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Perspective: Lighten Up And Enjoy Life This Summer

Johannes Plenio

Even though summer is almost here, that doesn’t mean everyone’s mood is all “sunshine and buttercups.” In fact, over the past few years, the levels of stress, anger, and worry Americans experience every day has been on the rise. And the heaviest toll is taken on folks under 50. Maybe once you reach 50, you’ve seen enough of the world to know that getting worked up about something outside your control is a colossal waste of precious time. You also probably realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  


While Americans have hit all-time highs in feeling stressed and being ticked off, you might wonder where happiness can be found. Actually, it’s often in countries that are not as wealthy or as technologically advanced as we are.  


The key to happiness, according to Gallup researchers, is not hidden away in a Swiss bank account, an iPhone X, or season tickets to the Cubs or the Sox. Happiness is all about your other home team -- your friends and family network.  


Happier people are typically smack in the middle of healthy and helpful social support systems that they value for the treasures they are. Not only that, they also spend a lot more time smiling and laughing than us uber serious Americans tend to do. FYI, happiness is related to longer life expectancies, too. There’s an old saying that if you’re looking for trouble, you’re sure to find it. This summer, why not flip that saying on its head! Start looking for reasons to share a laugh with a friend. You’ll have a lot more to smile about and maybe a chance to share the joke a little longer than you otherwise might. 


I’m SuzanneDegges-White, and that’s my perspective. 

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