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Stress Is Contagious, But It Can Be Avoided

It seems that stepping away from those suffering from stress could be a move in the right direction for one's health. According to research, the stuff is contagious.

Catching the stress bug is easier than one may think. In today's fast-paced, demanding world even the coolest of cucumbers are not immune from exposure.

When we think about it, our vulnerability to infection makes total sense. As soon as we develop a sense of perception we are taught to mimic the behavior of those around us. From learning to talk to tying our shoelaces, it's pretty much what transforms us into fully functioning humans. Emotional behavior is absorbed in the same way, perhaps without us really noticing. This is why childhood has such a massive impact on who we become and we can carry around a whole load of good and bad baggage from those pivotal years well into adulthood.

When around those infected with the "S" word this self-programming causes us to start feeling it too. This is terrible for our immune systems, mental health, and general well-being. The good news is that there are ways to avoid the bug, so if you think you are at risk for catching some stress, here are some suggestions.

Be Self Aware

This one is a must. Checking in with yourself and how you are feeling is the best way to measure what impact someone is having on your energy level. If you start the morning with a spring in your step and a smile on your face and finish emotionally drained or chugging a glass of wine it is likely there are some culprits that are responsible for your loss of mojo. Think of people in one of two categories; radiators or drains. The former will make you feel uplifted and happy, the latter will fill you with self- doubt and negative energy. Avoid those drains like the plague.

Strengthen Your Immune System

The stronger we are in our bodies and minds, the better position we are in to defend ourselves around stressful people. This covers all the basics like eating well, working out, getting your daily dose of downward dog if that’s your thing. Make your well-being a priority. This will actually help you become more aware of when someone is raising your stress level. Set your default mode to chilled-out and healthy.

Learn To Say No

Sometimes less is more. There are times when people "over-ask" us to socialize, work, or help out when we know instinctively we are being overstretched. Our gut says no and before we know it our mouths have said yes. Listen to your gut and speak for it.

Walk Away From Stressful People

There comes a time when we have to do a little clear out of clutter, toxins, and people. Be it friends, colleagues, or family if you feel someone is making you feel down, exhausted or anxious this is not right. It is your body signaling to you that the situation is not good for you. Limit time with these people or worse case cut them out completely. Your health is more important.

Although a little bit of stress from time to time can propel us to meet deadlines and get things done, the dose should be kept to a minimum and really is only acceptable when it is being used in a productive way. Use the above tips to learn the difference between the two. Stress is not something we have to endure. If other people do, then that is their choice and while a little empathy and support is a good thing to offer, make sure you do not go down with them.

NEXT: SAYING 'NO' CAN BE BENEFICIAL FOR ONE'S MENTAL HEALTH

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