13 May How to Draw On Your Psychological Resources
via Psychology Today by Marianna Pogosyan
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mental health crisis around the world.
- Researchers outline various skills and competencies that can help people alleviate the psychological toll of the pandemic.
- A sense of meaning in life and self-compassion can buffer against stress during challenging times.
- High-quality connections can provide booster shots for well-being.
In May 2020, the United Nations released a policy brief with a stark conclusion: the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a major mental health crisis around the world. Study after study revealed widespread increases in levels of anxiety, depressive symptoms, PTSD, sleep disorders, and psychological distress. In parallel with battling the virus, countries were urged to prioritize mitigating the pandemic’s detrimental effects on public mental health .
Research has shown the various skills and competencies we can use to alleviate the psychological toll of challenging times.
In a recent article published in The Journal of Positive Psychology , an international team of psychologists explored various ways individuals can help alleviate the pandemic’s massive psychological toll. We have, according to the authors, an arsenal of researched-backed skills, states, and competencies that can help us buffer against stress, bolster mental health, and build new capacities.
The good news is that we are likely using them in our daily lives already.
Take, for example, positive emotions and positive interpersonal processes . Even when they are mild and fleeting , moments of joy, awe, love, serenity, hope, and gratitude during difficult times can buffer against the ill effects of stress, build resources for resilience and nurture our relationships .
Perhaps ironically, the one positive emotion that people tend to turn to most during a crisis is gratitude . Gratitude is a key element in human flourishing . While it’s easy to be grateful on good days, gratitude can make a world of difference in times of hardship. For example, it can help in recovery from loss and trauma by allowing people to gain perspective and open to new opportunities.
Another way we can boost well-being when coping with adversity is through our character strengths . Character strengths are defined as “positive personality qualities that reflect our core identity, create positive outcomes for ourselves and others, and contribute to the greater good” (Niemiec, 2018). The COVID-19 pandemic has exemplified the countless ways people have been of service to themselves and others by leveraging their various strengths. For example, many have used kindness to help neighbors and strangers; creativity to adapt to new work arrangements; humor to make people laugh and bring levity; wisdom to identify alternative solutions to problems; perseverance to push through challenging times.
Here are 3 further concepts which with their buffering, bolstering, and building effects can act as nutrients that sustain our mental health—during and after the pandemic…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE