Did you know that the negative emotions of others can affect you as if they were your very own? A study conducted showed that 26% of a group was affected by the nervous tension of a person that was within their visual field. Humans are known to be hard-wired to empathize with each other through mirror neurons. To prevent contagious anxiety from affecting your life in a negative way it is important to know how to keep it at bay.
How many times have you found yourself yawning after seeing someone across the room yawn? If you are like me, you may have tried learning to stop yourself from yawning just because someone else was yawning. Have you also considered the verbal or non-verbal cues of those you interact with on a day to day basis? How many times have you been directly affected by the emotions that were going through that person at that point?
Anxiety and stress are some negative emotions you would rather keep at bay from you, but you inevitably get to deal with them at some point in life. That is all well and dandy when dealing with your emotions, but when it comes to the feelings of others it does not make for sound logic nor does it auger well for your health to let them affect you negatively. Here are 6 ways to stop these emotions at the door.
Create Alert Systems
One sure way to prevent negative feelings from affecting you is by snuffing them out when they begin to flair. The reality is that the closer someone is to you, the easier it is to empathize with them. The impact of it is felt greater than when dealing with the emotions of a total stranger. When this is the case, it is in your best interest to alert this person when they begin to lose control over their emotions. Telling them early on gives them the power to reign in their emotions, but if it is not possible to do this at the onset of the episode be sure to tell them after they have calmed down so that they know they are affecting you negatively by their outbursts. Remember to be a positive reinforcement by letting them know in a non-confrontational way.
Move Away from the Contagion
Some people have the supernatural ability to be eggshell droppers. That means that you are forever at odds on how to behave around them as you do not know what is going to make them blow a fuse on this particular day. So you are left with the task of walking on egg shells around them. Such an arrangement is not proper for your overall health. I have been in such a situation where my peace was taken away consistently. I was not sober enough to work as I would spend my days wondering what I would be blamed for next.
This situation makes you want to run away from your life. The best thing to do here is to separate yourself from this person. Avoiding them becomes the best course of action when you cannot influence them positively.
Have a Positive Rebuff
Sometimes there is nothing we can do to prevent negative emotions from rising from the people that surround us. We are never that much in control, but as the emotions rise from them, we have the power to channel them away from us by giving them a positive rebuff. Imagine the viciousness that a lightning strike comes to earth. It is quenched with all its rage by a simple lightning rod that grounds it.
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That is what you are called to be in a similar situation. When a negative statement or attitude is hit with a positive feeling, it loses its power. You have the power in you to keep the negative vibe at bay and not let it influence you destructively. A simple smile to a frown or a calm state around rage is destructive to the negative energy, overpowering it.
Counteract the Bad
When you are able to create a buffer zone against contagious emotions and repulse them, you regain the power to control your emotions and hence your actions. Research shows that you have a 23% drop in the adverse effect of external stress once you stop fighting it. Stress is a force that can be used to enhance positive attributes like self-control and mastery, which in turn build self-esteem. When I was able to put the positive buffer up in my situation, I became less fazed by the negative emotions of others. I was then able to see what was behind the negative emotions and deal with it. By helping this person deal with what was ticking them off, the atmosphere was rid of all the bad vibe. This is the way you can counteract the bad; with good.
Boost Self Esteem
As seen, self-control is a booster to self-esteem. Self-esteem is in itself the force that carries you regardless of what surrounds you; the inner knowing of yourself that you are of worth. By building it, you can take control of your emotions. You believe yourself to be stronger than the situation that surrounds you. There are a few sure ways to build your esteem. Giving yourself a pep talk each morning is a good way to go. Exercise like yoga is also known to boost feel-good emotions in a person, so spending 30 minutes breaking serious sweat works wonders for your self-esteem. This gives you confidence through the day.
Focus on Positive Thoughts
How you begin your day will reflect how the rest of it goes. Spending the beginning of each day to concentrate on positive thoughts is a good way to start, where you write down some things you are thankful for. You can also spend this time meditating for a few minutes. This starts off the day on a calm note, giving you sharp focus and a keen sense of self.
Many times we have the power to change situations; if we only knew the power inside of us. It is very possible to keep contagious anxiety and stress at bay by following these 6 simple tips.
Jessica is the founder of CareHappiness.com. She and her editor work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic information