Turns out…it is!! Much like a common cold, you can “catch” it from other people. And just like a virus, it can leave you feeling (emotionally) wiped out.
Is all stress bad for you?
But first of all…not all stress is bad. A certain amount of stress over a short period of time can help us meet deadlines, get us out of danger, or help us change our focus.
What is chronic stress?
It’s the chronic stress, worry and anxiety that can have a lasting effect not just on ourselves, but on those around us.
We have all come through a period of time where we were in close quarters with family members and partners, and depending on how we individually handle stress, this may have had lasting effects on those around us. As it turns out, we can sense and “take on” each other’s emotions.
Stress can turn into anxiety when combined with a high level of uncertainty. As we are living in a time where uncertainty is higher than ever.
Tips to make sure that we aren’t spreading our own worries and anxiety to others:
- Focus on what we have control of. We have 100% control over our sleep, the foods we eat and the content we consume.
- sleep – to bed by 10 pm with electronics off
- Food – eat more olive oil, fibre and avocados (I bet THAT caught your attention!!)
- Media – make sure you devote some screen time to images, ideas and public figures that inspire you and motivate you to be a better person.
- Find something funny or comical to read or watch daily – laughter immediately lowers your stress hormones, and is ALSO contagious!! Plus it boosts your immune system for several hours after a good belly laugh!
- Get outside and move your body. Not only does this create physical distance from those around you who may be stressed out, but it helps build your own physical and emotional resiliency as you are practicing your own self care.
- Avoid alcohol if you are already under a lot of stress. Alcohol is a depressant, causes brain fog and lowers your coping mechanisms. This might be the single biggest way you can ensure your stressful moods don’t spread to those around you. If you are feeling happy and strong, so will those around you.
The takeaway here is that you have the power and ability to stop the spread of worry and anxiety by focusing on your own well being and finding healthy ways to channel the worry and anxiety. Your smiles, laughter and self care go a long way to brighten the day for those loved ones in your life while helping you to cope with stress more effectively.
As popular sayings go… “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Watch Dr. Jacqui’s video segment on stress for more tips. And as always, we’re here to support your wellness journey, for a customized plan, book an appointment to see one of our doctors.