immune system to other people’s negativity and stress levels. It’s catching!!! Link here to find out HBR article
Just picking up the key points, for people with little time to read the whole thing ….. As yawning and smiling are infectious due to the network of mirror neurons in the brain, so to is negativity and stress. The old saying that says, people are either drains or radiators seems to be now tested and proven! You will be negatively impacted by stressed out, depressed people especially if you are emotionally attached to them. You can even subconsciously smell sweat and what level of stress it is!
So what to do so you don’t ‘catch stress’!!!
- Your belief about stress matters. Watch Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk. There can be an enhancing effect of stress: stress hormones can strengthen your heart in the right quantity and context; it makes us seek support and release from other people and induces our desire for connectivity, more hugging and contact. Instead of being frustrated by other people’s negativity, have compassion and kindness for them and make your own positivism infectious to them.
- Cultivate positive emotions by lots of methods, but starting with a gratitude weekly journal is proven to have an impact over time.
- Look after yourself, building your own self love and esteem. Physical exercise, mindfulness practices, meditation all help. But most importantly find time for yourself!
- Become aware of how stress is impacting you and your family, friends and colleagues. This is the first part of building your resilience, knowing and recognising the signals.
These tips are a combination of the advice given in the article linked above in the Harvard Business Review by Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan, and some from the teachings of my Mindfulness Well-Being programme. For a contented self fulfilled life start with your own self awareness.