With the recent crossing of the one-year limit sinceCovid-19 pandemichave started, the long-term effects have become more apparent. Not only has the virus killed over two million people worldwide, it has had a profound effectAdverse effectsabout the mental health of billions of people around the world.
Research over Chinese citizens at the beginning of the pandemic noted that symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress were common responses to the pandemic. These effects were reflected in other countries and increased over time.
For example, a recent study in the US found that one in four adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression – an increase of one in ten in 2019. For some, the increased levels of stress and anxiety has come with it too worse sleep and increased alcohol and Substance use – Mental health problems continue to worsen.
The rise in mental health problems during the pandemic cannot be attributed to a single factor. Instead, Psychologists suggest These negative emotions are due to various problems. Health problems, fear of dying or illness of a loved one, isolation, disrupted travel and social plans, and flooding with media information.
Investigations showed that the psychological effects the pandemic was larger in certain groups, such as women, students and people with pre-existing health problems. But our new research has also found that for some people, certain personality traits seem to have offered some level of protection during these troubled times. In fact, it appears that “mental hardship” has helped many people keep the negative mental health effects of the pandemic at bay.
What is mental hardship?
Mental hardship is about more than just resilience and control in difficult situations. It refers to a psychological attitude that affirms confidence and commitment to success. In his book Develop mental toughnessPsychologist Peter Clough describes mental hardship as a combination of the following:
- The degree of control a person believes they have over their life and emotions;
- How much commitment is put into achieving goals despite difficulties?
- To be able to see potential threats as opportunities for one’s own development;
- Continuing to strive in changing environments;
- The level of confidence a person has to succeed despite setbacks.
Mental toughness is influenced by many different factors. During genetics are partially responsiblethe environment of a person is also relevant. For example, both positive experiences while you’re young and Training programs for mental hardness It has been found that people get tougher mentally.
research shows that people with these traits are less likely to have negative emotions in stressful situations and have better coping skills. Our study therefore wanted to build on these findings to find out how the mental hardship may have helped people during the pandemic.
Overall, we found that reports of depression, anxiety, and symptoms of stress were significantly higher than in pre-COVID times. Those who lost their jobs or business during the pandemic reported significantly more symptoms of these ailments.
You don’t have to suffer in silence when your sanity is struggling. Here are a few groups you can contact if you need help:
Samaritans: Telephone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or confidential by email to [email protected]
Childline: 0800 1111. Calls are free and will not appear on your bill
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organization that supports suicidal teenagers and young adults. Telephone 0800 068 4141
Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. Not a hotline, but provides useful resources and links to other information website
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, in a bad mood, or who commit suicide. click Here visit
Bullying in the UK: A website for bullying children and adults. click Here
Campaign against miserable life (RUHIG): For young men who feel unhappy. Has a website Here and a hotline: 0800 58 58 58
Even those who took temporary leave were more likely to report high levels of distress. This is because the psychological effects of unemployment go well beyond financial instability. A job makes sense – and makes sense Control over people’s lives. Taking this away at a time when people with a limited sense of freedom are isolated can further affect their wellbeing.
However, people who scored higher on our Mental Toughness Questionnaire reported lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. This is most likely due to the fact that these people felt they had a better sense of control over the situation – and were able to stay focused and better mentally prepared under stress. Mentally tough people were also less likely to report depressive symptoms.
What you can do
Research to study the effectiveness of mental toughness training is still in its infancy. But Research with Australian soccer players have shown the promising potential of using such training when boosting Mental strength.
For anyone looking to improve their mental resilience, a good starting point is to simply identify and validate the skills and attitudes associated with them – such as relaxation, positive thinking, goal setting, and self-motivation. This can include daily affirmations, setting specific and achievable goals for a project or something you are working towards, and making sure you take time for meditation or breathing exercises.