Is Your Stress Contagious?

Is Your Stress Contagious?

Have you ever walked into a room and felt the tension?

You know that thick, palatable, tension you could cut with a knife, even though no one is fighting, arguing, or saying anything at all?

 

Or the opposite.

Have you ever been around someone who has an infectious smile? You don’t even know what is so funny, but you can’t help laughing too?

How does this happen?

Our Bodies Respond to Our Thoughts

Whenever we think thoughts, we create neuropeptides, chemicals that are the physical product of our thoughts. These chemicals travel from cell to cell letting each one know what the brain is thinking.

Thinking really does change our own physiology, our environment, and perhaps the physiology of others too.

The Power of Our Thoughts

If you have been with us long, you know Dr. Olpin’s mantra by now, “stress begins with our thoughts.” Now many researchers are homing in on how damaging and contagious those stress thoughts can be.

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“Brain changes associated with stress underpin many mental illnesses including PTSD, anxiety disorders, and depression,” says Bains, professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology .1

Bains has also discovered that stress thoughts are not just dangerous to those that think them, but also to others around them.

In a study on mice, Bain found that when one mouse was exposed to mild stress and then returned to its partner, both the stressed mouse and the naïve partner’s brains were altered the same way.

In other words, the unstressed mouse’s brain changed as if it had been stressed too.

Does this Happen in Humans Too?

Bain commented, “We readily communicate our stress to others, sometimes without even knowing it.”

Yes, even without meaning to, our stress is probably being passed on to those around us, family members, co-workers, the clerk at the grocery store.

But don’t feel guilty just yet.

Instead, let’s be grateful to now understand how contagious stress can be, and use this as motivation to get own stress under control, to make us feel good, and make the world a better place as well!

Let’s make getting rid of stress as easy as possible.

Others have done it – you can too!

Together, we can do this!

References

  1. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180308143212.htm
Gardeners Are Wise People?

Gardeners Are Wise People?

Many gardeners I know are very wise people.

Working in the yard brings them back to nature, to mother earth, and gives them a sense of accomplishment, connection, and peace.

Not me.

To me it is work. I “pull the weeds” and they come back the next week.

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Sometimes I mistake the weeds for plants, so I leave them. Then they eventually overtake what was a beautiful bed of flowers.

Weeds are like our own subconscious scripts or learned patterns of behavior. They are almost automatic and can be helpful or destructive. Sometimes they can turn on the stress response even years after we think we have “pulled the weeds from the garden.”

The other day I found myself thinking about something horrible that happened almost 20 years ago. I don’t know why, something must have triggered the memory. The emotions and feelings of this event felt very raw, as if it had just occurred moments earlier. 

At first, I kept trying to fix it by “ignoring it, forgetting about it and trying to think of something else.” But just like the weeds, the thoughts and subsequent emotions kept coming back looping around in my head causing me greater and greater anxiety.

My stress response was in full throttle in my present moment for something that happened two decades ago! 

I knew I was sliding down a destructive path, so I decided to access a higher power for help. But even as I asked for help, my thoughts kept distracting me. I couldn’t feel anything. I wasn’t connecting.

Then it came to me.

I needed to turn off the stress, so I could connect, so I could listen. Then I could heal. 

I did a relaxation exercise.

Twenty minutes later things were much better.

The relaxation exercise turned my stress response OFF. My emotions subsided. Now I could listen and connect.

With the stress response off, I could choose my response. I had the power to place a better thought in The Gap to choose a new level of responding, to be grateful for what I had learned and to it let go. I also threw in some effective self-talk just for good measure.

The result was amazing!  I was in control and I felt great.

Turning off the stress response, didn’t just “pull the weeds” out of the garden, it helped me eliminate the seeds that created those weeds, those negative subconscious scripts,  in the first place. 

Relaxation exercises like meditation, guided imagery, autogenics, and the Power Nap, turn off the stress so you can connect, listen, and use your power of thought to be who you really want to be.

And that changes everything!

To Find Out Why the Power Nap is One of the Most Popular Ways to Relieve Stress – Click the Image