3 Strategies to help you avoid catching Fear and Anxiety through Social Contagion.
Firstly, some of you are probably wondering how it is possible to catch fear and anxiety from others and what social contagion actually means.
Social contagion is the passing of emotion from one person to another. We can catch – panic and fear. Unfortunately, yes, it’s true!
You can catch the virus from somebody only by being near them, but someone can “sneeze” on your brain from anywhere in the world. Panic and fear can spread through social contagion, which is simply the transmission of emotion from one person to another.
Stress and fear are very high at the moment. Possibly higher now that when we went into lockdown as coming out is proving to be more difficult to manage. It’s coming at us from all directions.
Managing your mindset around this is now crucial as we go back to school and college and more businesses reopen and there is more talk and fear about the “second wave” etc.
We need to be very clinical not just with our hand washing but also with our conversations and habits. Ask yourself, could I be spreading fear faster than the virus is spreading?
The following 3 strategies will help prevent you catching fear and anxiety though social contagion:
- Limit your Social Media
Social media and mis-information can be so problematic.
I would recommend limiting your consumption of social media, even if it’s based on facts. Consider thirty minutes per day broken into chunks, it might be sufficient.
Also don’t look at your device first thing in the morning – wait a few hours. Start you day first, set your mood and state for the day as opposed to it being set for you!
Or last thing at night – Keep your mind relaxed for at least one hour before sleep.
- News – get your information from reliable sources
Avoid unreliable news sources. When it comes to COVID-19 related anxiety, (or any crisis) knowledge kneecaps fear. The news might make you a little anxious, but actually understanding the virus and its implications can, up to a certain point, bring peace of mind. However, watch with caution. Remember contagion! We need to get our information from reliable sources & official websites.
A good tip is not to watch the news before bed, as what you think about before sleep ruminates in in your subconscious mind all night and it determines how we feel when we wake in the morning!
- Limit your conversations about the pandemic!
Avoid conversations around it that are not necessary. Don’t make it a conversational piece. This only spreads negative energy and fear.
Avoid certain people if you have to. If you have a work colleague or friend who wants to focus on the negatives and the “latest figures” it might be a good idea to avoid them for a while if you don’t want to be contaminated with fear.
Stay safe and stay well. Please feel free to share with someone who you care about or feel it would help.