18 May TRC launches “Ever Wonder?” series to positively transform introspection during quarantine
Why we cannot let laughter fall victim of COVID-19 and how to redirect negative thoughts
What we are all going through amid the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly not funny. The world we once knew has been profoundly changed. Possibly forever.
Our feeds are continuously reeling the latest news around testing statistics, mounting deaths and an increasingly volatile global economy. There’s no doubt about it: people are concerned, frightened and in mourning. Our healthcare systems are overwhelmed and we worry about the wellness of ourselves, our family members and friends. Unemployment is at an all-time high in many places and, as businesses hedge and hesitate, uncertainty is the order of the day.
But it’s still okay to laugh and smile
Happiness and laughter are critical and often necessary coping mechanisms for us humans. The late comedian Milton Berle would often say that laughter sends you on an instant vacation, which is something we could all certainly use at the moment.
Even in these dark times, humor can serve as an essential buffer from the negative effects we experience under stress. Notably, laughter has been shown to boost our immune system, improve alertness, raise endorphin levels, lower blood pressure, increase the production of white blood cells and help the pituitary gland release beneficial opiates. Laughter also lets us take in more oxygen-rich air, which helps release pent-up tension.
But not only does laughter help our physical self, it benefits us emotionally too. Through humor, we can more easily put everything in perspective which helps us confront fears more objectively. In many cases, it can put comfortable space between ourselves and that which troubles us. Furthermore, laughter is comforting, relaxing and can remind us of happier times. As an added benefit, smiling and laughter can even be contagious as well!
It has been found that even if nothing funny or pleasing is happening, the body can still experience the physical benefits of smiling and laughing. Our bodies apparently do not know the difference if you are mimicking laughter or truly laughing, which is the basis for laughter, yoga and meditation.
Introspection is natural but don’t overdo it
For some people, loneliness itself is a residual side effect of this pandemic. With many of us finding more solitary time to think, it is easy to get caught in strong currents of melancholy and even despair.
To be fair, such introspection is a natural process, especially in a time of widespread quarantine. With everything that happens in the world, we only have agency of ourselves and our own actions. We may not be able to avoid the headwinds but we can reposition our own sails.
Organizations, employees and communities are facing unprecedented challenges as COVID-19 evolves from just a public health crisis into a comprehensive economic crisis that profoundly disrupts how we live and work. When uncertainty is the order of the day, the stakes get particularly high for business leaders.
But there is at least one silver lining, which is that COVID-19 represents an opportunity for leaders to do some personal soul searching, analysis and reflection: What have I done today? Did I succeed? What does success truly mean to me? How can I strengthen the areas where I feel I am succeeding? What do I want to do differently? What is my legacy?
How can we redirect this introspection and transform it into effective personal improvement rather than worry and burden?
Each company and executive has something unique to offer in this monumental time of need. At TRC, we’re increasingly observing that our core services in executive visibility strategy help business leaders adapt to some of the abrupt shifts we’re seeing in the marketplace— the influx of remote working, digital content consumption, media landscape changes, mass restructuring, etc.
As COVID-19 shakes up our professional and personal lives, it is an introspective but also critically instructive moment for leaders to reposition their executive branding, messaging and engagement strategies so they can better resonate and stand out in an evolving landscape. But, especially in these trying times, we believe it is critically important that leaders approach such self-scrutiny with a smile and a small dose of humor.
For this reason, we are launching our “Ever Wonder?” series of memes and accompanying blogs, which will explore some of the common introspective themes we’re observing across our clientele of executives.
Through this series, we’ll help business leaders nurture their tendency to “wonder” and look at a broad range of the random trending topics crossing their mind in the time of COVID-19, including professional development, identity, communications, purpose-driven marketing, networking 2.0, thought leadership, the remote workforce, authenticity, and more.
COVID-19 is the ultimate test in leadership, yielding significant challenges for leaders at all levels, across organizations of all sizes, to grow amid a crisis and stay ahead of a newly uncertain future. Now is the time for resilient leaders to dispel shockwaves with an authoritative executive—and at the same time adapt for yet more changes in the months and years ahead. At TRC, we know we won’t be able to do this without some pondering and humor.
To schedule a complimentary professional brand assessment with us, click here.
We look forward to wondering and smiling with you.