Personal Happiness in the Age of COVID-19
We are all in this together! However, wealth and employment status do play important roles. RTI International and the Consortium for Implementation Science have serious concerns about the links between racial equity, social justice, and personal responses to COVID-19. Neuroscience notes that personal happiness in a brain-mind-body thing. Its formula is hard-wired in our brain. In difficult times, it is even more important to figure out your personal formula (without self-medication) to satisfactory levels of joy and happiness. Because happiness is physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual (in ways) we need to focus more now on experiencing it. We cannot be happy if we focus more on fear, anxiety, and depression; we need to make happiness a personal priority. According to a poll by the American Psychiatric Association, over one-third of Americans noted that the pandemic has impacted their mental health in negative ways. According to the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of adults experience better well-being in post-traumatic growth. Here are some things you can do to improve/expand your personal happiness in these times.
- Do your best to find positive and helpful interpretations of your experience.
- Maintaining a hopeful attitude is important.
- Hold on to empathy for yourself and for others.
- Spend some time relaxing with your favorite music.
- Watch lots of comedy.
- Happiness is an inside job, so end the blame game. This is not to say unfairness does not exist.
- Do your best to eat well, sleep well, exercise and use proven stress coping skills daily.
- Connect with other you care about – and who care about you.
- Move your body!
- Practice proven breathing techniques that calm us – and or excite us.
- Follow Thich Nhat Hanh’s advice and savor anything you can – do not rush it.
- Keep in mind that Buddhism implies impermanence is primary – nothing stays the same over time.
- Get qualified/licensed professional help when you need it – do not delay.
Since the list of courses for this information is plentiful, I will not list them. Google the topic if you wish.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont and the Home of The Monkton Sangha
Author of Mindful Happiness