Funny memes can help people cope with stress of Covid pandemic, study claims 

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  • Internet memes can help people cope with pandemic stress, study finds
  • Those who viewed three memes reported feeling more positive emotions
  • Lead author says watching memes can help with pandemic-related stress

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Internet memes are humorous, but they can also have another positive effect – helping us cope with the stress of the pandemic.

A study of nearly 800 people found that those who viewed memes were more relaxed and cheerful than those who viewed other types of media.

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And those who saw memes that mentioned the coronavirus felt less stressed about the pandemic than those who viewed similar images without Covid-related captions.

Lead author Professor Jessica Gal Myrick from Pennsylvania State University said: ‘As the pandemic dragged on, it became more interesting to me how people were using social media, and memes in particular, about the pandemic. as a way of thinking. .

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‘We found that watching just three memes can help people deal with the stress of life during a global pandemic.’

A slew of studies have highlighted the impact of Covid and lockdown on people’s mental health, with stress and anxiety levels believed to be at record highs.

The study involved showing participants three randomly selected memes from a pool of 112 (including the two above) and subsequently measuring their mood.

The study involved showing participants three randomly selected memes from a pool of 112 (including the two above) and subsequently measuring their mood.

covid has made us more miserable than ever

Britons were more miserable than ever in the first year of the Covid pandemic, data has emerged today.

Well-being has fallen to the lowest level since records began nearly a decade ago.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report also revealed that the anxiety rate reached its highest level in the year ending March 2021.

The survey of hundreds of thousands of participants across the UK shows the impact of the pandemic’s first year on the British outlook.

People spent much of the 12 months under stringent measures to control the spread of the coronavirus, meaning they were stuck at home, unable to see loved ones and only once a day for exercise or essential shopping was allowed to venture outside.

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The study, which was published in the journal psychology of popular media, measured how nervous or stressed the US participants felt.

Some were then shown three randomly chosen memes, while others were shown the control condition with plain text and no images.

After viewing the media, people were asked to rate what they saw based on humor and cuteness.

They were also asked about their level of anxiety and positive emotions, such as calmness, relaxation and cheer, and how much this led them to think about other information about Covid.

The researchers observed that those who viewed the memes reported higher levels of humor and more positive emotions compared to other types of media.

The study authors claimed that people who viewed memes with captions related to the coronavirus were more likely to have lower stress levels about the pandemic than those who viewed memes without captions related to Covid .

Professor Myrick said: ‘While the World Health Organization recommended that people avoid too much Covid-related media for the benefit of their mental health, our research shows that memes about Covid may help people cope with the pandemic. Can help them feel more confident in their ability.

‘This shows that not all media is equally bad for mental health and that people should stop and take stock of the type of media they are consuming.

‘If we are all more aware of how our behaviors, including spending time scrolling, affect our emotional state, we will be able to use social media when we need it and when we need it. Will be able to take a break from it if needed. Instead.’

It comes after official figures from last week showed Britons were more miserable than ever in the first year of the Covid pandemic.

Well-being has fallen to the lowest level since records began nearly a decade ago.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report also revealed that the anxiety rate reached its highest level in the year ending March 2021.

The survey of hundreds of thousands of participants across the UK shows the impact of the pandemic’s first year on the British outlook.

People spent much of the 12 months under stringent measures to control the spread of the coronavirus, meaning they were stuck at home, unable to see loved ones and only once a day for exercise or essential shopping was allowed to venture outside.

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