Cultivating Happiness

By Kelly Ethridge

It probably seems a little strange to talk about happiness during a time when the world is facing the biggest health challenge we’ve had in many years.  But, perhaps now more than ever before, cultivating happiness has a place in the world to help mitigate the fear and anxiety we are all experiencing. 

Fear is a powerful emotion.  IT helps us deal with threat and motivates us to take action.  Whether it’s fight or flight, these reactions can take a toll on your body.  The best way to address the fear and uncertainty is to cultivate positivity. 

How to undo the physical effects of fear

Positive emotions can undo the physical effects of stress.  In fact, studies have shown that in order to manage stress or fear more effectively, we need to tap into a relaxation response.  Feeling positive emotions will help our nervous systems calm down.  But, how do we stimulate happiness when fear is at the top of our minds?

Activities that cultivate happiness

Covid-19 is forcing us to slow down but it is also giving us the chance to cultivate happiness in our lives where it was lacking before.  Here are some activities to keep you sane and happy during these difficult times:

  • Connect:  friends and family help keep us connected so make a conscious effort to reach out to them daily, lay out a plan for future zoom meetings
  • Take Notice: slow down, take quiet moments for mindful self-reflection
  • Be Active: avoid the temptation of sitting all day  (yoga, dance - get moving!)
  • Keep Learning: take the found time to rediscover an old hobby or sign up for an online course - keep learning
  • Give: being generous makes us feel good, see if someone close to you might need more help during this time, volunteer to pick up groceries, or send a meal to pick up their mood!
  • Be Grateful:  Take time to be thankful, do your part – go on social media and post positive messages

There is an immense pressure on everyone during COVID-19.  It’s ok. We are all going through COVID-19 together. 

If you’re feeling anxious about returning to work, call a Best Care EAP counselor.  All sessions with a Best Care EAP counselor are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL. The COVID counseling help line is available 24/7, call (800) 801-4182.

 


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