First of all happiness is a choice.

Many people think if they get a new job then they will be happy, or if they are in a more perfect relationship then they will be happy, or winning the lottery will make them a happier person (studies show that big wins initially make a big impact in your life but does not improve your sense of well being or general dispostion as a person in the long term-if your always unhappy, bad at managing finances and don’t trust people-a big lottery win will make your problems worse.) The bottom line is that happiness comes from within and you cannot expect something outside of yourself to be happy-not another person, event, or shiny new item. Here is a list that could help you to increase your happiness in life.

1. Create a list of gratitude

Sometimes we forget the things we are grateful for in our lives. By taking a moment and simply listing all the things we are grateful for in a journal can make us feel instantly happier. Writing letters of gratitude have shown to increase happiness, life satisfaction and decrease signs of depression.

2. Go on a vacation

The lasting memory of taking a vacation with loved ones as opposed to buying possessions are shown to increase happiness in the long run. Even the act of planning a trip increases happiness levels. Vacations also boost creativity as the extended time and space to relax makes us come up with creative ideas instead of frantically finishing work or trying to solve problems. Vacations also boost productivity as you are motivated to get projects finished so you can enjoy your vacation.

3. Steer Clear of Toxic People

Toxic people who drain you of your energy are sure to make you unhappy. Negative people who always see the glass as half full waste time complaining about what could or should be instead of trying to improve their situation. Misery loves company and you are the average of the five people closest to you so choose your company wisely!

4. Exercise

Studies show as little as 10 minutes of physical activity can improve your mood. So no excuses of not having enough time to exercise! Even the smallest activities such as a brisk walk can dramatically improve your happiness in the long run. Other activities such as yoga and weight training can be also be a fun activity that can boost your mood.

5. Spending time with Friends and Family

One of the biggest regrets people have on their death bed are not spending enough time with their loved ones. The strengths of our relationships shows how happy we are in general. People who are married with families also show to have higher levels of happiness. Spending time with friends and family makes us happier in general and makes us have a more optimistic view on life.

So there you have it! Just a few tips to improve your happiness.