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Don't let others stress you out
September 7th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

Don't let others stress you out

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity - the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

When I tell Pam, my stressed-out lawyer friend, that stress is contagious, she seems unimpressed.

“I have always kind of suspected that,” she says, “ever since in 'Ghostbusters II,' when the guys discover that people’s nonstop negativity has created an evil slime that threatens humanity. Then they find out the slime reacts to both positive and negative emotions, so they have a bunch of New Yorkers hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ to it in Central Park or something. And boom! The slime dissolves.”

I’m sort of speechless, though the comparison is oddly compelling.

It may seem more science fiction than science, but emotional contagion - though not the slime part - is a well-researched phenomenon.

“We pass emotions back and forth all the time, as part of every interaction we have with another person,” notes Daniel Goleman, author of “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence.” “It’s usually subtle, but sometimes all too obvious.”

As it turns out, we humans are an empathetic bunch. According to Elaine Hatfield, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and author of “Emotional Contagion,” we can “catch other people’s anxiety, depression or stress. Whatever they’re feeling, we feel the same way.”

Studies show that even newborns may be capable of vocal and movement mimicry. In one classic study, 2- to 4-day-olds responded to the emotional distress of other newborns by crying as well. They did not respond similarly when they heard a synthetic cry.

And some are “spongier” than others - that is, they may be more prone to soaking up the emotional mood in the room. (I must be really spongy. I can get hives from a particularly acrimonious episode of “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”)

So how does contagious stress work in an era that seems particularly stressful - from the very real anxiety about economic troubles, environmental disasters, political discord, wars and terrorism, to the engineered frenzy whipped up by the-sky-is-falling politicians and talk show hosts? How toxic and far-reaching is contagious stress? Can it infect entire cities? Countries? Can our whole world be stressed out?

“There are documented cases of mass hysteria,” says Daniel Rempala, also a professor at the University of Hawaii. “For example, in a town where people think there’s been an outbreak and begin reacting with similar symptoms, even though it’s later found out there was no outbreak.”

If you can have that kind of contagion within a city or town, it’s conceivable that it could affect a larger population as well.

“We also know that following 9/11, even some people who didn’t experience the actual events were affected by post-traumatic stress. It appeared to correlate to how much television they watched,” he says.

And how quickly can contagious stress spread?

“The research is varied, but it can happen with amazing rapidity,” says Hatfield. “We can respond to people’s faces faster than we can have a thought. That suggests it’s so primitive, it’s probably going through the brain stem.”

Primitive! Faster than a speeding thought! This is bad, I think. There must be a way to protect ourselves from contagious stress during what must surely be one of the most trying times in history.

I reach out to Stanford’s James Gross who, I’m told, is the top expert on emotional modulation. Surely he’ll know what to do.

Says Gross: “We do see ourselves as living in more stressful times. But it is also true that in many historical periods people seemed to think they were in the most stressful times ever. It’s actually a very common experience to see yourself as living in a particularly stressful period.”

What are you saying?

“I guess I’m questioning the premise that we are living in necessarily more stressful times.”

I feel oddly deflated.

And maybe Gross picks up on that - all spongy-like - and decides to throw me a bone: “Having said that, I would certainly agree that lots of people are stressed, and there are many polarizing and upsetting things happening in the world. We are now much more aware on a day-to-day basis of world events than ever before. We have unprecedented daily access through a variety of media. And our nervous systems are built to seek out information all around us in an adaptive way because by knowing about bad things, you try to prevent those bad things from happening to you.”

So not only are we getting bombarded by the negative information, which we tend to seek out, but it’s also packing a much greater, multi-platform punch.

How do we go about regulating our emotions in the face of what may feel like a tsunami of stress?

“There are two key ideas here,” Gross tells me. “One is that the source of most of this stress is that we are much more rarely turned off. In the old days, people got upset and were able to go for a walk and get away. Now, with our various communication devices, we are never far from all sorts of bad news.”

The other key idea is that even though we feel that  negative emotions may be entirely out of our control, we have considerable control over the emotions and stress that we feel. According to Gross, you can exert emotional control and regulation in a few extremely effective ways.

The first is to change the world - or at least the parts of the world you expose yourself to. You can do this by, say, turning off the television, not seeking out the goriest movies, staying away from the divisive forces in your life.

The second is to change your mind - that is, change your mental activity, either through attention or thinking. You can be exposed to something nasty, but you can shift your attention in a very rapid way so that you think of other things that are more positive or neutral. Say you’re stuck in a meeting with people who are very toxic. You can develop the capacity to shift or modify your emotional focus, and that can be immensely powerful.

