New research shows that babies not only pick up on their mother’s stress, they also show corresponding physiological changes.
“Our research shows that infants ‘catch’ and embody the physiological residue of their mother’s stress,” says lead researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.
“For many years now, social scientists have been interested in how emotions are transmitted from one person to another,” says senior author the Associate Professor of Emotion at UCSF. Indeed, research in the social sciences has shown that emotions can be “contagious” and that there is emotional synchrony between romantic partners.
Researchers wanted to extend this research by looking at emotional synchrony in the context of another close relationship: that between mother and child.
The earliest lessons about how to manage stress and strong negative emotions in our day-to-day lives occurs in the parent-child relationship.
The researchers recruited 69 mothers and their 12- to 14-month-old infants to participate in the study. Researchers attached cardiovascular sensors to both mother and infant and took baseline recordings from each. After settling in, mother and infant were separated and the mother was assigned to give a 5-minute speech to two evaluators, followed by a 5-minute Q&A session. Some mothers received positive signals from the evaluators, including nodding, smiling, and leaning forward. Others received negative feedback, such as frowning, shaking their heads, and crossing their arms. A third group of mothers did not receive any feedback. Mother and infant were later reunited.
As predicted, mothers who received negative feedback reported greater decreases in positive emotion and greater increases in negative emotion than did mothers in the other two conditions. They also showed signs of increased cardiac stress. And the infants quickly picked up on this stress response: Infants whose mothers received negative feedback showed significant increases in heart rate relative to baseline within minutes of being reunited with their mothers.
Importantly, the infant’s response tracked the mother’s response — that is, greater the mother’s stress response, the greater the infant’s stress response, an association that actually became stronger over time. Ultimately, these findings shed light on how health and well-being can have long-term consequences, transferring across generations.
– Psychological Science
Dr. Keith & Laurie Nemec comments on Stress is Contagious:
Stress is a negative energy that can be transmitted just being in another person’s presence. In this research they saw the connections in romantic partners and in mother/child relationships but it can be extended to any group.
The word is called “entrainment.” What this means is if you put two people together in the same environment the negative person will negatively entrain the neutral person down to their level of thinking and emotions. This is why you do not participate in any group, social meeting, club or any organization that focuses on ANYTHING NEGATIVE. Whether they are negative about themselves or they are talking negative about others.
We are supposed to be speaking words of Life not death over each other. That is how the world will change. If you go into a group and they are negatively speaking or gossiping, you must stand up for Truth and speak words of Truth and Life or else their negative energy filled words, mindsets and emotions will entrain into you just the same as catching a cold. This study showed that these emotions are contagious meaning you can catch them just being in the presence of these negative people.
So how to you protect yourself? You have two choices:
1. Be the Light and Truth and the Life of the world, of the group, of the people. This means you do not let negative talk or emotions enter you by speaking the words of Life and Love over the group or persons. Remember if you do not speak out then you are in agreement with what is being spoken.
2. Stay away from negative people, groups and stay out of the world system accept when you have to be there and when you do, be prepared to stand up for Truth and do not passively accept negative energy, words or emotions.
We cover these concepts in the following teachings:
You can be in the world but NEVER EVER of the world. If you are of the world then you will “catch” everything the world has. You were created for so much more than that. It is time to rise up and be who you ARE!