Don’t Worry, Be Happy

By Ron Tatro, Vice President
In 1988, Robert (Bobby) McFerrin, Jr. wrote and performed a song entitled, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” In that song, he sings, “In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry, you make it double.” It seems that in today’s society, we are surrounded by egotism, fake news, and tension. All the negativity bombarding us every day can make us lose sight of all the wonderful things that also surround us. So, how do we find a balance?
I recently read an article, A Formula for Happiness, by Arthur Brooks, in the New York Times, who opened his article by stating that happiness has traditionally been considered an elusive and evanescent thing. Brooks goes on to write that happiness can be attributed to three major sources: genetics, events, and values. Work can also bring happiness to many people. As a country, we believe in happiness so strongly that our Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, that humans’ inalienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
So, what is happiness? Researchers studying social and emotional well-being define happiness as a balance between the combination of how frequent and robust your positive emotional experiences are, how graciously you recover from difficult experiences, and how meaningful and worthwhile you feel your life is overall.
However, only you can determine if you are happy. Some keys to happiness might be:

  • Surrounding yourself with positive people. Don’t let friends get you down.
  • Stay healthy, take walks, get ample sleep, eat the right foods.
  • Don’t stay in the house, get out, see people, volunteer, get out of your comfort zone. Try something new with new people.
  • Take time to reflect on things for which you are thankful.
  • See the world through a child’s eyes, pet a puppy, marvel at spring flowers.

Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”