Sitting in the uppermost nosebleed row of Williams-Brice Stadium at University of South Carolina this fall, I heard the familiar phrase
First and ten!
Ubiquitous as coeds in cowboy boots and dresses on Game Day, the phrase struck a happy note with me, and not just because it advanced the Gamecocks down the field. Perhaps the visceral reaction to that phrase was implanted long ago during my Georgia Bulldog days when Herschel Walker played, and we heard it over and over. The feeling got me thinking about other phrases that provide a similar surge of happiness.
While contemplating which ones to include for this post, fellow chorister aRm told me about Dan Buettner‘s recent appearance at The Richmond Forum on the topic of The Science of Happiness. Turns out this founder of Blue Zones has studied and quantified that where we live has more to do with our well-being than any other factor. Despite my personal experiences, I was surprised to find that no city in either the SEC or the ACC was in one of their Blue Zones. Clearly Dan and his team have never tailgated at a Gamecocks, Bulldogs, Tarheels or Cavaliers game.
If you’re curious to find out how happy you are, according to Mr. Buettner and company, try the True Happiness Test on the Blue Zones website. It’s free and takes about 5 minutes. Ironically, the day I took the test I was feeling abnormally cranky; I hadn’t had my dose of endorphins for the day.
If you’re stuck inside with kids home for another interminable snow day, juggling too many details for too many dependents, or coping with the latest news of somebody facing a serious medical struggle, we recommend reviewing the following list before starting the test. It’s our compilation of a few more first and tens (those phrases that make you say YES! and
give a fist pump)
that should put you in a more positive frame of mind.
Congratulations! You have been accepted . . .
Sometimes happiness is a matter of perspective.
If you have a case of the winter weather woes, consider your own happy words and phrases. Let usnow which ones are your favorites. They might up our Happiness score.
February 5, 2014