WELL-BEING – Obviously the outlook is bleak: risk of second wave pandemic, economic and social crisis, climate change, international tensions, etc. In such a turbulent period and in such a particularly anxious context, how can we stay on track from a personal point of view?
Protect yourself from media and social networks
It seems important, first of all, to create a sort of protection bubble with regard to the media and social media. Too much exposure to anxiety-provoking information has a definite impact on us by encouraging us to have a largely distorted view of reality and in particular to overestimate the risks and threats.
Avoid crazy races
In order not to literally sink during such periods, we must also avoid being prisoners of frantic and mad races which undermine and exhaust us. The first is undoubtedly what many call the “Rat race”Or the rat race. It is particularly related to the image of ourselves that we want to give to others by trying to follow and respond to the expectations of society, advertising, the media and even those around us. This often results in a desire to accumulate material goods to prove to others that one has succeeded socially or at least that we are like them, integrated into society. Exceeding this Rat race is far from obvious in a society obsessed with the image. However, this race can only generate frustration from the moment you forget yourself by being trapped in the character you want to show to others. Now, this Rat race is even more exhausting than it is now, we also want to show them that we are happy and fulfilled.
The second crazy race is what we can call the “Addiction Race“Or the addiction race. It is voluntary alienation, at least initially, from a product or activity that makes us dependent and that can have a damaging impact on our health and our wallet. These dependencies undoubtedly add to our budgetary constraints, especially since it is often the categories with a low level of education and income that are the most affected, and to send back an image of us that is often deplorable, given the impact of these addictions and our feeling of powerlessness to be able to do without them. It therefore seems crucial to get out of it, even if it is far from always obvious.
The third is the “Hate race”Or hate racing. It is the temptation, in times of crisis, to seek the cause of our problems outside of ourselves, to consider that there is a single cause for all our difficulties and that they are linked to someone or something specific: it’s all the fault of…. This way of thinking is maintained and encouraged by the various merchants of fear, indignation and resentments, political or otherwise, but also by the algorithms that seek to capture our attention by exposing us only to speeches that reinforce our vision of the world. However, this quest for scapegoats in our surroundings or in society to explain our problems appears detrimental to our health, our mind and our relationships with others and especially with our loved ones.
The last race can be described as “Hope race”. It’s the mad rush for hope. It corresponds to the frantic hope that the solution of our problems will come from outside and that there is a quick fix, a kind of martingale that will allow us to settle everything. This can lead us to make bad choices, lose money or fall into a number of illusions or even addictions. This is what contributes to the success of populist currents, fundamentalist movements or sects.
Review our relationship to money
Finally, it seems necessary to change our relationship to money and, more broadly, the relationship that we may have with scarcity and abundance. Our relationship with money is, in fact, associated with a number of fears (of running out) and personal and family beliefs, but also with self-esteem. However, a vision of things that emphasizes scarcity, that is to say the feeling of having no choice, is linked to a fear that it is unemployment, destitution , social downgrading, the eyes of others, etc. This usually leads us to accept default situations that are contrary to our wishes, interests or beliefs.
What is important and what is less
At the same time, it is important to be aware, especially during times of crisis, of what is important and what is not. Thus, a study conducted since 1938 by several teams of researchers from theHarvard University has shown that what most tends to make us happy and what also undoubtedly contributes to our longevity is above all the quality and intensity of our social relationships, not fame or wealth. This tends to mean that we must take care of our relationships with others and therefore that we must flee at all costs hate race.
Identify the flow
It is also essential to identify what we like to do and what we easily do without effort. These are the activities, whether professional or non-professional, in which one is totally immersed and where one loses a bit of time. It’s the famous “flow“From psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi or the moments when we are in her”Element”In the sense of Ken Robinson. This also corresponds to the idea defended in particular by the psychiatrist and explorer Bertrand Piccard of “vfully drunk in the moment”.
It is also essential to develop the relationship we have with ourselves and in particular to strengthen our self-esteem. So it has to do with the value we give ourselves and the place we reserve for ourselves. This seems all the more important as periods of crisis tend to exacerbate the worries and doubts that one may have, as well as the “pessimism bias” which can even be sometimes self-fulfilling. The pessimism bias is what leads us to think that the probability of a negative event happening to us is higher for us than for others.
Consequently, it seems necessary to cultivate optimism as much as possible. It’s first and foremost a question of looking at the events that are happening to us. It is the fact of accepting what cannot be changed and of acting where it is possible, of avoiding amalgams and generalizations, in particular by drawing up a list of all the difficulties which one may be confronted , brooding overly negative thoughts, or being overly sensitive to anxiety-provoking messages from the media or those around them. All this can only have a depressing and inhibiting effect on us. However, optimism is first of all good for health and it is what can encourage us to move forward and ward off the fear of failure.
See also on The HuffPost: The (real) recipe for covid-19 crisis management