28 Apr A professor of happiness explains how to deal with COVID-19
via weforum.org by Harry Kretchmer
Fortunately, the internet is a wealth of advice on how to stay sane, and one of its breakout stars is Yale academic, Professor Laurie Santos, who has become a media fixture in recent weeks.
Santos’ online course for e-learning platform Coursera, titled The Science of Wellbeing, has become a phenomenon, with more than 2 million students enrolled to date, and more than 40 million views of the course page. She also has a thriving podcast – the Happiness Lab.
In an interview for the World Economic Forum’s own podcast, Professor Santos explains how her insights can help combat feelings of isolation and low mood, and what governments and businesses can learn too.
Mental health challenge
As Santos sees it, people are looking for mental health solutions because, unlike clear advice on handwashing and social distancing, it’s less straightforward to look after how you feel.
“Everyone’s feeling anxious and uncertain and kind of scared, and people just really want things they can do to feel better,” she says.
“I think the class really gives that: evidence-based tips you can put into practice today, that the research suggests will improve your wellbeing.”
There is clear evidence that something is needed to help those suffering during the pandemic lockdown.
A recent survey by US pollster, Gallup, found almost 60% of Americans reporting feeling worried, up 20% on last summer, while the percentage considering their lives to be thriving had dropped to just under 49%, the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis…
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