Research has pinpointed ways to feel good even in the worst of times
How can we truly feel happy right now, in this moment when our 401(k)'s and house values are tanking? When our jobs are threatened or already lost? U . S . News posed this question to leading happiness researchers to find out what tools we can employ to stay upbeat in gloomy days. While it's true that some lucky folks are born with sunny dispositions, others, according to the latest studies, can learn to be happy. How? "We need to move away from the concept of trying to fill our days with frequent pleasurable moments and fewer negative moments," explains Todd Kashdan, a professor of positive psychology at George Mason University and author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. "What truly provides satisfaction is having a meaning and purpose in life, which is doubly important in the midst of this current economic nightmare." Ten other secrets:
1. Spend $20 on an experience rather than an item.
2. Pursue meaningful life goals.
3. Be open and receptive to what's happening right now, in the moment.
4. Nurture meaningful relationships.
5. Recognize your strengths.
6. Count your blessings.
7. Keep an optimism journal.
8. Seek advice from your neighbor.
9. Get out and sweat.
10. Do unto others.