How To Combat Secondhand Stress


Stress is contagious and while you are more likely to be affected by someone who is close to you, it can easily spread from strangers or media such as negative news on the TV.

According to Heidi Hanna, Ph.D., a fellow at the American Institute of Stress and author of “Stressaholic” via Greatist:

“Seeing someone else in a stressed state can impact our own hormonal and nervous system responses as if we were experiencing their stress firsthand.”

So what can we do to avoid catching other people’s stress? Here are 10 methods.

1. Say Hi

Say hi to coworkers. This sends a positive message to your brain.

2. Hit Pause

When you are feeling anxious, take a few breaths before interacting with others.

3. Redirect Your Focus

Reorient your focus on things you enjoy such as pictures of your family.

4. Lead With Positivity

Start your conversations with a positive statement versus negative ones such as complaining about your stress level. This will not only protect yourself against stress, but will reduce stress in others as well.

5. Exercise In The Morning

A 30-minute morning workout will set a positive tone for the whole day and make you immune to secondhand stress.

6. Reset Your Response

When faced with a stressed out person, have compassion and send a positive vibe towards that person. This will take away their power to affect your mood.

7. Take Time Out For Yourself

Actually schedule a time on your calendar to recharge yourself!

8. Limit Distractions

Limit absorbing vibes from all directions by turning off distractions.

9. Breathe

Make sure to periodically take 2 minutes out to simply breathe when susceptible to stress. This will help you focus on peace rather than be pulled towards stress.

10. Bring It Up (Nicely)

If you have a solid relationship with the person who is seriously disturbing your peace, talk to them lovingly to let then know the influence they have.

Read the entire article at Greatist.