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Are You Absorbing Stress?

If you are battling a stress disorder in Rochester, then you can understand the importance of identifying anxiety triggers. For many people of all ages, shapes and sizes the lingering tightness of breath, narrowed vision and clustered thoughts develop after a trigger that you could have seen a mile away. A discussion about financial concerns, a dreaded meeting with your boss or a phone call from your mother are all common stress triggers, but what about those times that you cannot figure out what triggered your anxiety? For a lot of people, anxiety is a regular occurrence and the exact reason often feels unknown.


If this is something that you have experienced, then there is a chance that you are absorbing the stress of those around you. You have likely heard the expression before about feeling tension in a room. This same sensory awareness is often true in situations where the tension isn’t obvious between two quarrelling individuals. Instead, being around someone who is anxious, depressed or just generally negative may be affecting your own demeanor. What a downer.


Think about this example:

Jennifer woke up a few minutes early this morning. She enjoyed a fresh cup of coffee and read a few pages of her book before going to work, where she received several positive emails about her work this week. At lunch, Jennifer sat in the work lounge with a few co-workers who were upset with their boss and thought Jennifer’s good work made them look bad. Though they did not say anything to her, Jennifer could feel their negative thoughts and left the lunch lounge. She finished her lunch with another co-worker who is going through a divorce and is very anxious. Jennifer spent her afternoon at work feeling frazzled, and decided to have fast food for dinner because she had such a stressful day.


Jennifer let others impact the way that her day played out. Instead of remaining positive about the good morning that she had, she let the negative feelings of those around her interfere with her positive mood. Jennifer absorbed the anxiety of those around her. Does this sound familiar to you?


Putting Up Boundaries

Absorbing the negative energy of those around you can greatly impact the way that you are feeling and perceiving your own stress. In this situation, Jennifer may not have been able to explain why she felt so anxious after work. However, when you stop and think about all of the negativity that she absorbed during lunch, you’re left without wondering why!


When you find yourself in a stressful situation, instead of becoming absorbed byabsorbing the negative emotions of those around you, try putting up a barrier. This can be done by focusing on a happy place that you enjoy. Think of the activities that you like to do and where you go that always puts a smile on your face. Instead of engaging in the negativity of those around you, change the subject and start talking about where you walked your dog last night, how much fun you had on your last vacation, or where you would want to travel to most in the world.


You may be surprised, by changing the subject and becoming more positive, you may help those around you to overcome their negativity as well!