How your stress affects others

Think the only person affected by your stress is you? Think again!

According to a new study, your stress can actually rub off onto other people, especially your partner.

Researchers from Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Technische Universitat Dresden found that watching someone else going through a stressful time, can increase other people’s stress levels.

The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology and was made up of strangers of the opposite sex or loved ones.

According to the research “Empathic stress arose primarily when the observer and stressed individual were partners in a couple relationship and the stressful situation could be directly observed through a one-way mirror.”

While empathic stress may be a little lower if you don’t really know the person, it can increase when someone you love is going through a stressful time,  with 40% of those in the study experiencing increased cortisol levels when a loved one is stressed.