To be sure, happiness (interestingly) is a complex topic. There are differing opinions of what comprises happiness, why people are happy or not happy, and how to foster levels of increased happiness. Some believe that happiness is a matter of chemical reactions in the brain, a multifaceted array of influences that are beyond our intentional cognitive influence. Others take a stance that happiness stems from learned behaviors, approaches, and adopted human paradigms for making sense of the world.

Health and happiness are core tenets of healthful living. As the Healthful Living website expands, we'll invite deeper exploration of the topic of happiness. For now, we'd like to present a culled down list of our favorite "how to" ways to happiness. Each suggested "way" is accompanied by an actionable personal "workshop" item to help bring that item to life.

While there are few guarantees in life, there are strategies for success– as there are ingredients to any recipe. Please ponder, consider, and enjoy these recipe items.

Release all negative thoughts of the past and all worries about the future... Live in the now.
What's a negative thought or worry, that if you released it right now would positively impact your happiness?

Spend time with positive, energetic people. You all contribute to a more loving universe.
Who's a positive, or energetic person who brings happiness to your life and in what ways does this person do that?

Express yourself freely through singing, dancing, playing, laughing, and spontaneously enjoying life.
Which of these activities do you prefer and enjoy, or which do you wish you'd engage more in?

Release all patterns of criticism – with respect to yourself and others. You'll be much happier as a result.
If you just couldn't deal with this one... who do you think is most deserving of criticism right now? And why?

Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing every once in a while. You'll find that you have renewed vigor and energy.
If you had an entire day...to do absolutely nothing – what would you do with it?

Be open to new opinions and viewpoints no matter what age you are. Closing your mind impedes your spiritual and emotional growth.
What's an experience that you recall that really expanded your viewpoint, or perspective of life?

Bring a consciousness of peace, love, and wisdom with you wherever you go. Your natural charisma will attract others of like mind.
What is it about your natural charisma that others like?

Restore your connection with Nature by taking a walk in a park, a forest, or by the sea. All things become clear when you commune with the natural elements.
What's a favorite place where you can "commune" and what do you particularly like about it.

Send love to every part of your beautiful body. You are a perfect reflection of Divine Wisdom.
What part of your body truly reflects your Divine Wisdom?

Let go of all the "shoulds" in your life and just do what comes naturally.
Is there any area of life where you just "should" all over the place?

Contribute to the world by being a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a student, and a creator – you have many roles to play, and you can perform them all well.
Which of these roles do you particularly find uplifting, and why?

Perform random acts of kindness today. When you do good for others, it makes you happier.
Do you perform random acts of kindness – if so, what kinds of things, or have you been the recipient of a random act of kindness?

Love and respect your friends and family members, just as they are, and they will reciprocate.
Do you have a friend or relative, with whom doing this is a challenge for you?

Give 100 percent at work, in your relationships, and in your recreational activities. Pour your all into everything you do.
What do you really enjoy giving 100% to, and why?

When someone does something nice for you, turn around and do something nice for someone else. That's the domino effect at its best!
Do you believe in this Domino Effect? Why?

No matter what age you are, know that you can always embark on a new career, learn a new skill, take up a new hobby, or start a new relationship.
If you had the choice, which you do, what new career, skill, hobby, or relationship would you like to foster?

Feed your soul by association with spiritually minded, positive individuals and by reading books and listing to tapes by enlightened authors.
What's something that you've seen or read lately that was food for your soul?

Remember that every seeming obstacle is actually a wonderful challenge, and that you know how to handle all situations with ease.
What do you think about that? Are obstacles wonderful challenges to overcome, or are they just a major source of frustration?

Reach out into your community and volunteer, donate to charity, and counsel others whenever possible. You'll feel good when you help out!
What's one particular time when you really enjoyed helping out?

Call friends and family members you haven't spoken to in a long time just to tell them you're thinking of them. This makes all of you feel happy!
Who haven't you called in a long time, and why not? And will you feel happy after speaking with them?

Know that you can accomplish anything you set your mind and heart to do. There's a whole world of opportunity available to you!
If there was one huge thing that you would like to accomplish in your life – what would it be?
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