How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Outbreak

By the Greater Good Science Center

On the surface, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders may seem isolating and put us at risk of disconnection. And physically, we are isolated and disconnected. But from a psychological perspective, there are ways to maintain and even enhance our sense of connection during the pandemic.

Historically, crises and tragedies have actually brought people together as they collaborated and connected to find solutions to a common problem. It’s during these times that many people feel an instinctual need to help one another, show compassion, and care for their communities.

Here are a few ways to encourage altruism, kindness, and compassion in ourselves and others right now:

  • Focus on heroic actions. Look to stories of heroes risking their own lives for the greater good to serve as inspiration for doing the right thing.
  • Don’t get hijacked by emotions. It’s easy to let fear set in and go into panic mode, stockpiling unnecessary items and predicting worst-case scenarios. Instead, try to remain calm by doing things like practicing mindfulness.
  • Give thanks. Saying thank you and showing gratitude validates those who are making an impact and inspires the rest of us to pay it forward.
  • Recognize the greater good. Realizing that we are all in this together helps foster the tolerance and compassion that we all need during these trying times.

For more ideas on how to keep the greater good in mind during the pandemic, read the full article by the Greater Good Science Center, an Experience Happiness partner.