The third is to change your body and how your body is responding. Gross suggests trying deep breathing or relaxation techniques to keep your body calm.

“We find in our work that people can use each of these strategies and it really changes the emotion and stress response - both the physiological and brain response and the brain areas associated with emotion generation.”

Goleman echoes this recommendation: “We are masters of our inner world. We can intentionally practice methods for relaxation that will counter the stress of negativity. The more we practice, the better it works as an inoculation against toxic environments. Find a relaxation method that works for you and practice it daily - the same way you would an exercise routine.”

And then there’s the flip side of contagious stress: contagious joy, happiness, bliss. Emotional contagion applies to positive emotions as well.

“Happily so,” observes Goleman. “When we’re with an upbeat person, we’re likely to catch their mood too.”

It reminds me of something Oprah once said she learned from Jill Bolte Taylor, the brain scientist who wrote “My Stroke of Insight”: “You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”

I’ll sing a chorus of "Kumbaya" to that.


soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. CALL YOUR BLUFF

    PEOPLE NEED TO VENT GET OVER YOURSELF

    September 7, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      IF PEOPLE TODAY WOULD JUST TRY TO LIVE WITHIN THIER MEANS, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE,THEY WOULD NOT BE SO STRESSED....I WORK WITH PEOPLE THAT PAY FOR WEDDINGS, KIDS, HOUSES WITH MONEY THEY DON'T HAVE...
      THEN THEY COMPLAIN ABOUT IT...IT DRIVES ME NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • pray for my son

      http://tributeballoon.com/user/show/1016513029

      September 7, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • intothefire

      UPPER CASE!!!!! stop it, just makes u look stupid

      September 7, 2011 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
    • Uthor

      Sure. And other people need to get away from people who vent. It's always surprising to hear people say, "I say just what I think," as if it were a virtue. It just means you're childish and have no self-discipline.

      September 7, 2011 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
    • Schmedley

      Uthor nailed it. "I just say what I think/call it like I see it" is a the lame excuse that disrespectful people use to be rude.

      Maybe you're frustrated and need to vent, but here's the other side of it: No one cares to hear your vitriolic rant because most of your problems are probably the result of your own actions.

      I can't remember who said it, but it goes something like this: Your experiences in life are 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.

      September 7, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse |
    • www.youravon.com/edorthy

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      September 28, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
  2. aljo

    Maybe you shouldn't be watching "Real" Housewives of NJ....just sayin'

    September 7, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Chris

    Thats all people do to me......anytime a person(other then my immediate family) starts talking....its Chris I need this or Chris I need that.

    September 7, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. jps

    Maybe people need to vent but don't pollute my space and mood while you're venting. Also, there is such a thing as overventing. Also known as fuming, fussing, bellyaching, whining, berating your children, beating your wife, and opening fire on co-workers. Try doing something productive instead. Our society is all about venting, but self-control seems to be a lost art.

    September 7, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      I am so tired of working with people that have cause their own stresses in life...!!
      They either have spent too much money on house, kids, weddings, cars and now they are all stress to the gills, all their own fault...I am so sick of these people that spend money they don't have and come to a job and complain about it...
      I HAVE HAD IT!!! Live within your means and you won't be so STRESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • pound

      @Kathy, Hilarious! You're livid about people being livid. So you respond with anger to an article about being positive.

      The irony on the message board here is no surprise, though I doubt much of it is intentional.

      September 8, 2011 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  5. XO

    Many folks are asking, "what's the world coming to." Well my freind's, I'll tell you what the world's coming to, it's coming to Jesus.

    September 7, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Lumpy Potatoes

    About 10 years ago, this old guy told me something I found very profound at that point in my life. Thinking of it now, it seems like common sense. He told me that I and I alone am responsible for my happiness. Me and no one else. If something or someone steals my happiness, it is at that time a decision is to be made. Can I make a compromise and still keep my happiness, or do I need to get away from whatever is stealing it.

    I apply this daily. I refuse to let anyone steal my happiness. If I do, it's my own fault. Peace to you. 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • XO

      How would this profound wisdom apply to the Jews during the Holocaust?

      September 7, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • Lumpy Potatoes

      XO.....I think you miss the point. I don't see happiness as a destination, I see it as a state of mind. We're all going to find ourselves in situations that are out of our control and will make us unhappy. As dramatic and unfortunate your example may be, I'm sure some knew the inevitable and came to peace. And with peace, comes happiness. I would like to think that's what I would do. But that's just me.

