Creating Happiness Amid Lockdown
Updated: Jul 29
By Diya Padhi
The Coronavirus pandemic has made the mankind face a lot of hardships and challenges. Even though working from home and getting to spend time with family sounded like bliss first, it has now started making us feel monotonous and our days, dragged. People are battling with severe illnesses, anxiety, financial woes, separation from loved ones and loss of freedom. Most Indians are confined to their homes and many of them find it hard to carry about the lives they once knew. Many of us feel uneasy about the sudden, strange upheaval in our regular lives.
So today, we are sharing a few tricks through which you might find some happiness amid this crisis -
MEDITATE SMALL AND OFTEN
Over the medium-term, research has shown that meditation can help calm down anxious, racing minds, decrease stress and depressive feelings, give us new perspectives, and help find inner peace even when the outer world seems tumultuous.
A 2014 review of the literature found that meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety, depression and pain, and some evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life.
Meditation causes the pituitary gland in our brain to secrete endorphins that help elevate mood and have a positive effect on the whole body. It also alters brain activity to enhance the area associated with positive emotional experiences.
STAY CONNECTED WITH OTHERS
What can be more blissful than staying connected with our dear ones? Healthy relationships are the key to our well being. The 80 year Harvard Study of Adult Development found that close personal connections are important for our happiness and longevity of life. Research also suggests that people who engage in supportive, positive relationships produce more oxytocin , which can boost our immune system and allow us to physically heal quicker. It has also been found to correlate negatively to stress, anxiety and depression.
Have creative calls and conversations with loved ones using apps like Houseparty, host virtual dinner parties, discuss a movie you’ve watched with your friends!
EXTEND A HAND TO THOSE WHO NEED YOU
Many people’s immune systems are compromised. We can help by checking in on people around us who are facing difficulty carrying out daily tasks – staying six feet apart, of course! The act of checking in will make them feel better and they will know that they’re not alone during this hard time.
You can try to donate to money or utilities, or teach students from lesser privileged backgrounds who are struggling with continuing their studies. The Teach from Home Program, an initiative by World Youth Council provides the youth with an opportunity to teach underprivileged students across the country - sitting at home through online medium like Google meet, or WhatsApp video call. A small act of help can make a lot of difference. Take special care of the elders and babies in your family as they are more prone to the deadly virus.
UTILIZE YOUR TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW
Approach the things you were planning to do for a long time. Wanted to start a YouTube channel? Now is the best time! Learn a new language, write a short story, choreograph a dance or compose a new song!
Don’t stop yourself from growing.
You can utilize this lockdown for something productive; but you shouldn’t worry about the outcomes, because the important thing is to START! The rest, we assure you, you will find your calling!
Make sure you make the most of your time once a day by exercising! This is not to say you aren’t beautiful already, of course! Exercising keeps the mind and body fit and can make sure the lockdown doesn’t shrink your stamina! Under the lockdown guidelines, everyone is still allowed to go outside for one exercise session each day. ‘Action for Happiness’ encourages people to take advantage of this daily opportunity to ensure your physical health, which supports your mental health.
REFLECT AND PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Listen to the chirping of birds outside might help you find a moment of peace. Sir Anthony Seldon, a renowned educator, believes there is a need to “be grateful and reflect” during the current lockdown.
“Those lucky enough to have a garden can listen to birdsong. Others can shut themselves in a quiet room,” he said.
“You can do this alone, with your family around the kitchen table or even over video calls with friends.”
The message appears to be that people use the environment and connections they have to build resilience and find healthy ways to cope with the chaos in their lives.
DARK CHOCOLATE? HELL YESS!
Boost brainpower by treating yourself to a couple pieces of dark chocolate every few days. The flavanoids, caffeine, and theobromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve alertness and mental skills.
Dark chocolate boosts the production of feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins also reduce pain and diminish the negative effects of stress.
Chocolate is a top dietary source of tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness and positive mood.
Photo Credits -
Helena Lopes, Unsplash
Jared Rice, Unsplash
Kike Vega, Unsplash
Leslie Juarez, Unsplash
Charisse Kenion, Unsplash
Branimir Balagov, Unsplash
Aaron Visuals, Unsplash