Here are four happiness tips from Tal Ben-Shahar:
Feel your pain. We're all under a lot of pressure to be happy — but we need to allow ourselves to feel pain and sadness, too. "Paradoxically, when you allow yourself to feel negative emotions, you're likely to be happier in the long run," he says.
Keep a gratitude journal. These can be big things (like "I'm grateful for my family") and small things (like "I'm grateful for that nice meal I had today.") "When we focus on the positive, we stop taking our lives for granted, and we become happier."
Sweat it out. Working out can do wonders for your Zen. In fact, a recent study at Duke University showed working out for 30 minutes three times a week is equivalent to popping Zoloft.
Accept life as a roller coaster. Optimistic people have ups and downs like everyone else, Ben-Shahar says. "The difference is that happy people realize that if they're sad, they'll get over it," he says. "There's a misconception that being happy means being on a high and having positive moods all the time. That's not what happiness is. If you're happy, you have a life — overall — that you find both meaningful and pleasurable."