World Happiness Report has surprisingly good news - The Washington Post - Deepstash
The Findings of The 2021 World Happiness Report

In a conclusion that even surprised its editors, the 2021 World Happiness Report found that, amid global hardship, self-reported life satisfaction across 95 countries on average remained steady in 2020 from the previous year.

Stressors such as those we’ve experienced this year can encourage people to craft a different, big-picture concept of happiness. And this, psychologists say, can improve resilience.

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Look For Awe-Inducing Experiences

What science has shown is that when you experience awe, that leads to a "shrinking of the self".

When you experience awe, that’s an emotion we have when you’re in the presence of something that’s vast and hard to explain.

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Give Yourself Some (Psychological) Distance

Psychological distancing refers to “kind of a perspective broadening”. After gaining some distance from a stressor we’re often better equipped to reengage:

  • linguistic distancing - a technique that involves analyzing your situation from a third-person perspective, like a close friend would, and activating self-compassion;
  • temporal distancing, which involves imagining how you’ll feel about a current stressor sometime off in the future, perhaps a year from now, after it’s passed.

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Seek Social Support, and Give It

It’s no surprise that, according to this year’s happiness report, “the ability to count on others” was a “major” support to life evaluations in 2020.

Social support is by far one of the best ways to help people cope with any kind of adversity or stress or tragedy.

Helping others can take you outside of yourself and help you, too: The global “happiness effects” of generosity increased in times of global crises, and making a donation correlated with higher life satisfaction and positive affect.

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Reappraise And Look For Meaning

Finding personally relevant positive meaning in trying experiences — a technique known as positive reappraisal — can broaden and boost your outlook.

Reflecting on questions like “What are the strengths or insights that I showed up with in facing the situation?” or “What have I learned about myself or about my relationships?” can reveal growth or benefits the person hadn’t considered, even if it doesn’t change its negative reality. A new appraisal is a step toward tweaking your broader narrative.

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