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Can You Catch Moods?

Just Like You Can Catch Feels, You Can Catch Moods

Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of October.

We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.

Like most human beings, I'm not immune to catching a case of "the feels". But I'm going to put it out there and say that I'm a real feeler. And no, not in a creepy kind of way, but in a "I really absorb other people's feelings" way. Essentially, you could compare me to the emotional equivalent of a highly absorbent kitchen towel — trust me when I say I am really great company.

For the longest time I just blamed myself for my hyper-sensitive existence. Just like Spider-Man had been bitten and bestowed with his "Spidey Sense", I'd been blessed (?) with a faulty feeling detector that someone had accidentally set to "extra sensitive". But it turns out I can cut myself some slack, because moods and feelings really can be contagious.

According to a study conducted by the Royal Society of Open Science, the vibes of others actually do have the power to ruin, or improve your mood. And while the study was conducted on adolescents, it's still relevant to our adult lives. The study found evidence that "vibes" (you know, those invisible feeling emission things) really do have the power to be socially catching. So in the same way some diseases can spread with contact, moods can spread across groups in a form of social contagion.

So, while I've come to learn I've got to take responsibility for boosting my compromised "feeling immunity", I'm not the only one catching what other people are putting out there.

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