It takes two to tango to cope with stress
If you are stressed about the afternoon video chat with a key client, don't fret. Instead, find a colleague who has a similar emotional reaction to the same scenario and share your feelings with him/her.
One way to cope with work-induced stress is to open up with someone who is having a similar emotional approach to the same situation, shows research.
"One of the study's main discoveries is the benefit gained by spending time and conversing with someone whose emotional response is in line with yours. Such an alignment may be helpful in the workplace," said Sarah Townsend, assistant professor of management and organisation at the USC Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California.
"For instance, when you're putting together an important presentation or working on a high-stakes project, these are situations that can be threatening and you may experience heightened stress," said Townsend.
"Talking with a colleague who shares your emotional state can help decrease this stress," she said.
Townsend and co-authors Heejung S. Kim of UC Santa Barbara and Batja Mesquita of University of Leuven, Belgium, paired up participants asked them to give a speech while being video-recorded.
Prior to this, the pairs were encouraged to discuss with each other how they were feeling about making their speeches.
Each participant's levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol were measured before, during and after their speeches.
The results show that sharing a threatening situation with a person who is in a similar emotional state buffers individuals from experiencing the heightened levels of stress that typically accompany threat, said the study.
When you're facing a threatening situation, interacting with someone who is feeling similarly to you decreases the stress you feel, added the study appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
So the next time you plan a ride on giant wheel at a nearby adventure world, tag along with someone who is equally frightened.
(Posted on 30-01-2014)
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