Practising Positive Psychology During COVID-19

15th March 2020

Here at hero we support individuals, companies and communities with their health and wellbeing. Positive psychology is something we practice as a team, and teach in our workshops for clients too, so during this time of uncertainty we wanted to share with you some top tips from our team and industry experts to help you take a more positive approach to the days and weeks ahead!

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology has been described in many ways, but the commonly accepted definition of the field is this:

“Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living.”

Peterson, 2008

To expand on this, positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, and building on the good in life instead of repairing the bad.

Look at the bigger picture

Dr Ian Drever from our partners Esher Groves says, “Sometimes our thoughts can be our own worst enemy, and we can get caught up in unhelpful ways of thinking. One of the most common ways of thoughts getting the better of us is when we ‘catastrophise’ – we dwell on worst-case scenarios, taking things to extremes and imagining all the possible negative outcomes, even when they’re extremely unlikely. At times like this, it’s important to step back from the day-to-day noise and try to stay aware of the bigger picture.”

How to reframe our thoughts

‘I am stuck inside’ to ‘I can finally focus on…’

Rather than worrying about being held captive and in quarantine, refocus your attention on what you can control rather than what you can’t. Set yourself a new challenge, start a new book, use the opportunity to sort and organise home life, catch up on a project, use the time to study, learn a new recipe, the list goes on…

hero Head of Content and Education Samantha Gaunt says, “Reframing is the most basic form of coming up with a different interpretation of an event or experience. It’s a technique that helps us change the meaning and therefore the association with something that can have a negative impact on our wellbeing. Reframing is a great way to help manage COVID-19 anxiety, helping us step back and look at the situation objectively, reducing panic and fear.”

Limit exposure to negativity

Whilst it’s important to be up to date with government recommendations, there is a huge amount of negativity and potentially anxiety-triggering information out there at the moment.

Dr Ian Drever says, “a good technique which few of us make use of is to detach ourselves from the firehose of endless information. It can feel overwhelming, draining and demoralising, and we can all be more active participants in which messages which we allow into our lives. It may mean limiting our exposure to TV news, it may mean only checking certain sources at certain times for specific pieces of information. However we do it, we all have the ability to selectively filter out messages which don’t serve us.”

Use technology to support healthy habits

We can limit exposure to negativity whilst increasing the positive news and support around us. How about tracking your goals digitally so that you can see how far you’ve come.  Want to set yourself a sleep goal? A nutrition goal? An activity goal? Our recommendation is to set a goal that’s achievable but will still help you to push yourself to be the best version of you, fuelling that positive mindset. Our hero Navigator platform supports individuals and teams with their health and wellbeing across physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing – get in touch to find out more.

If you’d like more information about Positive Psychology or to book a group or 1 to 1 session with our team of experts, just get in touch below.

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