It’s not just diseases that are contagious, emotions too, are! And this contagion could cause more damage than a regular flu!
Psychotherapist, Lee Kravetz, observed how emotions of one affect and influence people around him/her and gradually lead to action. The Silicon Valley teen suicides gave him an insight to what he called “Strange Contagion”. What began with one child throwing himself on the tracks continued with another girl following suit and subsequently 9 inexplicable suicides!
And when his journey of unravelling the mystery commenced, his findings from various sources taught him that emotions are contagious! We exhibit different behaviours by subconsciously picking up hints from the society around us. Furthermore, he learnt that words and symbols in the environment are continuously programming us with inputs of thoughts and emotions.
The analysis that came post his findings was clear; the students of the school were subjected to high pressure and worked under high levels of stress which projected feelings of frustration, inferiority and insecurity, leading to their unfortunate end.
This makes us question everything around us, around our children, friends and family. Not only does it put us at the risk of being infected by other people’s emotions and negativity, but also compels us to think about that the contagion we might be causing too.
Lee Kravtez believes that mindfulness of one’s own emotions is the first step to reducing social contagion. Mindfulness in all activities could help us identify these negative emotions in ourselves and in others; hence, enabling ourselves to help or to get help before something drastic happens.
Personal efforts and society driven efforts together could help treat social contagion. A healthy emotional environment is as essential (if not more) as a healthy physical environment, to live a happy, healthy life!
The above blog is based on the following article –