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DUBAI: Human beings are social creatures. But the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives completely, making us stay home to slow the march of the virus, maintain social distance and isolate ourselves as and when necessary. The fallout has been a rise in loneliness, anxiety, and mental health problems, reported from all over the world. Not just adults, even children are now being prone to more and more mental health issues, displaying a range of emotions to deal with the effects of a pandemic.

To help UAE residents build up resilience and life skills during such challenging times, American psychologist and cognitive scientist Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University, will be live on the YouTube channel @happyUAE tonight at 8pm.

UAE’s National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing has invited Dr. Santos to take part in the “School of Life Programme”, a community a community initiative launched by the UAE Government with the aim of enhancing life skills of the society.

First School of Life virtual session
This is the first School of Life virtual session presented by Dr. Laurie, who teaches Yale University’s most popular online course, The Science of Well Being, with more than two million subscribers from the university and worldwide.

The online course covers concepts, such as misconceptions about happiness, why our expectations are so bad, how we can overcome our biases, stuff that really makes us happy and putting strategies into practice.

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Science of wellbeing
Santos said the Science of Well Being course witnessed the recent surge in sign-ups because people have interested to pursue evidence-based interventions to safeguard mental health during the pandemic.

Back in 2018 Professor Santos taught a class called Psychology and the Good Life at Yale in response to concerning levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress. It became the most popular class in Yale’s history and garnered national and international media attention.

Dr. Santos will speak tonight on how to take care of our mental health and increase our happiness and build more productive habits. “You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life,” she says.

In the online course, Santos has stressed on remaining socially connected. “The good news is that physical distancing doesn’t mean social isolation,” she has said, adding that we need to harness technology widely to preserve our mental health. Her talk at Yale has stressed on the importance of stable habits, incorporating mindfulness and meditation in our lives, looking to help others and most importantly to remain connected.