Amid grim times, putting on your biggest smile may seem like the best coping mechanism. However, that approach could be harmful – but luckily, there’s another way through.
Over the last year, as the pandemic has morphed from terrifying to inconvenient to long-term life-altering event, our coping mechanisms have had to adapt and evolve. Yet there have been differences in the ways we’ve approached time spent in isolation.
For some, positivity has been essential to coping with the crisis – many have relished a chance to slow down and reevaluate, felt grateful to still have a job or kept the good things in perspective (even while balancing virtual schooling, remote work and keeping the family safe). Of course, staying upbeat and expressing gratitude are hardly adverse practices, but this unrelenting optimism – known as ‘toxic positivity’ – paints negative emotions as a failure or weakness. Plus, there are few things more grating than encountering a toxic positivist when you’re grappling with grim reality.
And failing to acknowledge hardships can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. Persistent reminders to reflect on ‘how good we have it’ in the midst of strife and struggle don’t make sadness, fear or anxiety dissipate, research shows. Instead, suppressing negative emotions can actually make us feel worse. READ MORE
By Allie Volpe
There’s been a lot of buzz about a 4-day workweek. But it will be the ‘4 + 1’ workweek that ultimately wins out: 4 days of “work” and 1 day of “learning.” Several forces are converging in a way that point toward the inevitability of this workplace future.
How can leaders help their teams combat change exhaustion — or step out of its clutches? Too often, organizations simply encourage their employees to be resilient, placing the burden of finding ways to feel better solely on individuals. Leaders need to recognize that change exhaustion is not an individual issue, but a collective one that needs to be addressed at the team or organization level.
In this article, the author describes how a concept called tangential immersion can help anyone persevere in a boring task: Through a series of studies with more than 2,000 participants, she and her coauthors found that people often quit boring tasks prematurely because they don’t take up enough of their attention to keep them engaged.