Happiness Habits I have a series of tricks I use to try and be happier in the moment. At first, they were silly and difficult and required a lot of attention, but now some of them have become second nature. By doing them religiously, I’ve managed to increase my happiness level quite a bit. The obvious one is meditation—insight meditation. Working toward a specific purpose on it, which is to try and understand how my mind works.  Just being very aware in every moment. If I catch myself judging somebody, I can stop myself and say, “What’s the positive interpretation of this?” I used to get annoyed about things. Now I always look for the positive side of it. It used to take a rational effort. It used to take a few seconds for me to come up with a positive. Now I can do it sub-second.  I try to get more sunlight on my skin. I look up and smile.  Every time you catch yourself desiring something, say, “Is it so important to me I’ll be unhappy unless this goes my way?” You’re going to find with the vast majority of things it’s just not true.  I think dropping caffeine made me happier. It makes me more of a stable person.  I think working out every day made me happier. If you have peace of body, it’s easier to have peace of mind.  The more you judge, the more you separate yourself. You’ll feel good for an instant, because you feel good about yourself, thinking you’re better than someone. Later, you’re going to feel lonely. Then, you see negativity everywhere. The world just reflects your own feelings back at you.  Tell your friends you’re a happy person. Then, you’ll be forced to conform to it. You’ll have a consistency bias. You have to live up to it. Your friends will expect you to be a happy person.  Recover time and happiness by minimizing your use of these three smartphone apps: phone, calendar, and alarm clock.  The more secrets you have, the less happy you’re going to be.  Caught in a funk? Use meditation, music, and exercise to reset your mood. Then choose a new path to commit emotional energy for rest of day.  Hedonic adaptation is more powerful for man-made things (cars, houses, clothes, money) than for natural things (food, sex, exercise).  No exceptions—all screen activities linked to less happiness, all non-screen activities linked to more happiness.  A personal metric: how much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest?  It’s the news’ job to make you anxious and angry. But its underlying scientific, economic, education, and conflict trends are positive. Stay optimistic.  Politics, academia, and social status are all zero-sum games. Positive-sum games create positive people.  Increase serotonin in the brain without drugs: Sunlight, exercise, positive thinking, and tryptophan.