How to Become Happier

Skip the pharmaceuticals and the endless scratch and win lottery tickets. Here are some concrete happiness boosters.

You will need

  • Sleep
  • Altruism
  • Gratitude
  • Social ties
  • Exercise
  • Fun plans
  • Lowered expectations
  • Spiritualism

Step 1 Get more sleep Get more sleep. Studies show that people who get 7 to 9 hours of shuteye every night are happier and healthier.

Step 2 Be kind Commit random acts of kindness. Those who do report feeling more content than those who don’t.

Step 3 Count your blessings Count your blessings. Writing down five things you’re grateful just once a week boosts your feeling of well-being.

Step 4 Exercise Exercise on a regular basis. You’ll be jollier–without the stomach rolls.

Step 5 Plan fun events Always have something fun planned. Research shows that anticipating something pleasurable, like a vacation, often brings more joy than the actual event.

Step 6 Relax about money Stop being mad that you don’t have more money. A bazillionaire isn’t any happier than the average joe, provided that average joe makes enough to pay his bills.

Step 7 Lower expectations Lower your expectations. Focus on appreciating what you have rather than yearning for what you don’t.