Judy Spooner: State ranks high in happinessAmong the happiest states in the union, Minnesota ranks fifth, according to an article on LiveScience.com.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Among the happiest states in the union, Minnesota ranks fifth, according to an article on LiveScience.com.
According to researchers, the happiest states have more wealth, have residents who are better educated and have people who are generally more tolerant than those in other states.
People in the top 10 states are more relaxed than residents of West Virginia, Mississippi and Kentucky, which are ranked as highly neurotic and showed lower well-being scores.
Utah, by the way, ranked the highest at 69.2 out of 100 points and Minnesota is 67.3.
States that have artists, homosexuals and people who are foreign-born also got high marks for inclusiveness.
Warm weather doesn’t seem to be a factor because only three states in the top 10 have warm weather all year long.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t meet depressed people when traveling in California, one of the Top 10. Most of us know people who are negative.
But what determines how happy we are as individuals?
If I asked you if you’re happy, I’m guessing most of you would say “more or less” if there are no major traumas in your life at the moment.
Happiness is also discussed in “Stumbling on Happiness,” a book by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert.
I believe happiness is fleeting. None of us is happy all the time.
Happiness is “real and enduring,” he maintains and every bit as good as getting the Christmas present you were hoping for.
For example, a guy who spent more than 30 years in prison for a crime he didn’t do, said he had no regrets for what happened, according to Gilbert.
Apparently, whatever happens to us, we make the best of it. Some of us do it better than others, he maintains.
Take my reaction, for example, to husband Gary’s recent hospitalization. He came home Dec. 21 after a week in Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
At the end of November, he had surgery for an aneurism, which is a bulge in an artery at the back of the knee. The radiologist placed a stent inside the artery and he had to stay overnight.
On Dec. 7, he had the same surgery on his other leg. There was a clot in the leg that already had a stent and there were other complications.
On Dec. 16, he had bypass surgery on the second leg. His surgeon also found constrictions in an artery junction. If not caught, this might have led to losing his leg, according to me.
According to Gilbert, I took the situation and made myself happy by choosing to believe that Gary is better off because of the trauma.
Apparently, learning how to “kid” ourselves might be a key to mental health.
Yup, that’s what I did. Gilbert is right.
The upshot is that Gary is stronger than he was yesterday and will continue to get better.
Santa Gary was not able to make his visits. Santa Mike Elwell came to the rescue. He is my hero and filled in, in a way that reflects the nature of being Santa. He was generous and giving.
Santa Gary is depressed that he missed his chance to eat lutefisk. No accounting for taste.