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University of Toronto

Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19

University of Toronto via Coursera


Never in the history of humanity have so many people been feeling intense anxiety related to COVID-19 and the world it will leave in its wake. The intent of this course is to give you a deeper understanding of the anxiety reaction as it relates to various aspects of our current life, ranging from our consumption of news to the way we talk to our children about this. I will also give you clear strategies for managing and, in fact, turning off the anxiety response at least for short periods. My sincere hope is that you will leave this course with a better understanding of how your brain reacts to crises, along with some powerful tools for managing it before it manages you.

In this course we will cover:

1.1 Introduction and Overview
1.2 Understanding the Anxiety Response
1.3 The Necessity of Strategies to Manage Anxiety
1.4 Achieving Relaxation: A Skill We All Need to Learn Now

2.1 Why Watching the News is Addicting and How to Manage Your Consumption
2.2 The Critical Art of Mental Distraction to Crowd Out Stressors
2.3 How We Think About Physical Distancing and Explaining it to Our Children

3.1 The Effects of Isolation
3.2 Some Strategies to Make Isolation More Tolerable
3.3 The Importance of Social Connection in a Physical Distancing World

4.1 The Need to Guard Against Depression: The Importance of Control
4.2 Bring it Together: Practice Makes Proficient
4.3 Invitation to Suggest Additional Videos


  • The Machinery Underlying Anxiety and How to Control It
    • This module is intended to introduce you to the nervous system underlying your anxiety response (the sympathetic nervous system) and also to its opposite side, the relaxation (or parasympathetic nervous system). You will learn that the best way to shut down anxiety is to learn how to put your body in a relaxed state. I guided relaxation audio file is also provided with the fourth video to help you practice learning to relax.
  • Managing Anxiety by Managing Your Environment
    • Another way to manage your anxiety is by being careful about what stimuli and activities you expose yourself to. Some make your more anxious, some counter anxiety. By understanding the effects these have you can choose experiences wisely.
  • Understanding and Managing the Effects of Isolation
    • Many if not most of us are not either quarantined or living in self-isolation. In this module I'll help students understand some of the psychological reactions they may have to isolation and, once again, how to manage one's emotional states to ultimately tolerate what is an unnatural way of living.
  • Summary

Taught by

Steve Joordens


4.5 rating, based on 12 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 8565 ratings

Start your review of Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19

  • A well-taught short class. This class was created when the pandemic began and 2020. It is a short class, still what we learn in this class can be practiced at any time. Right now post-pandemic period, many are suffering from mental health pro…
  • This is a much-needed course for everyone regardless of whether you feel anxious of the current social climate. For those who feel emotionally drained by the COVID-19 pandemic (and its consequences) and other socio-political issues, this short cours…
  • This is a great course to take during the pandemic. I was sleepless and way too anxious for my own good but after I've taken the course and listened to professor's advices, I'm doing much better. I've told everyone in my friend groups to take this course because it's very helpful.
  • Anonymous
    will i get certificate for this course
    after successful completion
    need reply as soon as possible
    i can to know about it at google so im interested in it
    please let me know about it soon
  • The instructor was difficult to listen to and I'm not sure I really got anything out of it. He only touched upon people living in isolation as opposed to families with spouses and children living together. So it wasn't very useful for me.
  • Anonymous
    This course is quite useful to make best use of your time at home for a longer period and otherwise, as it helps to learn to keep away your anxiety, reached to you, due to any of the reason and also see your dear and near ones , happy and more cooperative towards one another.
  • Heather Chin
    This course was well structured and the delivery was well done. The points and instructions were simple enough for anyone to understand and to follow-through with. My only regret is that there wasn't even a participation certificate to indicate that you were a part of this learning process.
  • Debra Mitchum
    This course was very helpful. The insight provided by the facilitator promoted thought and understanding to the participant. AIot of helpful tips were received. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and have promoted its contents to other staff.
  • Profile image for Raisa Shifa Salsabila
    Raisa Shifa Salsabila
    this is very helpful for me who is still a student, with this my experience and insight increases. I become more confident to achieve my goals, hopefully this will also be useful for otherst
  • Anonymous
    excellent! very educative and informative content! i recommend it to anyone looking for mind control and psychological content to add on
  • I think this course is practical and certainly touch some points relating to COVID-19.
    And if you can extract what you need, it can also be useful after that.

    It is also good that all the powerpoints can be downloaded in the course.
  • It was nice course very knowledgeble and i have learnt alot . It was all about understanding dementia and to How to control it and about the Management. I really appreciate it .it was amazing experience. I Thank again .

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