      I don't see the glass half full.. I'm glad to have a drink. Peace to you.

      September 7, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • To XO

      You may consider Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl. The book will answer your question quite nicely and succinctly.

      September 7, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • ArizonaYankee

      Hey Lumpy Potatoes, Good advice, and a good reminder...Thanks for posting...

      September 7, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • birdinflight

      Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl, is a great book – but I don't think it helps with stress. I agree with John, stress is caused by suppressing the desire to .... well, you know. Maybe I'll try Yoga. I once met a great Yoga Master who lived to 108, or so he claimed. He was a happy vegetarian with no teeth – loved to be around children. Gorgeous guy.

      September 7, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Jews during the Holocaust? In order to make a point, does everyone have to revert to the Holocaust, Hitler and WWII?

      September 7, 2011 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
  7. Lena

    Yes people need to vent, I find that if you're really stressed and need to get it all out, go for an hour walk or go to the gym and vent on a machine. Not on others. It's counter-productive.

    September 7, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vick

      I so agree Lena, taking your frustrations out in the gym is also a great way for people in this country to curb the obesity problem.

      September 8, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • L

      I agree venting can be a problem if the person does it continuously. But venting does reduce stress and may even help the person solve the problem. Not all problems can be ignored by going to the gym.

      September 8, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • celmira9

      You are so right! How many times people have vented on me only for me to go home and worry about them. It does no good to vent on others. It makes them sick. It is healthier to go to the gym or for a walk.

      September 8, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
  8. John

    This makes sense. We have know that loneliness can make us gain weight (http://goo.gl/zChJa) so it should be a surprise that stress can be contagious. Remember when Mom said, "Misery loves company?"

    September 7, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. memememe

    Remember the whole 'vibe' thing?. Bad vibes are bad vibes, and they effect. It's very obvious, and more basic than any scientific theory. We tend to over think a lot of things. Peace and love, peace and love : )

    September 7, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eeyore

      It would be completely impossible for you to over think anything.

      September 7, 2011 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  10. memememe

    Also, this reminds me. I'm a big believer in science, but reliance on strictly objective reasoning (ok, a little oxymoron there) will not give the complete picture. The reverse of course is also true.
    (as if I know what i'm talking about LOL )

    September 7, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Peter

    worthless article of the month award.....hands down

    September 7, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drew

      I am positive I read an article about Michelle Bachmann on this site a few days ago.

      September 7, 2011 at 23:51 | Report abuse |
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      March 4, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  12. Stress Balls

    Just so you know, the best way to fill these is to put the flower into a bottle, blow up the balloon, put it around the neck of the bottle and turn it upside down. Once its all in just take the balloon off and let it deflate

    September 7, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. t

    This is in response to Lumpy Potatoes – great sentiment. If we all would focus on and be responsible for our own happiness. If only.

    September 7, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eddman

      No Wendy Williams is not a man

      November 9, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
  14. Sperkowitz

    Reading about stress stresses me out.

    September 7, 2011 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Gina

    Easier Said Then Done. http://www.experienceproject.com/uw.php?e=1763802

    September 7, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Lynn

    Stress is caused by other people you deal with doing their best to screw with you.

    September 7, 2011 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. bill

    using military time on this site is silly. whose bright idea is that?

    September 7, 2011 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • quiturcomplainingitisstressinmeout

      🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  18. mother of four

    Several years ago I worked in an office. I loved my job. I hated going to work. The manager was terrific–I admired and enjoyed working with him. My other co-worker was great too. The only problem was–most of their jobs were on the road, which meant they weren't there most of the time. Half of mine was in the office–the other half in the field. I looked forward to working in the field–but the office was a hot bed of tensions and stress.

    It was the secretary. Her personal life was a mess–she had screaming matches with her children and her husband on the phone. She glared at me and asked why I was late and made snotty little comments like "Oh. I see you decided to come in today." When the other two were in the office, she was better behaved–and you'd never guess there was a problem. My kids used to make fun of her messages on the answering machine when she'd call me up on my day off to get me to answer questions and return phone calls. I can't count the times I called people up from home only to have them tell me, "This could have waited until you were in the office . . ."

