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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Empathetic Stress: Your Television May Be The Source

You Can “Catch” Stress Through a TV Screen

Couch potatoes beware—characters in distress are hazardous to your health.

Simone M. Scully | December 10, 2015

Your heart rate speeds up, your breathing quickens. Your muscles tighten. Your stomach ties itself in knots. All of these changes are symptoms of the condition called stress.
When animals, including humans, are under acute stress, their bodies respond with a powerful neurochemical chain reaction. Glucose, the fuel for our cells, is released into the blood from storage sites in our body, notably the liver. The elevated heart rate increases circulation of the energy-enriched blood to the muscles. Any long-term body processes not immediately necessary, such as digestion, growth, and reproduction, are slowed down. Immune defenses are enhanced, ready to respond to bodily injury, and our senses are sharpened.
But a recent study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology shows that the stress response is not just experienced by those directly in a crisis: It can be contagious. You can catch it from seeing other people under stress, even if you’re watching a stranger on a video screen. This phenomenon is called “empathetic stress.” 

Science Says Stress Is Contagious. Source:

<more at; related links: (Science Says Stress Is Contagious. May 29, 2014) and (Could watching TV be making you stressed?. May 2, 2014)>

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