Meaning Beyond Fear in a Post-Covid World Within Existential Positive Psychology


Authors: Bernadette Saunders, MAPP, and Ceri Sims, PhD

Category: Joshua Wong Scholarship Winners

Pages: 9

IJEPP Issue: Vol. 12 no. 1

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Life can be difficult for many and the time during COVID-19 has compounded those struggles as the stress and fear generated during the pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s mental health. The pandemic has also challenged some of the fundamental beliefs of society with regards to freedoms, rights and the value of human life, which has presented an existential issue with people finding meaning during this time. This review addresses finding meaning beyond fear within an existential positive psychology perspective, particularly in the context of the pandemic. Research on the practice of gratitude, meaning and resilience has demonstrated a reduction in mental illness and maintenance of mental health along with a strengthening of people’s psychological resources, which also compliments many of the findings from this review. The existential positive psychology approaches highlighted in this review can help to empower people to deal with life’s difficulties, to provide an opportunity for growth, and to help with finding meaning through it all. Acceptance and appreciation of difficulties may be the key to finding meaning and achieving self-transcendence.