Dr. Peng Kaiping, Professor of Tsinghua University

The positive mindset advocated by psychology is an optimistic and upward psychological state, as reflected in people’s positive understandings and emotions. Such a mindset can greatly enhance people’s feelings of health, morality, significance, happiness, etc. Especially in the face of major emergencies; when life is at stake, it can greatly stimulate people’s initiative, collectivism, heroism and optimism. When people are faced with difficulties and pressures, positive psychology advocates two coping mindsets which are complementary to each other: one is to establish a problem-oriented positive mindset, and actively work to solve practical problems; the other is to establish a positive mindset for emotional regulation, to adjust thinking and cognition, and to seek support from multiple sources.

In order to find an appropriate way to cope with the epidemic, it is necessary to analyze    the causes of psychological changes of the public during the epidemic and explore the internal laws. The sudden outbreak of the epidemic has disrupted people’s work and life. Some people are not psychologically prepared, have no relevant coping experience in this regard, and are prone to anxiety, confusion, emptiness, depression and other negative emotions. About COVID-19, though we have some knowledge about its pathogenesis, we have yet to  develop the measures for treatment, prevention and control of  the epidemic as  it takes time to conduct in-depth research into the disease, which is also part of the reason for people’s emotional and psychological fluctuations.

In the face of the epidemic and its harm, we should be clear-headed and restrain the tendency of over thinking and negative thinking. From the perspective of psychological and emotional control, when a  crisis comes, people will naturally tend to  benefit and avoid harm, which    is the result of human evolution and natural selection. Therefore, it is normal to have psychological and emotional changes in the face of crisis, but it is unnecessary to worry excessively, otherwise the physical health will suffer. We should use proper ways to relieve pressure and look forward. Life is colorful and full of possibilities. People need to get a sense of fulfillment, engage in society, and win recognition of others.

Although the epidemic has changed the lifestyle and the life tempo, life has and will continue, and we need to go forward. In the face of the epidemic, we can still maintain a proper life tempo, set new goals and make new achievements. If we look farther and relax, we can find many things which tend to be ignored are in fact very important.  With such new discoveries, we can have and maintain a positive attitude as there are many meaningful things to do. When we think we share the same circumstances with people from all sectors of society, we will have a more positive mindset.

In a certain sense, human history is a history of constantly fighting against various disasters, accumulating experience and achieving victories. After all, the haze cannot block the sunshine; no matter how forbidding the difficulties are, they cannot stop people from yearning for and pursuing a better life. In front of the epidemic, we must keep a positive attitude and adhere to science-based rationality. Let us all learn to be brave, strong and kind and build a strong psychological defense line, so as to provide a powerful source of strength for combating the epidemic.