LOS ANGELES - "I just want to be happy" is a common phrase we've all said. But what does it actually mean, how do we achieve it? And are happier people truly healthier?
Happiness could be defined as "contentment, joy, or feeling a sense of well-being, optimism and/or meaningfulness in life"-- but whatever it is we know it when we see it, and feel it.
A 2012 review of more than 200 studies further proved a connection between psychological and physical well-being. The studies found more happiness corresponds to a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles.
Hmm so maybe a smile a day will keep the doctor away.
Psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside and founder of Project Happy Sonja Lyubomirsky, suggests we are in control of our happiness. Here are her recommendations:
Practice kindness, by doing something nice for someone else.
Buy experiences, not stuff - to create powerful and important memories that last a lifetime.
Stop checking email and social media so much! Reports show the less activity like this you have, the less stress and depression follows
And, finally, live in the present moment. The only moment that will ever exist is Right Now, so it's best to focus on it.
As the song goes…"Don't Worry. Be Happy"