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Scoot: "Secondhand stress" can be harmful to your health?

According to new research, stress can be contagious!  When in the presence of someone who is stressing – you can become stressed.  That means we can all be negatively affected by “secondhand stress!”
Michele Many, Assistant Professor of clinical psychiatry at the LSU School of Medicine, is quoted as saying, “If we can sense each other’s stress level, each other’s anxiety, then we can be more responsive and helpful to each other.”  Professor Many says that because we tend to be empathic towards others – we can even be affected by the stress of strangers.
At home, at work or anyplace – don’t you find yourself affected by the stress of others? The research shows that men and women are equally affected by “secondhand stress.”
There was a time when no one was concerned about “secondhand smoke.”  I grew up in a household where both of my parents smoked – at home – in the car with the windows rolled up – and I worked with people who smoked in the same studio I was in.  No one thought anything about “secondhand smoke.”
Have we reached a turning point with “secondhand stress?”  If this is further accepted and supported by research – then why not apply new rules and regulations to those people who choose to stress?  Businesses could ban “stressing” in the workplace. Employees who stress would be required to take “stress breaks” and go outside to stress. Then we would see groups of people standing outside of businesses “stressing!”
Why should those of us who choose not to stress be exposed to the stress of others?  The anti-stress campaign could include warnings of the negative impact that stress has on our lives. Parents would be encouraged to never stress in front of their children.
The campaign to protect Americans from “secondhand stress” would ban stressing in restaurants and even in bars and nightclubs.  People who choose to stress would be seen as second-class citizens and criticized for their stress habit.
Soon - people would be trying to convince their friends and loved ones to stop stressing because of the negative effects of stressing.  Some would say they couldn’t live with or date anyone who stressed.
And there would be the ultimate debate over whether to ban stressing in all public areas.  Should anyone be exposed to people stressing if they are just trying to have a good time at a local park?
The more I think about how successful bans on smoking have been due to the effects of secondhand smoke – I can’t help but thing about all the good that would result from a ban on stressing in the workplace, at home and even in public places!
If you want to stress – it’s legal – but that’s your business.  But you shouldn’t have a right to stress around me!

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People : Michele Many

07/18/2014 7:13PM
Scoot: "Secondhand stress" can be harmful to your health?
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