether you are the one experiencing the danger or whether its someone else.

This is also why those who live with people who suffer from long term stress always find themselves unhappy. If watching a stressed stranger can make you stressed then certainly watching a stressed family member can result in much more stress.

So how can you reduce the amount of stress you get subjected to?

The first thing you should do in order to reduce the amount of stress in your life is to learn how to manage your own stress. By reducing the amount of stress you get subjected to you will be more tolerant to the stress you might experience as a result of being around a stressed person.

The second thing you must do is to find some positive people and stick to them. This doesn't mean you should abandon stressed people but just like you stay around stressed people you should also stay around positive and happy ones to stay balanced.

Happiness is contagious as well. When you stay around happy and positive people your mood will improve and you will be much more immune to stress. Luckily we created optimist net a place where you will only find positive people who write positive posts. Join optimist net today and get the daily dose of positivity you need to combat stress.

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