Bill Witcher, co-founder of Computer School for Seniors will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.
I enjoy reading Jacquielynn Floyd’s column in the Dallas Morning News (of course Cheryl Hall is still my favorite columnist). In Friday’s paper Jacquielynn said what I am sure all of us are feeling right now… “I’m about one doomsday headline away from running outside and beating my head on the asphalt. A quick review of the week’s top stories – ‘Bad to worse,’ ‘Deeper dive sends omnious message,’ ‘Texas job forecast gets gloomier’ – may have bred a similar desire in a lot of people. Perhaps your mental apparatus, like mine, could use a short vacation.”
I read another article by Eric Aasen that talked about the unsettling times and encouraged us with the headline “Spirits don’t have to go the way of the economy.” The point of the article was that it’s possible to be happy these days. Being happy is a choice. Your attitude is everything. It may take some work, but we can do it if we want to.
Here’s what the researchers are saying:
• Genetics play a role in our happiness.
• Happy people have good relationships and seem to be more social
• Happy people tend to live longer
• Happy people tend to make more money
Ed Diener, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, who’s been dubbed “Dr. Happiness”, said that during the economic downturn, spending less money may bring “unexpected positive side effects, such as spending more time with family and friends, taking picnics and driving trips instead of flying.”
Forget science for a moment. Maybe we can turn to songs with optimistic messages to lift our spirits. When the Von Trapp kids are scared by a storm in the Sound of Music, Maria sings about her favorite things, like raindrops on roses and crisp apple strudel:
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.
Or better yet, we can crank up our iPods or the music on this Blog and jam to the "Be Happy" music courtesy of Bobby McFerrin:
In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double. Don’t worry, be happy.
Bill Witcher is co-founder of Computer School for Seniors (http://www.cs4seniors.com/)