Contagious Stress at Work

Contagious stress spreads at work and will affect your family and personal life.Yes, believe it or not, stress is contagious at work. So, it’s important to be Mindful of the impact your work environment has on your mental health.

When someone gets stressed there is a “ripple effect” spreading out from them. It is a stress pandemic– like the flu or cold. This is the driver for most diseases: raises blood pressure, heart rate and increases cholesterol. Ripple effect also has a “domino effect.”

Stress can be caught from anyone, unless you become stress hardy. You can learn how to build yourself up to resist the negative effects of stress coming from your work environment. Don’t be infected by stress and don’t be responsible for infecting others with your stress.

Here’s a Mindful solution to the stress contagion problem:

Identify your stressors

Discover what triggers you at work. Is it an individual, a certain task, your manager or the work you are doing? One common work-related stress trigger is the lack of work-life balance or the stress that come when the boundaries between work and your personal life is vague. Other stress triggers includes committing to a job you don’t like, taking on too many responsibilities at work, perfectionism, and disorganization.

Stress is manageable

Be proactive, learn stress reduction tools, and practice prevention methods such as controlling your emotions. Research from over a million participants found that “90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.” Practicing breathing exercises can control stress. You can even create your own stress tool kit to help lower your anxiety at work with these instructions.

Teach stress reduction tools

Keep your own stress tool kit at your desk and be sure to pass on your stress tips on to others, like family, children, friends and co-workers. Maybe they’ll pass their stress tips on to you.

Practice S.E.L.F. Care

Your body is your best pharmacy; your brain processes 100,000 chemical reactions a second.  You can almost immediately stop your reaction to stress by learning Dr. Kathleen Hall’s stress reduction guidelines.