Where’s Happiness in VUCA Times?

Girl-with-open-arms outside

Pandemic and all, this is still annual Act Happy Week. Watch for five 60-second exercises, starting today. Because even if panic is the emotion of the day, you get to choose.

The focus of Act Happy Week is to educate the public about purposeful actions you can take to create chemical shifts in your body that drive Positive Emotions.  This is Day 1:

Where’s Happiness in VUCA Times?

I’m always excited about the third week of March. Act Happy Week has been a thing since 2004, embracing International Day of Happiness on March 20. I had a sequence of upbeat messages planned — then COVID-19 hit my region. Hard. And within 48 hours all plans collapsed.

The psychology/Organizational Behavior part of me is absolutely fascinated by what’s been unfolding in this living VUCA laboratory. Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity are all playing out fully as COVID-19 moved from regional epidemic to global pandemic.

The creative part of me is marveling at the tsunami of innovation and creativity that’s emerging as we come together to address problems that have, literally, never existed before.

The other part of me is Freaking Out!

But it’s still Act Happy Week, gosh dang it, so let’s find some Happiness! 

Hello From The Other Side

Because I coach across the globe, I’ve been in regular contact with clients and students who have already survived up to eight weeks of isolation and lockdown.  So I hold a perspective of hope and optimism and possibility. I believe we will be fine, once we get to the other side of this crisis.

Each day this week I will offer a 60-second idea to help you reconnect with your positive emotional space from which your creative self can thrive and where hope and perseverance can be fed.

First, Let’s Reconnect with Calm

Today, let’s just focus on calming down from the anxiety high you’ve lived in since they started closing down entire countries. Cortisol and adrenalin keep you alert to danger but having those drugs in your body constantly harms sleep, clouds thinking and does damage to your cells.

You’ll be stronger to fight the virus if you practice being in a calm space to release the healing drugs — dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins – that support both emotional and physical well-being.

Slow down for a moment. Maybe full stop. Uncurl and plant your feet on the floor. 

Close your eyes and mentally visit your happy place. 

Focus on your breathing for six full breaths, or until you feel some tingling in your fingertips as they warm. 

Repeat as you can, at least daily.