Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Is Stress Contagious?

Feeling stressed? It could be contagious, according to research published in Nature Neuroscience. A new study found that you can pass tension to someone else – even a stranger – and without even knowing it.

“Recent studies indicate that stress and emotions can be ‘contagious,’ ” Jaideep Bains, a physiology professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, wrote in a press release. “Whether this has lasting consequences for the brain is not known.”

Although this was a mouse study, researchers believe these findings are also relevant in humans. “We readily communicate our stress to others, sometimes without even knowing it,” Bain says. “There is even evidence that some symptoms of stress can persist in family and loved ones of individuals who suffer from PTSD.”

What is stress? The American Institute of Stress defines it as “an emotional and/or physical response your body has to situations or change that make you feel uncomfortable or anxious” – and it’s different for everyone.

Those of us in the recovery world likely know that stress is a pretty well-know relapse trigger. What's more, chronic stress can lead to a host of health conditions, including high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, headaches and mood swings. It can also impact your relationships and productivity in the workplace. 

Being mindful of your own stress and how you feel around others who tend to be “stressed out” a lot is a great first step in taming tensions. The following anxiety-reduction techniques can help, too. Bonus: they'll also strengthen your recovery.
  • Regular exercise 
  • Stretching and breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Spending time in nature
  • Journaling
Get Nurtured in Nature
Our Southern California location is blessed with mild temperatures and abundant sunshine, making it the perfect place for outdoor recreation as part of your stress management and recovery activities. To learn more about our sober living services, activities and amenities, call today: 888-551-4715.

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