Stress can spread person-to-person

Chris Miller
March 22, 2018 - 10:09 am
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If your coworker or spouse is stressed, it can stress you out. Research shows it's not just your imagination, it's biology.

Research done by Technische Universitat in Dresden, Germany found that being around someone who is stressed causes your body to release more of the stress-causing hormone cortisol -- and then you become a stress-carrier, says LSU New Orleans psychologist Michelle Moore.

"If you have this contagious stress at work and then you take it home with you," said Moore. "And then people at home start feeling stress, they take that stress with them to their jobs, other places."

So how do we inoculate ourselves against stress? Dr. Moore says if at all possible, leave the area if stressed out co-worker are getting to you.

"You need to remove yourself from the situation, in order to cool off, in order to decompress, take a deep breath, and then go back to it," she  said. "Taking yourself out of that moment helps you to see just what a stressed environment you are in."

Other recommendations include keeping stress-relievers handy, anything from soothing artwork or decor, to having something to fidget with, like bouncing a ball.

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