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Health & Balance

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At last! All the secrets of HAPPINESS explained!

3. Courage

Being courageous means acting in accordance with your personal values, an empowering practice that enhances your sense of self. “If you behave contrary to what you believe, you go to war with yourself,” warns Baker. But stand up for what’s important to you, and the pride you feel will increase personal satisfaction.

For the majority of women, this means curing the “disease to please” and speaking up even when you risk causing a stir, such as saying no to a neighbor who’s always asking for a favor. When your life is in line with your sense of right and wrong, you avoid falling victim to happiness-sapping self-doubt.

4. Sense of choice

Research has found that people who describe themselves as “autonomous” and “self-governing” are up to three times more likely to be satisfied with their lives. These individuals know they have the power to opt out when a situation no longer suits them, Niven explains, so when things get bad, they make the active choice to change matters.

An easy (and enjoyable!) way to practice your power of choice is to indulge in your favorite pastimes whenever possible. Remember, you decide what goes on your to-do list, so opt to add that occasional afternoon of watching bad TV in your pj’s. And if feelings of guilt threaten to ruin the moment, remind yourself that checking off this to-do will enable you to approach the rest of your chores with a more positive and invigorated attitude.

5. Proactivity

The happiest people are always on the hunt for new experiences thanks to a natural zest for life. To fire up your inner passion, Baker recommends setting a goal of making one mistake every single day. This encourages you to try new experiences you might otherwise have avoided out of fear of failure (like testing out the freaky-looking weight contraption at the gym!). Plus, exercising your curiosity in this manner is proven to promote happiness: Neurology researchers have found that diving into a fresh experience triggers the production of dopamine, one of the body’s “feel-good” chemicals.

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