Mullins, a 38-year-old die-hard Red Sox fan, has Down syndrome. Last week, he realized a dream he’s had for nearly a decade: Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Fenway Park, capacity 37,400, to open for the Red Sox.
According to the Metro West Daily News, Mullins has spent the last 10 years singing the national anthem for a minor league team, and four years lobbying the Red Sox for a chance to sing at Fenway. He’s been helped along by the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Mass., where he lives.
“Nope, I’m not nervous,” he told Boston’s WCVB in an interview before the big day. “Piece of cake.”
“He is so excited. This is the biggest day of his life,” added center director Sharon Lisnow.
Mullins really is becoming the talk of Beantown. News of Mullins’ performance tonight is quickly getting around, according to Alex Dunn, liaison from the Center who’s assisting Mike on his big day.
“We’ve been walking around, and he’s in a Rex Sox shirt, and people keep asking him if he’s going to the game,” Dunn says. “We tell them, ‘Oh, he’s not just going to the game, he’s singing the National Anthem!’ Everyone wants to shake his hand.”
For Mullins, the gig is also an opportunity to raise awareness for a cause dear to his heart.
“I like doing disability awareness,” Mullins remarks, as he’s performing on the park’s Disability Awareness Day.
We all want to be happier don’t we? Here at Good News Stories we have uncovered eight ways to be happier 🙂
1. Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences. For example, when my sister got married, I splurged on a better digital camera. It was expensive, but it gave me a lot of happiness.
2. Don’t insist on the best. There are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, satisficers) make a decision once their criteria are met. When they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision. Even if they see a bicycle or a backpack that meets their requirements, they can’t make a decision until they’ve examined every option. Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough.
3. Exercise to boost energy. I knew, intellectually, that this worked, but how often have I told myself, “I’m just too tired to go to the gym”? Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Even a 10-minute walk can brighten my outlook.
4. Stop nagging. I knew my nagging wasn’t working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn’t realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying “Milk!” instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments?
5. Take action. Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You’re born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that’s that. Although it’s true that genetics play a big role, about 40 percent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work. So use these tips to start your own Happiness Project. I promise it won’t take you a whole year.
6. Jon Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis, teaches positive psychology. He actually assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.
“They have to say exactly what technique they will use,” says Haidt, a professor at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “They may choose to be more forgiving or more grateful. They may learn to identify negative thoughts so they can challenge them. For example, when someone crosses you, in your mind you build a case against that person, but that’s very damaging to relationships. So they may learn to shut up their inner lawyer and stop building these cases against people.”
Once you’ve decided to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving happiness. Psychologists who study happiness tend to agree on ones like these.
7. Cultivate Gratitude
In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.
8. Foster Forgiveness
Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health, according to a rapidly growing body of research. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to foster forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, say Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness.
The seven-times Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is “showing moments of awakening” after three months in a coma in a hospital in Grenoble, his manager revealed today.
Previous updates on Schumacher’s condition had spoken of the motor racing legend showing signs of responding to stimulus. Today’s statement implies that he has progressed beyond that stage but medical precedents suggest that, after three months in a coma, his chances of complete recovery are slight.
Schumacher crashed head first into a rock while skiing off-piste at Meribel in the French Alps on 29 December last year. He has been in a coma at Grenoble University Hospital since.
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
The 45-year-old has undergone two operations to reduce pressure on his brain caused by swelling and remove haematomas, and the news today comes as his first significant improvement since effort began at the end of January to awaken Schumacher.
Schumacher’s manager said no further details of his conditions would be released at this stage.
The German was skiing with his son between three and eight metres from the piste when his skis struck a rock hidden in the snow. He was projected for two to three metres and his head struck another rock. His helmet was split in two by the force of the collision.
What is a Medically induced coma?
Can be induced by powerful anaesthetics and is broadly similar to the sedation and artificial ventilation used during surgery.
Used to shut down many brain functions, lowering blood flow and pressure.
Taking a patient out of an induced coma is a delicate process, especially after a prolonged period of sedation
Doctors and relatives are looking for any signs of returning consciousness and recovery.
Last month Schumacher’s relatives said in a statement that he had been showing “small, encouraging signs”.
