Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Your Mental Health Could Be Contagious

posted by Linda Mintle

depressed studentsYou are sick with the flu so you stay home so as not to infect anyone. But did you ever think your mental health could be contagious?

Researchers at Nortre Dame discovered that thinking styles can be contagious. Your negative thinking can infect another person. Here is what they found.

Notre Dame, like most universities, assigns roommates their freshman year. The researchers looked at how the roommates responded to diversity, specifically how they thought about problems in school like failing an exam. When a more positive person was paired with a more negative person, the negative person infected the positive. Students who were more negative saw failure as a personal problem compared to the more positive student who chalked it up to circumstances like not studying enough. The students who attributed failure to personal problems were more at risk for depression down the road.

But what was really interesting is that the researchers tracked pairs of students who had different styles of responding to adversity and found they infected each other. Within 6 months, the negative students had successfully infected the formally cheery students! And the reverse was also true. The cheery students infected the negative students in a good way making them more resilient.

The take away–you can catch the cheer from cheery people. Try to surround yourself with people who are upbeat and look at the glass half full. if you are heading off to college, find a roommate who is upbeat and deals with adversity in a positive way. Or become that person who refuses to give in to the negative and sees the bright side of even the most difficult situation.

Spread the cheer. Infect someone today!

 

Source: Haeffel & Hames, Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression Can Be Contagious. Published in Clinical Psychological Science, April 2013.

 

 



Previous Posts

10 Ways to Respond to Someone Who Is Depressed
One good thing that came out of Robin William's death is that we are once again talking about depression. Depression can be a silent killer and still has a stigma despite the numbers of people who struggle with it in any give year. We don't like to talk about it, mostly because we don't know what to

posted 7:51:57am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Reason We Yawn!
It's late afternoon. You are sitting in a meeting. Three people at the table yawn and you do the same. Are you bored? Tired? Or what? Need more coffee? Need more sleep? Or maybe you need a nice cool air-conditioned room! Even though we do yawn more when we are tired, tired may not be the re

posted 7:00:09am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Teacher Tells Student What Words She Cannot Say!
Some things defy common sense...here is one of them. Be ready to be outraged! Maybe you heard the story last week. High school senior Kendra Turner was suspended in Dyer County Tennessee for breaking a class rule. You might be thinking, "OK, teachers need to keep control of their classrooms."

posted 7:00:54am Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Split: Telling All May Have Been Too Much
The gossip train is all a buzz with what looks like a split between pop diva, Mariah Carey and her husband, America's Got Talent host, Nick Cannon. The usual suspects, TMZ, People, Hollywood Life and others are reporting the spilt, saying divorce is a done deal. The six-year marriage that produced

posted 7:51:12am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Withholding Friendship as a Weapon
I'll never forget the day my five-year-old came home and said, "No one will play with 'Sandy' because she doesn't do what they say!" I was upset and thankfully, my daughter thought it was mean. But the other girls excluded little Sandy and rejected her from their friendship circle. Would you be

posted 7:00:24am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.