In such a worrying time, it can be hard to find joy in the little things. So, how can we ensure we stay as positive as we can? A wellness expert offers this advice
Professor Laurie Santos – whose hugely popular online course, The Science of Wellbeing, has been taken by over 2 million students to date – has revealed in a new interview with the World Economic Forum’s podcast that there are indeed certain things we can be doing to ensure we stay happy and motivated during lockdown.
Yes, you might have Zoom fatigue, but staying connected is still key.
“Research suggests that happy people tend to be relatively social,” she explains. “This is a hard thing to do in the time of Covid-19 because social distancing often means we can’t physically hang out with the people we care about. The research suggests that the act of hanging out with folks in real time, in other words, things like Zoom or FaceTime, can be a really powerful way to connect with people.
“You see their facial expressions, hear the emotion in their voice, you’re really able to connect with them.”
Ireland is renowned as a country that comes together to help whoever we can during times of difficulty – and keeping this up will help balance our equilibrium.
“Happy people tend to be really ‘other’ oriented,” Santos continued, saying that focusing on other people’s happiness rather than their own is what helps here. The research suggests if people do nice things for others, like donate money, that tends to boost their wellbeing. Doing random acts of kindness, particularly in this time when we’re all really struggling, can be incredibly powerful. It has a positive effect on society as well.”
Happy people tend to be more mindful — present in the moment, noticing what’s happening to them. “Meditation can be an incredibly powerful tool in the midst of this crisis because it causes you to focus on what’s happening in your body at the present moment. Your mind can’t be ruminating about where you’re going to get your next roll of toilet paper or what’s happening with your elderly relative.”