Is your boss ruining your weekend?
February 26th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Is your boss ruining your weekend?

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

Most Sundays last year, Juliet woke up feeling fine. But as the day wore on, she grew more agitated.

“By early afternoon I felt sick with stress and was walking around snapping at everyone. It was my husband who finally figured out that I was dreading going back to work Monday morning. The anticipation was ruining my Sundays."

Juliet had loved her job until the company where she worked was bought out. The culture of the organization originally built and run by a handful of idealistic scientists shifted overnight.

“The scientists were out, and the incoming CEO and leadership team were these marketing types who set an entirely different tone. The new executives were like these funnels of stress, spreading anxiety throughout the organization.”

“The company started hemorrhaging its best employees. My colleagues despaired for a long time and then left in droves. Eventually, so did I.”

It may be hard to imagine how we could possibly be more stressed out than our ancestors - some of whom may have actually had to outrun a mountain lion or two on their way back from fetching dinner - but stress has been referred to as one of the key health epidemics of the 21st century.

It is blamed as the underlying cause for as much as 70% of all visits to primary care physicians. Are some people particularly influential in this epidemic? Do key influencers contribute to a culture of anxiety by helping to set a negative emotional tone that infects our collective well-being?

There may be a few factors at play.

One is our human propensity to pass feelings to one another in a phenomenon called emotional contagion. We volley emotions back and forth all the time, as part of every interaction we have with another person. We can “catch” other people’s anxiety, depression or stress - all with amazing speed and dexterity.

A second factor is interconnectedness. According to a recent study, what was once six degrees of separation between any two people in the world has shrunk to 4.74 - three, if you limit the pair to a particular country. And this much-greater connection packs a multiplatform punch across a variety of devices that most of us refuse to put down.

Take emotional contagion and greater connectivity, and add people in key positions of influence - our bosses, politicians, media, teachers, among others. A notable few wield their power to inspire, enlighten and advance, but far too many perpetuate a climate of negativity.

Some of these stress influencers are merely passive, thoughtless and irresponsible, while others are actively manipulative and self-serving. Either way, by virtue of their power positions, these people can wreak havoc by spreading anxiety. It is a pattern of behavior perhaps most damaging during times of hardship.

I asked Judith Orloff, M.D., psychiatrist and bestselling author of “Emotional Freedom,” about the possibility of people serving as stress channels.

“I haven’t heard it put that way exactly, but I like the idea. That groups of people can channel and possibly amplify anxiety is compelling. People in power are often models for the whole organization and they can create a high level of stress that affects everyone... Certainly some of our leaders need to go back to compassion school because they appear to have no concept of being in service.”

“We know that people pay more attention to, and put more importance on, what leaders say and do - especially at work,” observes renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence."

“This means that a business leader, for instance, has an emotional responsibility to help prime emotions in a better direction. There are many studies showing that if the leader is in a bad mood, followers catch it and their work suffers; if in a good one, then the good mood spreads and performance improves.”

“I’d love to see our leaders and the media become more conscious of the toxic impacts of emotional negativity.”

The good news about emotional contagion is that it works both ways: you can choose to spread anxiety and dissatisfaction, but hope, joy and bliss are equally contagious.

And, at least in theory, the same applies to stress channels. Those same influencers can make conscious choices to serve as channels for well-being and unity instead of angst and discord.

Next week I will explore how to cope with potential stress channels in your life - and how to avoid becoming one yourself. But until then, please do enjoy your Sunday. Disconnect, disengage, spend time with your family. And possibly take comfort in the high unlikelihood that you are going to be chased by any mountain lions before dinner tonight.

soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. icon set

    Useful idea

    October 5, 2012 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Vera

    I contacted him for marriage help, He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness, I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Robinson Buckler on his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..He also cure herpes, Contact him for herpes cure too direct on: Robinsonbucler @{{gmail.}} com.https://robinbuckler. com....💕”💕”

    December 10, 2020 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jacquelynn Rew

    Interested in more information. How can I contact you?


