Stress Can Be Caught From Others

“Stress can be contagious, even if you see it experienced by a character in a TV show.

A study by the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, in Leipzig, Germany, found that being around a person under stress can make others feel pressured. The effects, which can be measured, are felt even when an unknown TV character shows signs of stress.

The researchers said stress was a major health threat, causing a range of psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. Even people who lead relatively relaxed lives constantly come into contact with individuals under stress, either at work or on TV…. In a scientific experiment, 95% of people placed under direct pressure showed signs of stress. But 26% of uninvolved observers had an increase  in the secretion of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress.”                  The Times

Tomorrow South Africans go to the polls to vote for the political party to rule here for the next 5 years. The tension and stress is palpable during conversation and in the media. Stressed themselves, members of the various parties have taken to running down the other parties rather than simply stating what they can offer. Reflecting on this, I realized that I cannot make myself immune from all the stress, but I can, whenever I remember, just be where I am. Pottering in the garden, tidying up, preparing meals or greeting neighbours, I can use my senses to be fully in the moment. The only time I need concern myself about the polls is when I am actually voting and when I hear the results. Wish me luck!!

Be kind and gentle with yourself always.  



About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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