Dreading a dark winter lockdown? Think like a Norwegian!
Some fascinating research by health psychologists has provided great insight into how people can protect their wellbeing and build resilience in challenging times. It also gives us all a useful way to cope with stressful external events, such as the possible second lockdown.
Contrary to popular belief, the study found that people who live in the Artic Circle, don't suffer from poor mental health during the cold, dark winter months. In fact, their wellbeing remains pretty stable throughout the year.
The Norwegians studied in this research used 'positive mental re-framing' - changing the way you appraise an event from "threatening and stressful" to "a challenge and opportunity to learn and adapt". This mindset technique that has long been known to protect us from the negative impact of stress, support good mental health and boost resilience.
Researchers discovered that the more the people viewed winter as an opportunity, the better their life satisfaction and mental health. They also found that the further north the people lived, the more optimistic their mindset!
These findings remind us that whilst external events are out of our control, our beliefs are subjective. If we work hard to change the way we think about things i.e 'reframe' them, we can actually change the way we experience them. Adopting this positive wintertime mindset could help us ensure that the potential second lockdown a less daunting prospect.
Read the full article to find out more about how do they do it, and what can we learn from the Norwegians' positive mindset and awesome resilience!