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  • Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell

Upset is Optional

Updated: May 4, 2023



The late Robert Duggan, co-founder of Tai Sophia Institute (now Maryland University of Integrative Health) and integrative health pioneer, said it best and the magnet on the back of my car bears his words- “Upset is optional”. I like it. In three words all the world’s problems are solved! Who can argue with that? Who says, “I have to be upset about this” or “I need to be upset right now”? On any given day, there are hundreds of things that can potentially lead us to happiness or upset, and we have absolute authority over how we respond to them, all the while knowing “it could be worse, but it won’t be always”. So then, if happiness and upset are choices we can make, why choose the latter? I am not telling you to deny your feelings or disregard their existence. I believe we need to express them and not let any negative feelings fester inside of us, but to walk around always upset about one thing or another is counterproductive and just plain stupid.


Holding on to upset leads to disease. Many a heart attack or cancer diagnosis was the result of someone choosing upset over indifference. You will never be happy if you let everything make you distraught. Everything doesn’t always matter, and some stuff is irrelevant. We choose what is important and we reap the benefit of its categorical significance. It’s all perspective. If you think something is a big deal, then it will turn into one.


I wish everyone reading this will make a decision to not let upset or any of its cousins- envy, hate, or greed- dictate your level of happiness. Instead, embrace the alternative and don’t give a…drunken alligator more notice.😉



©Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell

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