IS STRESS CONTAGIOUS?
Stress is on the rise due to the pressures and demands of modern living. While some handle it well, others fall apart and get to the dangerous stage of ‘burn out’ being a physiological state in our brains, which ultimately affects our bodies.
Second hand stress is not a fallacy because we were born to conform and built to empathise with others around us.
The mirror neurons in the brain are triggered and designed to helps us learn, criticize and sympathise, sometimes to advantage and other times not.
Brain cells often mimic emotions and actions of others and when the pathways in the brain become too familiar it is as if a neurological groove is created, especially being sucked into the emotional eruptions of others !
Seeing someone in a traumatic condition can cause near melt-down, sparking anxiety in ourselves. Social circuitry can cause us quickly to identify with other’s emotions like a smile, a frown or a yawn.
The mirror effect is amazing as our own features almost automatically mimic the muscular actions that create the above.
Stress is the result of what we tell ourselves. Much of how we react to the world’s messages, how we identify real catastrophy and not exaggerations in the mind leading to an instantaneous apocalypse !
Even decision making is compromised, being captured in one’s ancient brain that cannot compute the social stresses of a modern world.
Stress is not necessarily fully related to the action, but how we latch onto it and fail to translate this when we have the capacity to turn thoughts around.
So are there solutions to conquer stress?
Much depends on actions such as creating distance and boundaries. What you allow is what others should respect, teaching people to expect less of you.
One can become more focused on the inner self and stop wearing stress like a badge of honour as if it is a benchmark of success.
Often putting other people first is a sign of low self esteem. The answer is rather to ‘invest in oneself’.
Marvellous tools exist such as music, massage, yoga or tai-chi and pursuing a healthy diet. Having the courage to conquer stress and living a balanced life is advantageous to both physical and mental health and very achievable.
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