Last year sometime I heard Dr. David Hamilton on hayhouseradio talking about how we have metaneurons which mimic other people’s emotions and that we “catch” other people’s emotions by this mimicking of other’s facial expressions, tight jaw, etc. This invites empathy and compassion and we go “Oh, they’re feeling like this and are really in pain or angry…hmmm…can I help.”
What we need to be aware of is our own physical and emotional state and how we are feeling and to be conscious of our breathing, our posture, and our facial expression and say over and over, “It’s not my stuff.” Dr. Hamilton also said something like there were up to 43(?) muscles in our face and and to move them around and make faces to scramble them all up so we were not mimicking other’s facial expressions and take a deep breath. He said he’ll put his hands over his face while he makes faces and scrambles up his muscles so as to not have people look at him strangely.
I couldn’t find an article on specifically the metaneurons but did find one he wrote on this similar topic on “emotional contagions.”