Word-Of-the-Week #633: Upset

September 22, 2016 by  

Upset – mental or emotional distress.

How often do you become upset? Is your job causing you mental or emotional distress? Do you get upset about things that are under your control?

This week’s WOW features excerpts from Christine Huard’s San Diego UT article 100-year-old says life’s too short to be upset. She writes, “Want to live to be a centenarian? A Sunset Cliffs man says all you need is the right attitude.

Zach Wall, credits his long life to a determination to stay cheerful regardless of any sorrow life brings. He’s a guy who knows a thing or two about ups and downs, having outlived his three children and wife.

Wall said, however, that when he walked away from a job giving him an ulcer 64 years ago he decided to never get upset about anything again. Since then, he’s faced each day with a smile — even when his heart was breaking.

“I made a promise to me — that nothing in this world will upset me again,” Wall said. “I’ve kept that attitude since 1952.”

“It’s not an easy thing to do,” he said. “There is no trick. It’s like quitting smoking. If you’re going to quit, quit. If you’re going to quit being upset, quit being upset.”

There’s some science behind positive mindset and living longer. Recent research done by the Scripps Translational Science Institute on the genetic secrets to healthy aging suggests that “wellderly” people like Wall share personality traits — being smart, sociable and happy — that keep them in good physical condition.

a-100-year-old

That certainly describes Wall, who answered the door of his Point Loma home with a big smile and a happy “Hello!” Dressed in slacks and a T-shirt noting he was “Made in 1916,” Wall had already read the Sunday paper and a couple of magazines, and put in 4 miles on his exercise bicycle before 10 a.m. He recently got a new pacemaker, keeps track of his heart rate, and gave up alcohol quite a while ago.

“I’m just one guy who takes good care of himself,” he said.

He does need a hand with day-to-day things, though. Wall’s grandson Chris Werdenberg, his wife, Kim, and their young son, Anthony, moved in with him about a year and a half ago to help out.

“He’s just energetic, and very genuine,” Kim Werdenberg said. “He’s very caring. He’s always concerned about how you are, how you’re doing.”

She said a healthy appetite keeps him going. “We call him ‘the Old Goat’ because he will eat anything and everything,” she said. “At dinner, he’ll eat all of his plate, and your plate, and he’s still looking for more. I think that’s what has kept him alive.”

This week is all about not getting upset. Do you maintain a positive mindset? How easy is it for you stay cheerful in times of sorrow? How would it feel to vow to never let anything upset you for the rest of your life?

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