10 Things All Happy People Do

A woman on the phone laughingOur daily responsibilities and worries weigh us down, making us tune out the spontaneous events that could bring us deeper joy and greater health.

A substantial body of related research indicates that people with a sunnier outlook recover more quickly from illness and live longer—7 1/2 years on average, according to a large Yale University study—than people who have bleaker views.

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Yet it’s a skill that few people have mastered, says Loyola University Chicago social psychologist Fred B. Bryant, PhD. The reason is simple: We’re busy, and we have a lot on our minds.

But here’s how to discover pleasure and satisfaction in everyday moments, even when life isn’t exactly cooperating: