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As I See It

Don’t worry, be happy

Scott Robert Shaw

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This has been a tough year on the American psyche. The coronavirus, the economic devastation it caused, and protests over racial inequality have weighed us down. So not surprisingly, a new survey finds that Americans are less happy than at anytime over the last 50 years. They survey by the University of Chicago asked people to rate their happiness level, and it found just 14% of Americans consider themselves very happy, down from 31% who felt the same way just two years ago. This poll has been conducted for each of the last 50 years, and this is the first time that fewer than 29% report they consider themselves very happy. And this poll was conducted prior to the protests over the death of George Floyd, so the numbers could be even lower today. Despite all the tragedy in the world, it is important that we try to stay happy for the sake of our mental health. It’s harder these days, and it may take some concerted effort. Find the things that bring you joy, and pursue them. Working in the garden, bicycling, kayaking or a good book can all bring you happiness. You may even have to set aside some time to pursue those hobbies, and work at finding happiness. But it seems that is more important than ever. We deserve to be happy. These days we just have to work a little harder at it.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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