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Putting aside goals, ambitions during pandemic beneficial for one's mental health: Study

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Ontario | September 28, 2022 8:29:48 PM IST
According to a new study, people who put off long-term aspirations during the pandemic were better able to prevent worry and depression.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo wanted to look into the association between COVID-frozen goals (goals whose progress has been halted owing to COVID-19) and psychological well-being.

"Typically, when we think about how to maximise goal accomplishment and well-being, we focus on how to be more dedicated and engaged with our goals," said Abigail Scholer, a psychology professor at Waterloo and Canada Research Chair in Motivated Social Cognition. "Our findings show that being able to let go of aspirations, particularly during COVID, is an important aspect of maintaining mental health."

Candice Hubley, the study's lead author and a PhD candidate in psychology at Waterloo, and Scholer polled 226 people to investigate the link between psychological well-being and goal pursuit. Participants were asked about their psychological suffering and life satisfaction, as well as about normally advancing and COVID-frozen goals.

The researchers discovered that COVID-frozen objectives were linked to poor well-being: the more people possessed, the more psychological distress they experienced, such as tension, depressive symptoms, and worry.

The researchers also stated that how people engage with their goals has a significant impact on their well-being.

"Goal rumination is compulsive and can exacerbate fears and disappointments while depleting mental resources from other objectives," Hubley explained. "We hope that people can apply these findings to their own lives by taking the time to review and participate with their goals."

Hubley says disengagement is not an all-or-nothing proposition and that we sometimes give up one sort of participation but not others. Individuals set themselves up for a stronger connection with their goals and improved psychological well-being by abandoning impossible ambitions and diverting efforts to alternate goals.

The researchers intend to build on their findings and hope that their work may aid in future interventions targeted at assisting individuals in being more flexible in their goal pursuit in order to promote well-being. (ANI)

 
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