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You are here : home > Spirituality > Mind, Body and Soul > Is Stress Contagious? How to Avoid Absorbing It?

Is Stress Contagious? How to Avoid Absorbing It?


Recent studies have revealed the risks involved in secondhand stress. Stress is in everything we do today. Read on to learn about the symptoms of anxiety and how to deal with it without getting disturbed.


You must have observed that you feel stressed when in company of certain people. Well, this is because anyone who is stressed propagates that feeling around him or her and this is why recent studies have revealed that stress is contagious. This is the hardest to handle when it spreads in workplace. Especially, when the boss of an office is stressed, it is definitely going to get passed on to subordinates and this affects the productivity negatively.


What is Secondary Stress?

Secondary stress is the stress that gets carried on to the surrounding people and makes them stressed as well. It can easily be understood with the fact that when someone is irritable and tensed, the people around him or her start feeling stressed and frustrated after some time. In fact this kind of passive stress gets transferred very fast and can even engulf an entire organization. The so called infection of secondary stress is compared with that of cold and flu.


How to Deal with Passive Stress?

Since you see your colleague everyday and spend a lot of time with them it is really very hard to stay immune to his or her stress. However, now when you know that stress is contagious, you should remember that if you offer your shoulder to your colleague to cry, you are going to get affected by his or her stress. This is quite common among women because they are very sensitive to other’s feelings also.


Tips to Avoid Getting Affected by Indirect Stress

Here are some tips that you can follow to avoid getting affected by indirect stress.
  • Since you cannot avoid being empathetic to your co-workers, remember to draw the line and avoid overdoing to stay away from getting stressed yourself.

  • Just lend yourself to listen to him or her and do not try to overindulge to feel his or her emotions. You will end up feeling helpless and weak.

  • Pay attention to yourself. Switch to yoga, meditation, listening to music, indulging yourself in some hobby and divert your mind.

  • Do not try to help everyone who needs help, especially when it comes to emotional help. Just comfort them and try to make them happy.

  • Always remember that you are not responsible for everyone’s well being. Any problem that your colleague is facing is his or her and not yours.

  • Try to help by providing solutions but do not try to own other’s problems. 

  • If the person continuously bothers you, acknowledge and step away from him or her. Do not let anyone exploit your emotional status.

  • Try to talk to the stressed person in calm way and try to resolve his problem instead of just listening to him.

  • Try to hang out with people who have positive thinking.

  • One of the most important things is that you should always keep in mind and avoid spreading your tension to others. Remember, transmitting your stress will contaminate the workplace’s environment.

  • Stay pleasant, cheerful and civil with others.

  • Try to solve your issue before it becomes a problem.
Women are at more risk of catching the stress contagion. Sitting beside a stressed co-worker might remind them of their own worries and this leads to anxiety automatically.

Always remember that with secondhand stress you cannot do much to relieve it. If you can, do give suggestions to the person who is stressed and help him or her come out of the stressful situation. Being active and friendly does not mean that you have to become stressed. If your help seems to be useless, restrict your interaction with the people who pass on stress to you. Choose options to calm yourself and for chilling out as well.


Can stress get passed on from one person to another? What are the ways to avoid absorbing stress? How to help someone who is stressed without getting anxious? Discuss here.

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