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  • Writer's pictureCindy Copich

8 secrets of happiness

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

Full disclosure, they aren't secrets! They are habits that take time and effort, but secrets sound more exciting and less work. Read below to learn more about "the secrets."

Make time to listen to The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos either through a podcast or on YouTube. The strategies she shares are simple, but they take time to implement and build into a habit.

"You can make yourself happier today. Your life circumstances and personality aren't nearly as important as you think in deciding how happy you can be. Dr. Laurie Santos explains how understanding the latest science will point you in the right direction and make you more satisfied with your life. Are you ready to feel better?"

The Science of Wellbeing-

"Happiness in your life and with your life"

If we want our circumstances to improve, "the secret" is that we need to work on our happiness FIRST. According to Dr. Santos, happiness leads to good life outcomes! Science shows that happiness levels can predict income, stronger relationships, and improved physical health. No surprise here! I think the part my clients often find difficult is identifying what makes them happy. We are often distracted by money, power, and material things; however, research shows those are NOT the things that will make us happy.

1. Use your strengths. Knowing how to turn your natural talents into strengths leads to greater feelings of happiness and satisfaction both at work and in life. If you need guidance and support on this process, contact me for a one-on-one strengths coaching session. I use two different assessments to help clients identify and leverage their natural talents.

2. Express gratitude. Make this a habit. Try a brief, daily gratitude journal. Write a letter of gratitude to a mentor, friend, or family member. Integrate gratitude into your daily life as research shows this will make you happier as you routinely and regularly notice the good in life.

3. Be present and savor positive experiences. This practice increases your enjoyment of the activities and experiences you already love. Being intentional about noticing this enjoyment lengthens the positive emotions. Try to identify every day experiences and things you do regularly. For example, savor a walk through the colorful fall leaves or slow down to enjoy a favorite meal.

4. Practice kindness. Happy people do things to try and bring happiness to others. Offer random acts of kindness OR planned acts of kindness. These can be simple things that are a bit beyond what you normally would do. Try it for a week and see what happens!

5. Build human connection. Connecting with friends, family, neighbors and even strangers can bring us moments of happiness. Try to interact socially with someone new every day while being mindful of how this interaction makes you feel. If it brings you happiness, do more of it.

6. Exercise. Yep, we know that 30 minutes or more of exercise every day brings both physical and emotional benefits. I think most of us just struggle to get a habit and routine established in our busy lives in order to DO it. Try keeping track of your exercise on your calendar. Set an alarm to remind you. You don't need to run a marathon or be an Olympic swimmer to reap the benefits. Ride your bike, go for a brisk walk, do an online exercise routine, or just hit the floor and do some old school stretches and try to elevate that heart rate just a little.

7. Sleep. This one can be a big problem and it can definitely impact mood, cognitive function, appetite, and so much more. There are loads of articles and tips available online to help guide you on how to increase your chances of a good night's sleep. Bottom line, if these self-help strategies don't improve your sleep, definitely see your doctor. Sleep is a BIG deal, take it seriously. Find more information here:

8. Meditate. This can be a game changer. Taking 10 minutes to do a daily guided meditation or to focus quietly on your breath can have a lasting impact. The benefits of practicing meditation on a regular basis are huge. Try pairing this practice with another routine part of your day. Maybe meditate after 30 minutes of exercise, first thing in the morning, or over lunch. Try this for a week and see if you notice a difference. Sound Cloud, Head Space, Plum Village, and Insight Timer are great ways to start.

Integrating all of these new habits and practices into your daily routine can seem overwhelming. Start slow and try one new habit each month. It may also seem time consuming. I think it IS, but this is time to invest in you. Remember, happy people are more successful. If it's success you crave, start by investing in YOU. You are worth the investment!

The ideas above are summarized from The Science of Well-being. Learn more at and access the FREE course taught by Yale Professor, Dr. Laurie Santos. This course for adult learners also includes access to a beneficial progress tracking tool app that helps to build a habit of happiness. Starting in 2023 there is also a Science of Wellbeing course specifically for teens.


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