It has been known for some time that acute insomnia related to stressors may take on a life of its own, perpetuated by unhelpful learned associations and anxiety about not sleeping (‘psychophysiologic insomnia’), and this may contribute as well to an ongoing problem even in better times. Insomnia itself is a risk factor for depression and a variety of health issues. There is also growing realization that among persons infected with COVID-19, there may be sequelae including cognitive and mood changes. These all suggest that it will be important to be aware that the consequences of COVID-19 and its preventive measures may go far beyond the obvious concerns of dealing with the acute infection. … [Read more...] about Sleep and circadian rhythms during the COVID-19 lockdown
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While youth, good nutrition, and a healthy body can be protective, research is also showing us that the mind and how we perceive the world can also play an important role in how well we can fend off infection. Your ability to fight viruses and bacteria may also be decided by the level of stress you have, as well as whether you are generally a happy person or an anxious one. Some studies have shown that adults who go through long term stressors like caring for sick loved ones or have to persevere through nerve-wracking work conditions over a long time period have higher rates of respiratory tract infections from the common cold—which is a coronavirus. It is likely chronic stress makes it harder for our body to fight this new coronavirus too. … [Read more...] about Immunity and the Mind: 7 Steps
Interestingly, they found that people who move to a new country shed their old country’s level of happiness and adopt their new country’s level: “We split the responses between the locally and foreign-born populations in each country, and found the happiness rankings to be essentially the same for the two groups, although with some footprint effect after migration, and some tendency for migrants to move to happier countries, so that among the 20 happiest countries in that report, the average happiness for the locally born was about 0.2 points higher than for the foreign-born.” … [Read more...] about Would Moving to a New City or Country Make You Happier?
A challenge mindset describes the belief that one has sufficient resources to overcome difficult events and can “achieve personal gains or growth when mobilizing physical and psychological energy.” This was found to be positively related to life satisfaction during the pandemic. A controllable-by-self mindset refers to the belief that the pandemic is, to some degree, controllable through one’s choices and behavior. People who adopt this mindset are more likely to believe that preventative measures such as wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and taking good care of oneself are effective at preventing the virus from spreading. This mindset was associated with the highest levels of psychological well-being during the pandemic. A controllable-by-others mindset refers to the view that an individual can rely on other people to help manage a given stressor. In the case of COVID-19, this might entail a belief that a government, community, … [Read more...] about 4 Tips to Manage Your Mindset Through the Pandemic
Active coping is characterized by seeking information or social support, seeking help, changing one’s environment, and/or solving problems. An active coping strategy occurs when a person makes a conscious decision to fix something in his/her life. For example, people who seek out the support of a psychotherapist when going through a challenging time is a form of active coping. Positive reframing is when someone turns a negative into a positive or finds the best in a situation. It is the glass-half-full mentality. For example, acknowledging that the pandemic has caused you to learn a new skill or subject matter you might not have otherwise acquired, instead of stewing on the fact that you have been stuck at home, is a positive reframe. Instrumental support refers to the help others may provide you — for instance, by offering financial assistance, housekeeping, or childcare support. Religion. Coping with trauma or stress through the comfort found in spiritual or religious … [Read more...] about 6 Coping Strategies to Ease Your Pandemic Anxiety