Stress can be contagious. We are all affected by the energy and moods of those around us. Someone that is stressed often expresses that “out of sorts” emotion with a short temper, sharp tongue, lack of focus or exhaustion. It’s stressful being around someone like this. Imagine that person to be a friend, colleague or family member and our investment in that relationship can magnify the stress we feel. You can call this second-hand stress if you’d like. Stress does not care where it originates and creates a physical environment with all the same health ramifications whether second-hand stress or not.
In my office, I stress (haha) becoming aware of thoughts. Stress begins with a thought. That thought gets repeated and repeated and stronger with each repetition. With every thought, there is a chemical response as the body communicates neuron to neuron. That chemical response creates a physical response such as the clenched jaw, muscle tension, or physical fatigue. So give yourself a mental time-out to flush and collapse the stress though. Do this by distracting your mind for approximately 90 seconds. I recommend counting backward from 27 to 0 by 3 (example: 27…24…21…18…etc). OR pick any triple digit number (like 167 or 453) and count backward ten numbers. Take one full, slow breath between each number to slow down the counting. While you are thinking your way down the number chain you are NOT thinking about that stress thought which gives your mind enough time to flush out the stress chemicals you’re producing.
Result…muscles relax, jaw lets go, and energy levels raised. Don’t knock it until you try it! It works!
* The results may vary from person to person.
I am a certified Hypnotherapist and owner of That’s Life Hypnosis in Matthews, NC. I am certified in Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Psychology. I am a member of the International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT), the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) and on the Board of Directors at the Providence Volunteer Fire Department in Weddington, NC. Currently, I’m active studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to offer a holistic approach to nutrition as an important adjunct to my work.