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How to improve your mental wellbeing during COVID-19 (Includes interview)

People walk past a graffito reading: "Covid(19) knows no borders
People walk past a graffito reading: "Covid(19) knows no borders

The pandemic has opened up diverse and alternative career options for some people while, at the same time, closing down options for others. This transformation has occurred as some jobs have been lost and it stands that certain roles might never return to the same levels of occupational population as before. According to a recent study conducted by Woke Hero, 41 percent of people in the U.S. are unhappy with their current career status or financial goals (as reported in Business Insider). This is perhaps not surprising given economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

A greater in-depth review of the findings shows that not only are people unhappy (or rather some are ‘unhappier’ in past twelve months) they are concerned about the future.

On the positive side, the survey indicated that people feel confident in their jobs. In terms of interactions with their co-workers. 74 percent report feeling confident when interacting with colleagues. In addition, 68 percent feel they can speak openly and honestly with their boss.

Probing the general state of unhappiness expressed in the survey, Avantika Dixit, who is a Clinical Psychologist and founder of the advocacy bodyWoke Hero believes people can reach their goals more quickly than they expect, and it has to do a lot with their current mind set. The psychologist thinks that the roots of some feelings of unhappiness can be altered.

Dixit says explains to Digital Journal: “The science of happiness, termed Positive Psychology, has determined that optimism, gratitude and resilience are the most consistent predictors of high performance and success outcomes across lifecycle. Most hearteningly, while these may be natural traits of some individuals, these have found to be learnable skills rather than something you either have or do not have.”

The psychologist adds: “Evolution has created a negativity bias due to which means more people have their “wrong finder” turned on most of the time.”

This can be challenged, however. Dixit states that we should be re-learning how to think positively and to train the brain to look at things more optimistically.

This means, Dixit finds, that individuals can be divided into different categories based on how they chose to look at life. By this, she divides the population as: “People who focus on their inspiration and aspiration goals also often focus on the solutions to reaching those goals, whereas those who focus on their lack of results tend to focus on the problem.”

As to how to get there, Dixit recommends considering: “A small shift in mindset with what is called learned optimism and gratitude practices pays dividends. These practices can help people to find ways to reach their goals more quickly.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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