Stress is an inevitable part of life. We all experience it at some point whether it’s due to work to school pressure, personal to family challenges, or unexpected life events ups and downs. But have you ever wondered if stress could be contagious? Can you “catch” stress from others, like a common cold? Let’s examine how stress can differ and explore various strategies to alleviate it.
What Is Contagious Stress?
Contagious stress is the phenomenon where one person’s stress can impact others around them. It can happen because your stress radar is picking up on stress vibes. This is something we learned when we were infants and were pretty good at understanding how others are feeling, and when they are stressed. Our own stress becomes geared up, showing our empathy abilities.
Happy Stress Vs. Increased Stress
Guess what! All stress isn’t the same. Some stress empowers us to complete goals and dreams while the other stress can unfavorably cause issues in your daily plans.
Happy Stress? Is that possible? Imagine you’re at a friend’s awesome birthday party or watching your favorite team win a big game. Even though you’re not the one celebrating, you start feeling excited and happy, right? That’s happy stress! You catch the good vibes. But don’t worry, this type of stress is usually short lived and not a big change.
This is the stress we all think of when the word stress is used. So, what happens? When someone close to you is super stressed out, you start feeling tense or anxious just because they are. It’s as if their stress rubs off on you. If not managed, it can stick around and mess with your well-being. This is where the Deblin CARES Team can help you understand and cope with their mental health skills in Psychotherapy, Intensive Case Management, and Psychosocial Rehab Programs.
Our therapists provide valuable strategies and support to ensure that it doesn’t take a toll on your mental health. Additionally, our dedicated Case Managers work closely with individuals to create personalized plans and solutions that can mitigate stress to maintain your overall wellbeing. They’re here to guide you every step of the way.
Ways to Fight Back Against Stress
So how do you protect yourself from catching too much stress from others? Here are Deblin CARES go to strategies:
Pay attention to your feelings! Recognize when you’re feeling stressed and how others' stress affects you. It’s important to identify your triggers such as situations, people, or even thoughts. Try recognizing your early signs of stress and how it makes your body, mind, and thoughts change. Recognizing these signs can help you take important steps needed to prevent stress increases.
Boundaries are healthy and work! If someone is bringing you down, try giving yourself some space. Take breaks and don’t feel like you have to absorb all their stress. Limit your time and energy to avoid overcommitting. Establish personal space and time to allow a sense of safety and privacy.
Talk It Out
Just talking to the stressed person and being understanding can help both of you. It could allow you both to release pent-up emotions and regain a sense of calm. Deep listening can make the person feel heard and understood, validating feelings and emotions. Knowing that you have people who care about your well-being can reduce feelings of isolation and enhance your resilience to stress.
Oh, the joys of relaxation! Deep breaths, meditation, or even some yoga can help you calm your stress responses. Stress can interrupt your sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep quality and insomnia. Relaxation helps improve sleep, reduce racing thoughts, and physical tension. Relaxation can also help clear your mind to problem solve and stabilize your emotions.
Hang with The Happy People
Surround yourself with positive and upbeat people. Just like stress can be contagious, so can happiness. This can give you the balance from the effects of stress.
Ask for Help
Here’s where you can get your power back against stress, don’t hesitate. If you're struggling with stress or any other symptoms, reach out to a mental health provider such as Deblin CARES to be properly. It’s a great way to share responsibility in managing your stressors. Their different viewpoints can help you see the issue from multiple angles or even coping strategies. Talking to someone who cares can provide comfort, reassurance, and validation.
Stress can indeed be contagious. By staying aware of your feelings, setting boundaries, and using relaxation techniques, you can keep those stress vibes in check. Remember, taking care of yourself is super important, and it’ll help you and the people around you live happier and healthier lives. You got this!
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