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On the New Directions Blog

Young Adults and Addiction: The Benefits of Inpatient Care

For many young people, drug use and experimentation is a rite of passage of sorts. However, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is far from harmless, and can often result in lifelong...

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Our Being Happier Experts

Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony

Teacher and author of How to be Happy and Have Fun Changing...

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Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss

Entrepreneur and best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

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M.J. Ryan

M.J. Ryan

Creator of the Random Acts of Kindness series

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Come On, Get Happy

Happiness isn't a shapeless myth that hippies throw around like a Frisbee. Research shows that happy people not only have a better attitude in life but they tend to be healthier and live longer. One study from University College London showed that happiness improves certain bodily functions that help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. And a Yale University study found that optimists live more than seven years longer than pessimists.

Being happier isn't all about money, parties and social status. If you pay attention to doing things that make you happier, keep an open mind and put in the effort, you can be well on your way to loving your life in 30 days. So go ahead and smile, because you’re about to embark on a change that can only end in sheer delight.

Training Your Brain

Being happier starts with priming your brain to think happier or positive thoughts. “Whether you like it or not, facts are facts. You might not enjoy the fact you’re facing but you can control your emotional response to it. Do it with a positive attitude and you’ll get through it a lot quicker than if you agonize and lament over it,” says Michael Anthony, author of the e-book How to be Happy and Have Fun Changing the World.

Louise Bluth,* a 37-year-old sales manager, found it difficult to be happier after living through an abusive childhood. “I was always told that I was a failure and a loser, and that I was the shame of the family,” she says.

She decided she didn’t deserve to be that unhappy and started volunteering for a suicide helpline. Her training stressed the concept of getting into the mind of a suicidal person to be able to show them possible solutions to their problems. “This proved to me that your state of mind could be changed, and so you can become happier,” she says. Louise started taking Buddhist meditation classes, where she further learned how to prime her mind for happiness. “I learned that my happiness was up to me,” she says.

It’s hard to change your mindset overnight, so you might have to draw your positive brain waves out of hiding. One way to do this is by reciting a daily affirmation or a mantra. This statement can be repeated daily to get your brain ready to think happier thoughts.

Posted: 2/5/08

I'm happy that I found a positive site where I can learn and grow reading other's life experiences and become a happier person.


Yes, I agree that acknowledging and being grateful for every little blessing in our lives helps us to be happy. Reaching out to others and helping them also adds to our happiness.


What I have experienced when helping people is that they want money to solve their problems not new ideas from you .

  • By myash3
  • on 6/23/11 7:19 PM EST

Counting our blessings truly is the road to becoming happier...


Thanks for the reminder to count our blessings and strive to help others. It's amazing what a little perspective change can do for your life!


I am happiest when Im there for someone and I know I have helped someone.


Thank you...I work with some people who are anti-happy! I have been accused of being addicted to happiness! To them if your happy you don't take the "tragedy that is life" serious enough and are foolish. I have been letting them steal my sunshine! I just found your site yesterday and feel better all ready. I'm smiling at the note I taped to my computer, the title of Michael Anthony's book!! It's getting alittle attention already!


I can't believe I didn't find this on the site 'til now! Well, now is probably when I needed to read it ... starting a gratitude journal tonight =)


Sometimes I don't feel like laughing, and make myself to read some of the jokes that, for sure, one of my friends have e-mailed. Maybe it sound silly, but it helps to make my energy higher. And then continue to be gratefull for all of them who think it's worthy to spend a minute to brighten other people lives.


What a lovely website! Thank you for making it available. I am starting my gratitude journal right now and guess what item number 1 will be?

  • By 2Doves
  • on 11/4/09 4:46 PM EST

THANK YOU THANK YOU..... I am only on day two with the 30 steps but I feel so confident that these stories and tips are going to pull me up from the shadowy deep I have sunk to and been living in for sometime now.... this is so simple to digest and embrace and I love that it requires action not just encouraging words to read. So to Ariane and everyone who contributes to this website my greatest thank you for perhaps saving my life!!!


i don't know where to start! it seems so easy but it is hard to be happy all day long.


I liked it alot.

  • By rose84
  • on 6/28/09 1:46 PM EST

I have started to swim and this has helped kick some endorphines into my system.This supports my positive frame of mind and helps me change my attitude as well. I also attend support groups. I need to lose weight, again and know that lighter is better.


As for me, to change your mindset is not always possible without changing smth in your body. You may not realize the reason which prevent you from improving the consciousness.

  • By irenek
  • on 1/7/09 2:09 PM EST

all this is so true, its so easy to read but practicing is another matter


It is so true! Without being thankful for our gifts, be they a bike, job, ability to move, take in the beauty of nature, a talent or learned skill, it would be an empty life. Isn't this where happiness begins -- within our own being?
How great, grand & glorious are we!


I've enjoyed this little site so much...a bunch of flowers goes your way from me! I'm starting art classes again just for fun. From sunnyday


It makes complete sense. In order to be grateful, you have to have good things to be grateful for. Remembering those things are likely to lead to increased happiness. Things can ALWAYS be worse...it's just a matter of remembering that.

  • By Kadee84
  • on 5/21/08 7:57 PM EST

i'm thinking about this,but is it so?


Focusing on the positive, and the beautiful little things that God has put in this world for us to enjoy helps me daily. I thank God for the flowers, the deer on the side of the road, those close to me and being alive after too many close calls. I need to start journaling again, I know.