    I worked for them for a year before I finally had a conversation with the manager about it. As it turned out, he knew everything because he'd been through something similar with her when he'd first started. He wasn't in a position to fire her (she was hired by higher ups) and she did a good job and was good with the public so he'd learned to work around her. She resented the flow in our schedules and the fact that we could come and go without answering to anyone. Once he understood there was a problem, he moved me into my own office with my name on the door (I'd been sharing space with her in the front office). He made her understand that I was her superior, but the tensions still ran high when he wasn't there.

    When I left the job after a few years I learned that people in the businesses around me were amazed that I'd stayed as long as I had and assumed she was the reason I left. She was known to be difficult and unpleasant and I wasn't the only one she was rude to, but I was known to be gentle and people mistook that for weakness. Apparently there was a pool as to how long I'd last and I beat all of the odds. She wasn't most of the reason I left (I had other things I wanted to do)–but I think I can safely say that the tensions were a contributing factor.

    Stress is contagious. It's given to you by other people.

    September 7, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC

      Maybe this secretary was so stressed because, in addition to her crappy home life, she worked at a menial job with little respect from the "higher-ups" like you. Not to vent...

      September 7, 2011 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
  19. Don

    There's a lot of truth in this article. We really are the captain of our soul and the master of our fate.
    Here's a little trick I use when my stress level begins to go up, say waiting in a grocery line. I take several
    deep breathes and remind myself that I am lucky enough to be healthy enough to stand in a long line.
    So what if I wait a little longer than the next line. Is it going to shorten my life time? I then look around and
    try to find something enjoyable to notice about my fellow humans. I always find something that brightens my mood.

    September 7, 2011 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. ticket

    I'll tell you the secret to a long life with very little stress and I know because I'm 88 and have used this all my life. Each time when you go to the can always just clear your mind and meditate and say "everything is fine, I am going to heaven when I die. I'm going to live to p on my enemy's graves. And then just do it.". Plus, exercise.

    September 7, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. hungry

    Hi, I dus a wittle 7 year ode wiving in povety and ahm stawvin to def. How tan ah dit tum stwess wewief, pease?

    September 7, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. hungry

    Ah sewer wis ah had the wuckshery ub some stwess weweif. You r vewy wucky to hab been bown so wucky. Ahm doing to do bat to dyin ub stawbation now. bye bye

    September 7, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hungry

      ah wis ah had so mut siwwy time on my hands to be so stwessed out when ahm vewy wucky wike woo.

      September 7, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
  23. Cory

    Venting is one thing; but whining about something and then not do anything about it is another. I know two people who complain about the same thing every day. In fact these two can't go One day...One day...without complaining. Listening to these two complain is worse than hearing the Politicans B*!@h. Mix complaining with a huge ego and a side of Self righteousness finished off by laziness and you have a glimpse of what I am talking about. These people are so miserable; they take everything so seriously, feel as if the world is out to get them and they get verbally abusive. For me its like experiencing all of my pet peeves at once... Don't get me wrong I love these people and we do have some good times and they can bring up some good points about certain things when their ego's aren't in the way. But when they get in that negative mode, I have to leave. When I get stressed out; I physically start to hurt. My stomach goes into what I like to call the razor blade pain and my chest begins to hurt. When they get all butt hurt cuz I left, I simply tell them that I am the captain of my own ship and I refuse to let their negativity bring me down. And that I don't feel sympathy or pity for people who put themselves in their own h3ll.

    September 7, 2011 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. John

    Stress is caused by suppressing the desire to choke the living sh!t out of someone who deserves it!

    September 7, 2011 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • L

      Love it!

      September 8, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Yeah I agree with you John...for sure that too can be a major source of stress!!! But if that person is unfortunately a close family relative or a best friend then It would be very hard to hurt them especially physically. So what I do is I just avoid them as much as possible, and trust me it's so healthy to just simply stay away from negative, depressed ppl who sometimes unfortunately they are you're family members and therefore you can't really abandon them or totally ignore them from your life.

      September 29, 2011 at 00:56 | Report abuse |
  25. keir

    Fake it till you make it.

    September 7, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Chuck Wolfe

    Wonderful article. I ususally find what is written about emotional intelligence to be very shallow. You have done an excellent job pulling together some expert opinions and you offer valuable suggestions. I would add to what you have written by suggesting that you learn about the ability based model of emotional intelligence discovered by Peter Salovey, provost at Yale, and Jack Mayer, psychology professor of University of New Hampshire. The second branch of their model suggests a measure of emotional ability that relates to emotional empathy, what you referred to in your article as "spongy." I believe you suggest that you seem to be impacted quicker and more powerfully than others by emotional events. It is possible you may have a greater than average emotional empathy ability. If so, the good news is that you have better input regarding what is going on around you emotionally sooner than others. The positive side of this is that the quality of your emotional data can probably be relied on for decision making on your part. The down side is that you are also like the canary in the coal mine. You will detect heightened negative emotions more intensely than others and you can possibly be overwhelmed by negative emotions.

