We’ve all heard about the bleak economic predictions for this year, and those of us working in tech are very aware of the ongoing layoffs in the space. While there’s talk of a soft landing, it is certain at this point that we’re in for a challenging year. It is definitely a downer.
But what can one do about it? Beyond bracing for tough times, I would suggest that the best thing to do is to carry ourselves better. This comes down to maintaining a positive attitude and approaching things with a simple, straightforward smile.
I thought about this during the course of some recent client interactions, wherein one company was forced to cancel its PR program due to budget issues, and another firm had to substantially scale back and renegotiate our agreement – which is something that can happen in PR, unfortunately, during tough times.
And when things like this take place, all I can think of doing is to smile. Even if it kills you inside, and even if it isn’t totally genuine. Sometimes, all we can do is to carry ourselves better.
Why Should I Smile?
Smiling matters because it has many benefits. First, it releases neuropeptides that comingle with certain neurotransmitters, helping one to feel better and even more attractive. Smiling also makes one a better co-worker. Research about smiling and business tells us that smiles can help downplay defensiveness, while enhancing work relationships and supporting creativity. Smiling is also considered a high-level business communications skill, and we all know from experience that an earnest smile adds value and improves the quality of life, both at home and around the office.
What’s more, smiling during unpleasant times makes one come across as friendlier, more confident, and more pleasant to work with. It also changes the sound of your voice, and an “auditory smile” usually gains more positive responses in business situations. Other benefits generated by smiling include increased dopamine and serotonin levels and endorphin release – all available without a prescription!
Other research suggests that smiling helps us see the world in a more positive way and gives us a more pleasant and stable emotional footing with which to deal with life. And the idea of acting “as if” through a smile helps our bodies achieve a more effective physical response to adversity.
The complex relationship between our mental outlook and the body is fascinating, and good things do come when we start carrying ourselves more positively. It may not solve all of the world’s problems, but a smile and an upbeat approach to situations can serve as the foundation for positive work and personal outcomes – even in the toughest of times.