From giving a speech to an upcoming deadline, there are plenty of things that can cause stress. But if you want to feel a little better, find someone else who is feeling the same stress and talk to them — it's the best thing to help cope, says a new study by USC Marshall School of Business.
The study, led by professor Sarah Townsend, found that spending time and conversing with someone whose emotional reaction is similar to yours helps decrease stress.
The results "show that sharing a threatening situation with a person who is in a similar emotional state, in terms of her overall emotional profile, buffers individuals from experiencing the heightened levels of stress that typically accompany threat."
"Imagine you are one of two people working on an important project: if you have a lot riding on this project, it is a potentially stressful situation," Townsend said. "But having a coworker with a similar emotional profile can help reduce your experience of stress."
That said, you still need to find someone who is feeling what you are. Generally, stress is contagious: if you're rushed, those around you will feel the stress and if you're calm, they'll be less anxious. So chances are, if you are nervous, you won't be alone.
Two Stressed People Equals Less Stress [USC Marshall]