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Research Finds Way to Minimize Anxiety During Pandemic

A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of people. Experiencing anxiety during a pandemic, especially one that includes social distancing, is very common. A new study suggests that actively interacting with others, exercising, pursuing hobbies, and spiritual activities may help increase positive emotions and decrease anxiety.

Researchers from the University of North Caroline Chapel Hill queried 600 adults throughout the United States for their study. They asked participants about their experiences and behaviors during the pandemic and whether they resulted in positive or negative emotions.

The researchers found that time spent interacting face-to-face, during phone calls, and during video calls resulted in more positive emotions. Time spent passively scrolling through social media was strongly linked with anxiety and other negative feelings.

Participants who spent the most time exercising, working on hobbies, helping others, and engaging in spiritual activities reported feeling the most positive emotions. This link was especially strong for participants who initially felt the most stressed and anxious. 

The study was released by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on June 30, 2020.

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