Just like germs, emotions are contagious.
An emotional contagion can be positive or negative. Have you ever been in a group of people who are bubbly and laughing?
It's hard not to join them in their happiness.
Alternately, negative emotions are also contagious. You can feel the stress of those around you, emotionally and physically.
Knowing that, says Dr. Judith Orloff, will alert you to be very careful with the people you choose to keep around you, as well as their stress levels.
What about legitimate emotions, such as a phobia, where the stress is situational?
Dr. Orloff says that you can meditate, ground yourself, and breathe out the other person's stress. The other person has to take a deep look into the fear or stress and find meaning.
What if the emotionally contagious person in your life doesn't want to take the steps necessary for change? You can learn to accept others as they are, says Dr. Orloff, but you must recognize they may not change and you cannot let it affect YOU.
Hopefully, you can enter relationships where you can grow, compromise, and change together.
Listen in as Dr. Orloff joins host Lisa Davis to share more about empathic illness and emotional contagions and how they can affect your mental, emotional and physical health.