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6 Simple Ways to Lead a Happier Life

Canada is the world’s fifth happiest country according to the UN’s World Happiness Report. Find your own road to bliss with these six mood-improving habits.

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Be Kind

Performing regular and spontaneous acts of kindness lifts your mood instantly and has long-term positive effects.
What doesn’t work
: Money! It can’t buy you happiness, because our emotional states are rarely tied to things we own.

Still, there’s one instance where cash does equal contentement: when we spend it on others.

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Meditation has proven to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

What doesn’t work: Just thinking positive. Recent studies demonstrate equal merit in our ability to see the glass half empty – the more we embrace uncertainty and the possibility of failure, the more at peace we are with fate.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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Have Clear Goals

Working towards your goals (not just achieving them) triggers positive feelings while suppressing negative ones.

Happiness myth debunked: You’re either born happy or you’re not. Only 50 per cent of our happiness is genetic. The other half is learned, which means we can take steps towards becoming happier – even later in life.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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Put Important People First

Making personal relationships a priority will help you stay strong in hard times.

Did you know? When we’re happy and relaxed, we’re better able to digest our food.

(Photo: Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock)

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Stay True to Yourself

Achievements will be sweeter if you’re living according to your values, say experts.

A quote from Gandhi: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

(Photo: Stockbyte/Thinkstock)

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Pretend… at First

   Studies have shown that the physical acts of smiling and laughing – even if you’re faking – can trigger genuinely happy emotions.

Did you know? People who rate their happiness levels as high tend to have lower heart rates.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)