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Finding Happiness

There are many ways of understanding happiness. Even though we might have a hard time defining it, we usually know when we feel it.

People who see themselves as happy might describe the feeling as joy, a sense of well-being, life satisfaction, sustained positive emotions, and contentment. They usually have a sense of deeper meaning in their lives and take responsibility for their emotions. They define what happiness and success means to them rather than live by other people's perceptions.

So what can you do to increase your sense of happiness?

1. Be grateful for what you already have. Make a list of good things in your life. Keep a gratitude journal and add at least three new items to it each and every day.

2. Create and maintain meaningful connections with others. Reach out to those you care about and who care about you and support you. Meet with them, call them, even just text them on regular basis and let them know how much they mean to you. Say "I love you" more often.

3. Pursue a passion. Find something you love doing and that brings you a sense of joy and satisfaction. Have a hobby and do something each and every day to get closer to reaching your dreams.

4. Take care of your body, mind and spirit. Eat healthy. Get a good night sleep. Exercise. Relax. Laugh. Meditate. Go for a walk. Read. Have fun. Breathe deeply. Avoid drugs and excessive use of alcohol.

5. Stop sweating the small stuff. Ask yourself if what you're stressing about today will be important 10 years from now. Practice letting go and concentrate on finding a "silver lining" instead of focusing on the negatives.

And remember ... each minute spent being stressed, miserable, angry, and negative is the minute you could be happy instead.

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