4 Steps to a Happy Life

We all want to live a happier, fuller life. And according to research, it might be easier than you might think.

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In an article in Parade , psychologist and scientist Matt Killingsworth revealed findings from his Johnnie Walker-backed project, “Joynomics: The Study of Joy and Progress.” According to Killingsworth, the happiest people practice the following:

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Gratefulness

When people make a point to notice the good things in their lives, they feel happier. Writing down what you’re grateful for not only impacts your happiness — it can also make you healthier, studies have found.

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Present-Mindedness

Letting your mind wander, either to past experiences or toward future events, can actually lead to unhappiness, studies show. Although 100 percent present-mindedness isn’t possible, or even advisable, spending more time living in the present and less time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future can contribute to happier days.

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Kindness

Perhaps the Beatles said it best, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” People who are happiest tend to be the kindest, too, Killingsworth says. His research also found that people are happier when spend money on others rather than themselves.

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Fitness

That runner’s high isn’t just a fleeting feeling. Physical activity actually makes people happier, Killingsworth says. Studies show people who are more physically active are more likely to be happy. In another study, people who were assigned a weekly training program saw more significant improvements to their well being than those who weren’t assigned the program, even as long as 12 months later.