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5 key points in achieving happiness

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With all of the chaos in the world, it is somewhat enlightening to read studies of what makes us most happy. We know it isn't money, because the poorest countries many times outscore the wealthiest on a happiness scale. We also know it isn't who you live with or your marital status, because happiness crosses all lifestyles. Happiness experts have detailed more than 100 reasons happy people are happier than miserable people. From that list, these five are consistent keys to finding happiness in life.

First of all, the attitude is important. That is, you must be mentally ready to strive for happiness as much as possible, irrespective of what is happening in your life daily (a partner cannot do that for you). Your attitude also has a lot to do with self-acceptance.

A smile is the best symptom of a happy mind. It not only makes you feel better, but also sets the tone for the rest of the day, as others also will feel welcomed to come and talk to you.

Have good friends, acquaintances and people who need you. To be happy you need relationships with others. Everyone who scores high on a happiness scale has at least one good friend. Pets can help as well.

Live in the present and acceptance of where you are. Don't put off traveling, activities or learning new things, waiting for someone to do these things with you. Take advantage of the opportunities you have offered each day.

Understand that no matter who you are, you will have tough times. Make it a habit to focus on the positive and see the silver lining. Faith is not seeing, but believing. Keep that close to your heart.

I work with happy people and miserable people. Having a relationship or being married is not enough to make you happy. As Frank Pittman a famous marriage advocate said, "Marriage makes you married." In other words, each of us makes our own happiness. It isn't who we have to share our life with that defines us, it's who we are and what we see our purpose on earth being and how successful we view ourselves at accomplishing both that determines how happy and contented we will be.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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