    January 3, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Garret Gullatte

    If you would like to improve your experience simply keep visiting this site and be updated with the most up-to-date gossip posted here.


    January 5, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Aron Carmickel

    Interested in more information. How can I contact you?


    January 7, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Alayna Groening

    Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share.


    January 12, 2021 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jerilyn Whal


    January 15, 2021 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hyman Anteby

    I got what you intend, thanks for putting up.Woh I am delighted to find this website through google. "Food is the most primitive form of comfort." by Sheila Graham.


    January 15, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Akilah Deranick

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone remarkably pleasant chance to read from this website. It really is very terrific and as well , jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office peers to search your website the equivalent of thrice weekly to learn the latest items you have got. And lastly, we are actually pleased concerning the effective information served by you. Certain 1 tips in this posting are in truth the most impressive I have ever had.


    January 17, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Floy Nostro

    Whats Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & assist different customers like its helped me. Great job.


    January 21, 2021 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tressie Lemmond

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.


    January 21, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Emile Scheve


    January 21, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Karena Mcelduff


    January 28, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. zortilonrel

    I really like your writing style, wonderful information, thankyou for putting up : D.


    January 31, 2021 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. new haven bail bonds

    287087 510606A genuinely interesting examine, I could not concur completely, but you do make some extremely valid points. 299760

    February 6, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. zortilonrel

    I reckon something really special in this internet site.


    February 7, 2021 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. zortilonrel

    you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?


    February 7, 2021 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. zortilonrel

    Definitely, what a fantastic site and educative posts, I will bookmark your website.All the Best!


    February 7, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. tengeri szállítmányozás Europa-Road Kft

    Enjoyed reading this, very good stuff, thanks.


    February 9, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. https://europa-road.eu/hu/vasuti-szallitmanyozas.php

    A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish extraordinary. Wonderful job!


    February 9, 2021 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Learn More

    Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is very cool. I'm impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a great web site.


    February 9, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Quality Proxies

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing situation with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting an identical rss problem? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx


    February 15, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. BobbyKTeitel

    This website was... how will you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I've found an issue that helped me to.
    Appreciate it!

    Take a look at my web site BobbyKTeitel

    February 18, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Buy Dedicated Proxies

    I just like the valuable info you supply on your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check once more right here regularly. I'm slightly sure I will be told a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!


    February 20, 2021 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. vreyro linomit

    Real nice style and great subject material, nothing else we need : D.


    February 26, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ClarkTauts

    wkgul 7viwl ap75

    March 2, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. multilingual filofax

    It's remarkable in support of me to have a web site, which is useful designed for my experience.
    thanks admin

    Here is my blog :: multilingual filofax

    March 3, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Rosalind Ranney

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs


    May 10, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Wilton Arbo

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    May 11, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. https://918kiss-m.com

    This is the right web site for everyone who wants to understand this topic.
    You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you
    (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic which
    has been discussed for a long time. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

    My site :: king855 kiosk download (https://918kiss-m.com)

    May 12, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. stornobrzinol

    Hello, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring?K I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!


    May 13, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. storno brzinol

    Needed to post you one very little observation in order to thank you the moment again over the precious thoughts you've shared here. It is simply particularly open-handed with people like you to provide easily just what a number of us could have advertised for an e book in making some profit for their own end, and in particular considering the fact that you could have done it in case you desired. These tactics also served as a fantastic way to be sure that most people have the same keenness like mine to know the truth more and more regarding this condition. I believe there are some more fun moments up front for folks who looked over your site.


    May 16, 2021 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. forex advisor

    137028 817117Some genuinely fantastic info , Gladiola I detected this. 401772

    May 19, 2021 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Buycannabinoidssales.com is one of the largest suppliers of high quality Research Chemicals in USA.

    10944 130885You produced various excellent points there. I did a search on the topic and discovered most people will have the same opinion with your weblog. 552157

    May 25, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Chelsea Chauca

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 5, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jeanice Righi

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 11, 2021 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Royal Semmes

    Just wanna comment on few general things, The website pattern is perfect, the content material is very excellent : D.


    November 9, 2022 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

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.