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Who is the one person that can reduce your stress the most?

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by Paul Kindzia in Happiness, Health, Longevity, Relationships
February 2, 2021

Medical research and science is making big strides in understanding how our brains and neurological systems process emotions and stress.  The science is also discovering that we each mirror and reciprocate emotions towards one another.  We know that we would react differently to a stranger who scowls at us passing by rather than providing us with a giant smile.  But we are also learning that we can pass on other interesting patterns as well.   A person in the room yawning can make us yawn.  A person in the room feeling stressed and anxious can make others in the room feel stressed and anxious.  It’s like second hand smoke but with emotions that impact our brains and physiology.

If we observe somebody who is stressed, it can elevate our own levels of cortisol and other stress hormones.  The effect is greater when the other person is a family member or loved one.  Research is now indicating that you don’t even need to see or hear someone else who is stressed to become anxious yourself.  Stress causes individuals to sweat out hormones which can be picked up by others.

Since we live in a very connected world, this SECOND HAND STRESS can impact us from various resources as we could pick up stress cues from a host of sources such as television, the internet, people in public placesour work environment and our home life.  It’s clear that the person who could reduce your stress the most is YOU!  The more effective we are at understanding the drivers of stress and its ability to penetrate our nervous system, the healthier we will be (as long term stress actually changes our physiology at the cellular level).

Here are 3 tips to befriend the person who could reduce your stress the most (YOU);

  1. Create a positive mindset by understanding where the stress is coming from. If we allow the stress of others to impact us through second hand stress, that creates a dangerous scenario because we are being impacted by things that really don’t have anything to do with our own actions and behaviors.  Recognize the difference in the sources of stress and ask yourself, “Is the root of my stress based on something that is actually happening in my own life or is this second hand stress that is being projected by others around me?”  Just knowing that the stress is second hand could be just enough of a catalyst to allow yourself to reset your own mindset and stay positive.
  2. Head off the potential spillover and magnification impacts. When you understand that stress is a two-way street and that we all have a tendency to reciprocate emotions to one another, you are more likely to find yourself in control of the situation and cut things off from getting worse.  Imagine a co-worker who is clearly stressed and frustrated.  Everybody in the office can feel the tension and starts absorbing that second hand stress.  If you cross paths with that person (or proactively seek that person out) you can start the interaction with a smile, a warm gesture, or a mindset of peace.  A warm smile along with a genuine, “How are you doing?” is a much better offensive counter to second hand stress than scowling back at the person or being aggressive towards them.  A negative person can impact another, but a positive person can impact another as well.  Best to try and be a neutralizer by countering the stress with peace and harmony.
  3. If need be, remove yourself from the exposure to second hand stress. Sometimes encouraging others or being positive around others just isn’t going to work.  If someone is committed to personal misery and a bad attitude, a smile or genuine show of concern isn’t going to work.  It’s best to just make that assessment and move on to a Plan B which would be to avoid the situation and remove yourself from the source of the stress.  You are who you associate with.  If you are around a bunch of healthy and positive people, you are more likely to be influenced by them in a positive way.  But if you surround yourself with negative and hate filled people, they are going to wear you down and suck you into an emotional abyss.  If this is the case, take charge of the situation as best you can and avoid exposure to those as much as possible.  Sometimes this would include family members as well.

If you don’t like second hand smoke, don’t hang out in bars, smoking lounges or have friends who sit around and smoke all day.  Likewise, if you don’t like stress, you need to take the same proactive approach and avoid situations that are creating breeding grounds of stressed individuals.  In the end, it is your health that is being impacted.  The person who will have the greatest impact on the stress level of your life is YOU!  Make sure you find that person within you and befriend yourself.

Good habits lead to good behaviors.  Good behaviors lead to good decisions.  Good decisions lead to a good life.  Live by principles and choose wisely.

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These are the EXACT same steps I used to PERMANENTLY get rid of my mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, and auto loan debt.

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