A simple therapy to boost resilience
According to a new study, a basic therapy that helps individuals think differently about their current position helped people cope with the emotional effects of the epidemic.
It enhances good thoughts
The study revealed that the emotional regulation therapy known as reappraisal “consistently decreased negative feelings and enhanced good emotions” among participants, according to the findings published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. The study is the product of a year-long effort by over 400 researchers from 87 countries, who gathered 28,000 replies from tired people all around the world.
Researchers noted that the findings show the feasibility of developing scalable, low-cost treatments for use throughout the world to boost resilience during the epidemic and beyond.
Two popular reappraisal therapies
The research looked at two popular reappraisal therapies: reconstrual and repurposing. Reconstrual is a technique for changing how a person thinks about a circumstance in order to evoke a different emotional reaction. Repurposing aims to accomplish the same objective by assisting individuals in focusing on the possible good results of a tough circumstance — in this case, by contemplating how the epidemic has aided people in focusing on what matters most in life.
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A five-minute online reappraisal therapy
Participants were given a five-minute online reappraisal therapy training session. The emotional reaction to a series of photographs depicting the epidemic was then measured by the researchers. These results were contrasted to those of an active control group who were instructed to reflect on their thoughts and feelings while viewing the photographs and a passive control group who received little to no training.
Both types of reappraisal treatment had a substantial beneficial impact that was equal to — or higher than — the emotional harm caused by living in lockdown, according to the researchers. Across all primary end measures, both methods considerably lowered negative emotional reactions and significantly enhanced positive emotional responses.
The study has a few limitations
These enhanced emotional responses to the pandemic did not induce participants to relax their intentions to engage in preventative health activities, something researchers were concerned about before. The study has a few flaws worth highlighting, including the fact that the sample analyzed was not nationally representative within each country or area, and women, younger individuals, and those with internet access may have been over-represented.
Reappraisal therapy, however, proven to be a feasible technique of helping people resiliently adapt to emotionally unpleasant events, according to experts. They hope that politicians will take notice and that these treatments will be used more broadly. The study provides convincing data from nations all around the world, as opposed to anecdotal evidence in the past, that shows these medicines might become a critical component of public health.
A simple therapy to boost resilience
Our findings illustrate the advantages of implementing reappraisal treatments at scale to boost resilience and minimize the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—advantages that might be used in other situations that generate unpleasant emotions.
Affordable and scalable
Reappraisal treatments might possibly assist essential workers, nurses and physicians, students, patients, and many other people whose work and lives have been severely impacted by the epidemic. These interventions might be conducted using a number of media and communication methods, such as advertising campaigns, speeches, courses, apps, and mobile games, because they are affordable, short, and scalable.