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How to Become Happier

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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • TIP: Helping the neighbors and being active in community activities also has been linked to a happier life.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Make peace and reconnect with estranged family members and forgotten friends. The happiest people are the ones with the strongest social ties.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Consider attending religious services, if you don't already. People who do consistently report being happier than those who don't.
  • Step 7: Lower expectations Lower your expectations. Focus on appreciating what you have rather than yearning for what you don't.
  • FACT: Studies show that happy people are less likely to catch colds and make more money than their sad counterparts.

You Will Need

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

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