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A study conducted by researchers in Germany has found that stress may be contagious. The results suggest that stress can be transmitted to people simply by watching other people confront anxiety-provoking situations through television programs or motion pictures. Researchers paired people either as an observer or as the person receiving the stress. Some pairs were complete strangers, and others were couples who knew each other intimately. Researches asked the stress-receiving person to do difficult mental math task and go through a job interview while the other person watched. While 95 percent of the people who actually did the math and interview experienced a rise in levels of a stress hormone, so did 30 percent of the observers. More people experienced a stress increase when they watched their romantic partner endure stress and the number was smaller when observing a stranger. Slightly fewer people experienced stress when watching someone undergoes stress on a video screen, and there was no difference between men and women. The study did not include watching television programs, but Veronika Engert, one of the lead authors, said that based on the results seen in people watching others undergo stress on a screen, “This means that even television programs depicting the suffering of other people can transmit that stress to viewers.”—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Stress is contagious, study says, By Ian Landau,, Accessed June 19, 2014.

Galatians 6:2 (HCSB) Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

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