Bet your ass it is. Do you ever experience an overwhelming feeling of stress, out of nowhere? It’s second-hand stress. It’s a thing. It’s an epidemic. Heidi Hanna, author of Stressaholic: 5 Ways to Transform Your Relationship with Stress, says that second hand stress can block productivity and will negatively impact our general well-being. That does not sound fun.
Did you know the brain can pick up on cues? Not like your random friend who crashes a first date and isn’t picking up cues on him not being wanted. The brain can pick up on cues of shortened breath, elevated heart rate and physical tension. If you’re just simply near someone stressed out, your brain can pick up on their cues and you will be stressed out. Hanna also had this to say, “Our brain is hard-wired to be on high alert to potential threats. Picking up these non-verbal physiological changes in a person near us is going to cause us to mirror that same response to protect ourselves.”
Slow down. Hanna suggests slowing down when talking with others. Make sure they feel like they’re worth your time. Second-hand stress can also be transmitted through e-mail, so save a draft and come back. Try not to make things to passive aggressive.
Take breaks. You’ve heard the whole “take breaks” suggestion thing over and over. Hanna suggests scheduling a 5-minute break every hour, which is a little different. Try adding some humor into your day. Personally, I suggest just closing everything and gchatting your closest for a few minutes every hour.
Create a stress-free environment. This part is probably the hardest, especially in an office job. Working in a creative field, you’re able to let those creative juices flow daily and won’t have to worry too much about this. If you’re working the 9 to 5, just to stay alive (sorry not sorry for the Beyonce plug), it’s important to create an area that’s stress free.via][via]