Today – Signs You’re Affected by Second Hand Stress
You already know that stress is pretty harmful and that it can affect you in so many ways. Now, you might be trying your best to keep yourself from being affected, and it might be working, but you could, actually, also be suffering the consequences of being around someone who tends to be stressed a lot- also known as second hand stress.
So here’s taking a quick peek into it, and discovering 7 signs that could point out that you’re affected by second hand stress. Read on…
Signs You’re Affected by Second Hand Stress
You’ve Become a Pessimist
If you’ve been a positive person for most of your life, and you seem to have suddenly turned into a pessimist, it could be a sign that you’re suffering from second hand stress. Being surrounded by someone who tends to be stressed and anxious can do that to you, and it can wire your brain to think more of what could go wrong and imagine worst case scenarios.
You Feel Inadequate
Feelings of inadequacy and resentment tend to become stronger in individuals who are affected by second hand stress. This can be because you might be under a constant pressure of performing in a certain way, which can, in the long run, also lead to a loss of self-esteem.
You Feel Tired All the Time
If you feel exhausted and tired more often than you did earlier, and you can’t seem to find out the cause behind it, chances are, it could be due to your body and mind working extra hard to buffer itself against the second hand stress.
You’re Getting Brain Fog
While there can be several possible reasons for this one, brain fog is often a symptom of second hand stress as well. Having issues with recalling things, experiencing forgetfulness and having trouble concentrating and focusing on particular tasks can also be linked to second hand stress.
You’re Anxious & Restless
If you’ve become restless and anxious, and seem to always be in a hurry to complete tasks and get done with things, even if you’re actually not on a deadline, it could be a sign that you’re suffering from second hand stress. If anxiety has become something that you can’t seem to shake off, and you can’t put your finger on the reason of this change within you, it could be a sure pointer towards second hand stress.
You’ve Become Disorganized
Being around someone who tends to be stressed can make you unable to concentrate, and can leave you so preoccupied that it can ultimately also affect your organization. If you’re a perfectionist, you might be the first one to notice this change within you.
You Lash Out Randomly
Another common sign that you could be affected by second hand stress is that you might be lashing out at small issues, and at the wrong people, suddenly and without warning. Usually, when the second hand stress builds up inside you, you might let it out at the wrong time.
What can you do if you are showing signs of second hand stress?
I hope you have found this post on 7 Signs You’re Affected by Second Hand Stress useful. You may also enjoy my post on how to let things go which is a really important skill if you are looking to handle second hand stress.
Here are ideas around what you CAN do if you are being impacted by second hand stress to help you regain your equilibrium and take some power back.
Avoiding vexatious people
Avoiding vexatious people can also help a great deal although if these are colleagues or family members this can be really hard. In that case, I would advise that you minimise the time spent with them and give your self plenty y of rest breaks.
I think regular exercise also helps as it will keep your endorphins up and focus your mind elsewhere. It will also help reduce the tension in your body that second hand stress can cause and help you physically and as a consequence of that, mentally relax.
Peace and quiet
Peace and quiet will also help calm your mind so do make sure you build these into your day to reduce the amount of second hand stress you are absorbing. Perhaps you could try going for a long walk, putting on headphones, listening to a meditation app. Anything that effectively wipes out the noise of stress and takes your mind to somewhere more still and peace giving.
Can you confront it?
Can you confront the cause of your second hand stress and change the situation or challenge the person who is causing it. This may feel like a BIG and scary thing to do but something in order for things to change we have to change things and sometimes we just need to be really brave.
Can you name it?
A lot of the time people who are stressing us out do not realise they are exuding and impacting their stress and by naming it we are actually doing them a favour. You don’t have to be aggressive or accusatory in doing this..maybe a gently comment saying how they have seemed very uptight and stressed really and you have been picking up on this are they okay? might be enough to alert them to address their own emotional state? Sometimes being subtle absolutely does not work at all and you will have to be crystal clear with someone about how they are impacting you.
You owe it to your own emotional and physical health to get rid of second hand stress so if you do have to be brave I would say it is worth it!
Strategies long term
Yes, long-term second hand stress is an unhealthy thing to live with and needs to go so whilst exercise and mefitation., noise cancelling and t fresh air may all help they do not attack the root cause. This is fine if the stress is fleeting and temporary e.g related to a wedding/big project/illness. But if it is a long-term pressure /stress situation/person that is impacting you the root cause has to be confronted. and dealt with.
You deserve better. In the Telegraph there is a great article on second hand stress that suggests it is mainly about lack of control. You need to get back IN control. Have look at my post on ways to prevent a burnout for more self care ideas
Last thoughts on Signs You’re Affected by Second Hand Stress
If you see any Signs You’re Affected by Second Hand Stress do take some action as the negative impacts are really unhealthy.