The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on not only the economy and our health, but also our everyday lives. It came about so suddenly that we did not have adequate time or opportunity to prepare economically or mentally.
COVID-19 new case and related death reports are still a large portion of every news coverage report. Coupled with confusing and very frequently, discouraging guides and instruction from the CDC and political officials on how to conduct ourselves out in this new normal, many of us have become overwhelmed.
The most overwhelmed are the healthcare workers and first responders, who are selflessly working long hours responding to the many public needs during this unprecedented time. They cannot be thanked or appreciated enough for their daily sacrifice.
After over a year of being crammed inside our homes, job changes, balancing working from home and taking care of children and their schooling at home, it is not uncommon for many of us to have what is called a negativity bias. Negativity bias is where we view experiences with a more negative connotation than positive, encouraging, or even neutral; even if the experience has equal intensity parts of positive and negative. In fact, the positive or negative aspects of the experience are overlooked and canceled out by the strong intensity of negativity.
In order to beat negativity bias, studies show we need 5 positive stimuli to counteract the negative. Discussed below are a few ways to exercise positive stimuli to counteract negativity bias.
Be more generous
Focus on the goodness of humanity
One thing we as humans are good at doing in times of tragedy is uniting. There is something in us that forces us to put all personal issues aside and ban together to meet a common need when tragedy strikes. These times are not different. Turn off the news and view reports on stories that remind you how powerful human connection, human unity, and humanity are.
As cliché as it sounds, laughter really is one of the best medicines. Laughter relaxes the body, burns calories, protects the heart, and release endorphins. Endorphins are internally produced chemicals that relieve stress and pain.
Focus on the small things that make you happy
Lecturer and author Sandi Mann advocates on keeping a daily journal that answer 6 questions. Spending about ten minutes answering these questions on a daily basis promote positive psychology. Positive psychology supports the conviction that we can improve our daily mood by focusing on the small things that bring joy to us on a daily basis.
The six questions that should be answered are below:
1. What experiences, however mundane, gave you pleasure?
2. What praise and feedback did you receive?
3. What were the moments of pure good fortune?
4. What were your achievements, however small?
5. What made you feel grateful?
6. How did you express kindness?
These times are unprecedented, but human resilience and unity are not. Stay encouraged that our comeback is going to be greater than this setback.