    I worked for a number of years with Professors Salovey and Mayer and helped them find creative ways to apply what they are learning. On my own I created an Emotion Roadmap that provides a practical guide to follow through on the steps described by Stanford's James Gross. You can see a description of my Emotion Roadmap on http://www.cjwolfe.com/roadmap.htm or listen to my radio show on WPKN in Bridgeport, CT on Wednesdays Noon to 1 PM. The public radio station is on 89.5 FM or online at http://www.wpkn.org. My show is called The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel and Control How You Feel. The show is devoted to help listeners improve how they manage their own emotions and their emotional relationships with others at work and at home.

    Warm regards,
    Chuck

    September 7, 2011 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Marie

    I recently quit allowing a family member to vent on me, began exercising more regularly and prioritizing my day better. In six weeks, I lost 12 pounds and improved my patience with my children. It's hard to cut out people who matter to you but impact you so negatively, but there is a silver lining!

    September 8, 2011 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • J

      Marie: Thanks for your comment. It's good advice. It's what I need to do and I appreciated hearing it.

      September 8, 2011 at 01:09 | Report abuse |
  28. Homer Simpson

    Ahh, you (this article) take forever to say nothing.

    September 8, 2011 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Brimstone

    Umm...there's a biological purpose for "emotional contagion".

    All the really happy monkeys
    the ones who stood there calmly pondering the beauty of the savannah
    while the other monkeys were screeching and running for the trees-

    yeah, that's right. They were eaten by lions. That's why you rarely see one nowadays.

    From a survival point of veiw it's better to stress out just because everyone around you also is
    rather than to wait and see if there really is a lion.

    September 8, 2011 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. djz

    And this is NEW news? Come on, this is such outdated information.

    September 8, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. mad_kaw_rider

    @ birdinflight, I totally 110 percent agree with ya !!! Hehe To funny... Do you know it take's 120 muscles to make a frown face & it only take's 20 muscles to pick up your arm, reach back & b!tch slap the person who's causing you stress ? lol ; )

    September 8, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. NJ Hypnotist James Malone

    Although stress is complicated phenomena, one suggestion is to regularly get some "alone time," preferably in an outdoor place of natural beauty. As a society we are over-connected and over-stimulated and when you think about it most communication is intended to persuade you in some way-which is stressful. I'm definitely taking a walk on the beach today!

    September 8, 2011 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RealityCheck

    Of course, this feel good article doesn't deal with the real solution. The real solution is to get involved and solve the problem. It's not about cutting yourself off so that you'll feel good. That's a recipe for the liberal herd agenda. They'll tell you how to vote. You just sit back, meditate and don't bother to think or solve problems.

    Real adults recognize problems and more to solve them and they teach their children how to do it so that the children can grow up to be adults.

    September 8, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Vicki Ann

    I found the article interesting and helpful. Appreciate it. Thanks!

    September 8, 2011 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. TheLeftCoast

    Yes, we definitely absorb others' energy ~ the scientific term for it is "entrainment." Be very careful not to surround yourself with too many people with negative energy. Worse yet, some people are 'energy vampires,' who drain others of their energy. You definitely want to keep them out of your life!!

    September 8, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. ALay Granda

    This is not new. We all know what bad influence is. It is the same concept, do some about before to late .Get Informed –Educate-Make change. We all get point soon or later Base Life Experience some faster than other. I apply (Prevention) get less expose, if u friend is talking negative tell what think and what the cause of that. If have solution ok if do not have solution Well I personally learn to take slow if that case or maybe u can do some about to help.
    Keep talking after that Simple tells him go some where or I go some where. But still negatives All Ways is there but the less is the best.

    September 8, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. CalgarySandy

    Lots of christian love and acceptance here! I get stressed by people who whine about the inconvenience it causes them to listen to family and friends if they are negative. Sometimes people go through one crisis after another from no fault of their own. Some people are ill and unable to keep quiet. Some people need help from the people they trust. Oh, trust. Most of you are not trustworthy and I hope your family and friends never need to find out how indifferent to them you are.

    September 8, 2011 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. WellnessDrive

    Sing it – "Be Happy, Don't worry".

    Yes, sometimes easier said then done, but we need to keep trying to be positive. So when something bad does happen then maybe we can more often just smile and shake it off.

    Stress can cause you to get sick – breaks down your immune system. Get a good antioxidant to help such as OPC-3 and/or Bliss (anti-stress formula). Go on a WellnessDrive.com for natural supplements.

    Ok, now back to our song "Be Happy, Don't worry" 🙂

    September 9, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Bobby Boffers

    I deal with anxiety a lot I don't like to take medicines that take me off my game. I found this pretty cool app on the android market. You guys should check it out and tell me what you think: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.mrg.chromotherapy&feature=search_result

    September 10, 2011 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. indu chhibber

    Today's lifestyle is tailor-made for stress.It is essential to find a way out to peace & tranquility.We cannot just leave our surroundings & go elsewhere-where ever we go our mind shall go with us.Therefore it is best to mold our behavior so that we imbibe less of the stress, thrown our way.
    Fight stress & "Choose to be happy" http://jeeteraho.blogspot.com

    October 6, 2011 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Patrick King

    I don't believe that others can stress you out. Mental stableness all has to do with inner strength. If someone is pushing your limits and testing your patience, they've giving you the chance to practice patience. Why do sites like this always give you advice on people stressing you out? http://wwwdatingguide.com and cnn.com and time.com are always publishing stories saying that others are the cause for your stress. If you have stress, that's your deal, not others.

    October 6, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Nana

    I am currently working in a situation that is affected by a "gang" of very hateful, childish people who like nothing better than to make their other coworkers lives miserable. They have formed a little 'click' and if they like you you are fine...but if they don't you get snide remarks thrown your way, nasty glances and general annoyances like loosing your work and not forwarding messages that they have been able to get away with because the management keeps ignoring the real problem. We have meetings about working together and "team" support but they refuse to see that the real problem is the 2-3 people and their ability to spew stress and anger around like they're shooting it from a fire hose! The position for me was a promotion which I recevied in a short period of time for this type of work so it was a blessing...until the dynamics of the office started to unfold and I realized I had landed in what appeared to be a more horrible version of Junior High school than I could ever have imagined. But as of this weekend...I made the decision to stop feeding the Monster...to STAY IN MY BUBBLE..I call it and not let anyone in. I come to work and enter through the back door so I can avoid all contact with them. I get in my cube...put my ear-budds in and let my mind stay on my work and not on the noise and raucous laughter that comes from the other side. So far it has worked...I'm getting alot of work done, I slept well last night and I've also realized that I am strong enough to NOT let a few immature, miserable people steal the joy of my blessings and interfere with my ability to do my job any longer. Sometimes you have to stand up for your right to not be bothered. And a great quote I just saw yesterday said...HOLDING A GRUDGE AGAINST SOMEONE IS LIKE LETTING THEM LIVE RENT FREE IN YOUR HEAD...not gonna happen.

    October 18, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. katrina

    Many years ago I read a line that stuck in me for years "you need to constantly spring clean the list of people in your life". Took me years to put it in practice..but it surely did wonders. Most of the time nothing is wrong with our own life, it is those people who created them for us.

    October 19, 2011 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. katrina

    Sorry typo error, let me rephrase again.
    Many years ago I read a line that stuck in me for years "you need to constantly spring clean the list of people in your life". Took me years to put it in practice..but it surely did wonders. Most of the time nothing is wrong with our own life, it is those people who created those problems and bring stress into your life.

    October 19, 2011 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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  47. Carole Heath

    I get very annoyed with people who don't engage their brain before they open their mouth, my husband always says ignore them let it all go in one ear and out the other, i agree with him to a degree but why should you put up with their insensitive utterances especially when you have dropped hints you don't like it. My sister-in-law is a prime example we have no children and when she visits she always brings children somewhere into the conversation and goes on about kids. I have told her that people without kids don't normally want to hear about everyone elses kids but she still does it. I have now stopped seeing her so much and to be quite honest not being nasty i feel much more relaxed and less stressed than before. S

    March 14, 2012 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lavinia Durrant

      I know Carole Heath well and i am replying to her comment from her house on her computer. I am glad she is less stressed now regarding her sister-in-laws comments which i think are out of order anyway. It is not her sister-in-laws business and she has no right to keep bringing it up after Carole has dropped hints to her not too. She has lost a very good friend in Carole i think as Carole has been a wonderful help to me over the years and a kind friend but its her loss.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.