Yet another…10 ways to increase your happiness

Yet another…10 ways to increase your happiness

I RECENTLY had the pleasure of participating in the fifth annual Tea and Conversation event hosted by the Daily News and Inquirer. More than 100 African-American women attended. The event explored what happiness means to us. I believe it is inextricably linked to our health and well-being. Science backs me up on this, too. According to the writings of Martin Seligman, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, happiness leads to better health, resilience and good performance. There’s even evidence suggesting that happy people live longer than depressed people.

In one study, the difference was a whopping nine years of additional life between the happiest and the unhappiest people. (For more information on Seligman’s theories, check out

Like most people I have had my share of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, good and bad times. I’ve lost loved ones whom I miss dearly, suffered a few broken hearts, lost a few jobs and suffered other personal tragedies as well.

But through it all, I believe these events are part of the divine plan to teach me about life. Happiness is an inside job. You are responsible for it, nobody else. It is a decision you make.

Happiness isn’t found in lottery winnings, a man, the perfect body, the best boobs or the best booty, material gains, high IQ, nor advanced degrees or any other external source. These external stimuli bring temporary happiness, at best, which dissipates shortly after acquisition.

I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to work with people from every walk of life and every economic status, and discovered that being rich does not make people happy or happier. That’s why I believe happiness is an inside job and that it’s possible, despite the economy and challenging circumstances, to find meaning and maintain hope every day.

Here are 10 things that will raise your Gross Domestic Happiness and Health quotient:

Want to read more? Including seeing the list of 10 happiness strategies? Just click here