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Anxiety Is Contagious - Don't Catch It!

'Anxiety is a mental illness so it can't be contagious.' 

That is how some people think about anxiety but one thing we need to understand is that anxiety is definitely contagious. When one of your friend talks about how they have been really anxious about an event recently, part of their anxiety is transferring to your brain too. Now are there ways to protect yourself? Definitely! 

But how is anxiety contagious? How does that work?

This is because of something called a mirror neuron.
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate species.

Okay So How Do I Protect Myself?

Shift The Subject

One of the easiest ways to deflect their anxiety is to change the subject. For example if someone is talking about how the recent pandemic will affect you, change the subject to how it has done really well for animals and how they are coming back. Shifting the subject to something more positive even from a negative event should help you deflect the anxiety.

Mentally Remove Yourself 

Another way to deflect anxiety is to mentally remove yourself from the situation. This is easier to do online where you just ignore the situation that might give you anxiety. However this can have serious consequences. If however this is about someone else, you can distance yourself from their emotions mentally and emotionally.


If you suffer from anxiety or anger at all, meditation is such a great way to help gain control of it. Meditation helps you control your thoughts and achieve better breathing. One minute of proper meditation is way way way more effective than an hour, it helps your body relax.

Take An Action

When anxiety starts filling your body, ask yourself one question which is "What can I do about this?" or "Is there anything I can do about this?" if the answer is no, meditate a bit while imagining yourself letting go of the situation. If the answer is yes, well, take some action and work on the problem, even if its a small step. Limiting your time reading news and browsing through articles on social media that give you anxiety can also help. 

You cannot get rid of anxiety or anger but you can for sure take steps to reduce it. Control your conversations and your habits and you can get better easily. Good Luck!

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash


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