Investigators probing the accident said Schumacher had been going at the speed of “a very good skier” at the time of his crash in the resort of Meribel.
He had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit a rock, investigators said.
Experts reconstructed events leading up to the crash after examining Schumacher’s skiing equipment and viewing footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet.
Schumacher retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.
He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000.
We’d all like to live forever but the one thing in life that is a certainty is death! But this is good news stories and we’d like to report on some ways of extending your life as long as possible!
So what makes people live so long — nature or nurture? “The average person should be able to live to 90 years old if they exercise, eat well, and avoid smoking,” Thomas Perls, M.D., a professor of medicine at Boston Medical Center, the director of the New England Centenarian study, and co-author of Living to 100, told Yahoo Shine. “Before the age of 90, genetics only accounts for 25 percent of a person’s lifespan; 75 percent is their healthy habits. If a person lives past 90, we have to look to a stronger genetic reason.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Once believed to be the amount everyone needs for proper hydration, a longevity essential, a 2002 study from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH, debunked the 8X8 rule. As Dr. Goldberg explains, “there’s no magic number of glasses,” emphasizing it’s more about getting fluids, not necessarily from straight-up H20. Herbal tea and juices are hydration helpers (though soda isn’t), but fruits and vegetables (like celery and leafy greens) are an even healthier way to get your liquids.
Cut out booze.
A daily glass of wine not only can help your heart but also add years to your life. University of Texas at Austin researchers found that moderate drinking, such as a small glass of wine (about four ounces) a day, reduces mortality among older and middle-aged adults. Dr. Goldberg says it’s because heart disease is the leading killer of women, and wine is chockfull of antioxidants, which prevent serious sickness. So fill ‘er up-without overflowing that glass.
Get eight hours of sleep every night.
While research suggests snoozing fewer than six or more than nine hours a night raises your mortality risk, everyone has different sleep needs, says Shelby Harris, PsyD, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. So if you wake naturally after only, say, six-and-a-half hours a night, forcing yourself to reach eight hours won’t lengthen your life. To learn how much sleep you need, try awakening without an alarm for a week, if you can swing it. If you feel good and have enough energy most of the day, you’ve found your ideal amount of rest.
Make sure if you ever travel from your home country you have good travel insurance from sites such as over80.co.uk to ensure you are covered in the event of something going wrong!
Are you taking a long haul flight soon and worried about the prospect of catching a cold or worse?
We’ve all been there — you’re on a full flight, stuck in the middle seat between a cougher and a sneezer with nowhere to turn. Are you doomed to get sick? Dr. Travis Stork, co-host of “The Doctors,” says there may be something you can do.
If germy particles are floating in the air, switch on your overhead air vent to the highest setting, aimed downward at your face. “The air will actually help push those particles away,” he says.
While many stock up on vitamin C and take other supplements designed to strengthen the immune system for travel, Stork says, wellness is more in your head than you think. “All of those supplements out there, a lot of it is the placebo effect,” he explains. “If you’re more optimistic and you believe you’re going to get better, your immune system strangely fires up.”
Stay hydrated. It turns out that drinking plenty of water will not only counter the overall dehydrating effects of air travel, which can lead to headaches, stomach problems, cramps, fatigue and more, but can actually fortify your preemptive natural immune mechanisms to function considerably better. Of course, this is the case in normal daily life — when exercising, during prolonged sun exposure, etc. Even caffeine and alcohol consumption can dry you out. However, in an airplane, where your nose and throat are on the front lines of the war with exceedingly dry air, these are the first places to suffer.
Keep your hands clean. Your hands are the most consistent point of first contact with cold, flu and other germs. It is a direct line from armrest/ handshake/seat back to fingers to fork to mouth to full-blown fever a few days later. Scientists report that the viruses that cause colds and flu can survive for hours on your skin or on objects such as armrests, TV remote control handsets, tray tables and other similar surfaces. However, the simple act of washing your hands with hot water and soap is a formidable rampart against this transfer of harmful microorganisms.
Wear a face mask. The NIH cites airborne germs as one of the top two sources of cold virus infection; some travelers have taken to wearing masks either to prevent infection, or when they themselves are already infected. Personally, I would not last more than a half-hour or so behind a hot mask, but this may be an effective prevention tactic nonetheless.