“Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is. The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.” -Dan Millman
Doctor Chris Kresser states that we are not adapted to deal with “the chronic, unrelenting stress that has become so common in modern life. This type of stress provokes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness – what psychologists call a ‘defeat response.’ And it’s the defeat response that leads to increased fat storage, abdominal obesity, tissue breakdown, suppression of the immune system, and all of the other effects I listed above that directly cause obesity and diabetes.”
Think of stress as toxic, unserving energy that we carry around like baggage. Remember the character Linus on the old Charlie Brown cartoons? Wherever he went, Linus brought with him his cloud of dust and off-gassing. That’s us with our modern stress. When you are under stress, you carry it with you in your posture, attitude, and words. Even when we don’t say anything, we give off that energy to the people around us. The stress off-gasses, making others uncomfortable.
Veronika Engert is a lead researcher from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Services. Her research has revealed something called “empathetic stress.” This is stress that people develop from being around others who are stressed. One study showed that even people who ordinarily enjoyed a great deal of peace came to suffer from stress-related symptoms, and increased cortisol concentrations, when they found themselves in contact with stressed individuals. The study concluded that there “must be a transmission mechanism via which the target’s state can elicit a similar state in the observer down to the level of a hormonal stress response.”
The most troublesome part is that this can often happen outside of our awareness. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in how we feel and our own personal struggles that we blur our own vision of our surroundings. We lose our awareness of what we allow our own stress and tension to do to those around us.
As Steve Maraboli says, “I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” Let’s add that nothing is worth poisoning our friends, family or coworkers by off-gassing that stress and anxiety onto them either.
The simplest solution is to become more aware of ourselves and taking the time, as needed, to stop and become rooted and centered in reality so as to release that stress. Meditation and energy clearing can help immensely. By washing away the cloud of stress, we can then move forward, sharing only the healing energy that we all want and need.
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What To Remember:
Stress is toxic to our physical and emotional wellbeing.
We off-gas stress to others, sometimes unconsciously.
We can prevent off-gassing by being more mindful of our demeanor.
Energetic clearing eliminates stress so we can move forward more positively.
Flowers, April. Being Around A Stressed Person Can Make You Stressed As Well. May 1, 2014. Retrieved from RedOrbit.
Plante, Thomas, G. Dealing With The Stress of Others. June 5, 2012. Retrieved from Psychology Today.
Steber, Carolyn. 11 Signs Someone May Be Uncomfortable Around You. December 26, 2017. Retrieved from Bustle.
- Definition of Offgassing. 2018 edition. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.
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