Yes, Your Stress Really Is Rubbing Off On Everyone Around You

SELF
by SELF
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Yes, Your Stress Really Is Rubbing Off On Everyone Around You

It’s inevitable that you’ll get stressed out. Some days are more stressful than others. This is not breaking news. What is surprising though, is that those feelings can “rub off” on the people around you.

A recent study by Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Technische Universität Dresden found that watching someone experience stress can cause the stress hormone levels in some people to increase.

Hmm, this could explain why I always wind up fighting with my husband on days I need to catch a flight. I’ll claim the blame here: I have a bad habit of leaving my packing until the very last millisecond. And of course, that’s why I can never find ANY of my toiletries or really, any of my clothes. (Note to self: try to avoid stressful situation by packing earlier.)

According to the data, 26 percent of individuals in the study experienced a rise in cortisol levels when watching someone else in a stressful situation. However, the percentage was MUCH higher when the observer was watching a loved one work work through stressful tasks. These participants saw a 40 percent increase in cortisol levels. When it came to watching a stranger, the raise in stress levels on the observer was only 10 percent. Makes sense though. Nobody likes to see someone they love in pain. —Ravelle Worthington for Self.com

Have you noticed that you become more tense when the people around you are stressing out?

About the Author

SELF
SELF

SELF.com is the ultimate wellness resource and community. We recognize that wellness is as much about self-expression and self-esteem as it is about exercise and nutrition; that it’s not an all-or-nothing lifestyle; and that every person’s individual goals for healthy living are different, and that’s OK. We’re here to celebrate, motivate, support, inform and entertain you—and make you laugh, too. Join the conversation and catch the latest SELF news, recipes, advice, laughs and more on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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