Just ten minutes ago I was reading an article about studies in neuro-science that show that intuitive people tend to take on the moods and emotions of people around them. Therefore, you might be picking up your negativity from people around you. "Being with someone who's upset activates small cells in our brain (called mirror neurons) that subconsciously prompt us to mimic the body language and vocal patterns of our companion...causing 'emotional contagion'". Strategies when interacting with others can be helpful: 1. focus on a single detail of your interaction with a person rather than the whole emotional package can help you to be supportive and yet "not catch" the negativity. While you're actively listening, let your mind focus on some detail, for example, if the person always gestures to the right, or blinks. Counting those details while you're listening will help to lessen the emotional effect on to you. 2. Imagine a big emotional scissors cutting the bonds with the person. That will create a mental "buffer zone" helping you to not "mirror" the person's behavior. 3. While you're giving a person support, don't physically mirror your friend. Instead of standing face-to-face, stand shoulder to shoulder while listening sympathetically. This will allow you to be supportive, but again, not to have the negativity "rub off" on you.
(First for Women Magazine, September 2, 2013).
Recently a counselor told me to STOP listening to the news on the radio for 5 hours a day! I am an auditory person and whenever I'm driving, I NEVER listen to anything but serious discussions on NPR or other stations. The world situation is affecting all of us. We need to be informed, but I think we need some space in between to help us be our most effective selves right now. We have to "get it together" to be of help to others and sometimes that means separating ourselves from the tragedy for a while.