In the real world, we often see happiness as a potential instead of a certainty. We see it as a distant dream not something that already is. But happiness guru Dr. Robert Holden believes that happiness is in our DNA. In his best-selling book Shift Happens, he says, “Remember today that happiness is not an it! Happiness is not in things; it is in you. Happiness is your inner light that has no off switch.”

Claim back your happiness with these steps:

1. Subscribe to a happiness feed.
In this digital age, daily inspiration can easily be found online. Subscribe to positive pages such as Tiny Buddha, The Happiness Project, or any of your favorite blogs! Scrolling through your feed every morning before you go to work helps prep you for a productive and positive day ahead.

2. Surround yourself with happy people.
Have you ever noticed how pendulums, no matter how they start swinging, always end up falling in synchronicity? Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens called it entrainment, and according to Martha Beck at Oprah.com, people also experience the same thing. “One rage-aholic can fill an entire office with anger, while a truly happy person can lighten the mood for everyone around her,” she wrote. Who do you think you should hang out with?

3. Get a dog.
No, it’s not just because dogs do the cutest things (no offense, cat people)! According to a 2009 study by Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Japan, pet owners who stare into their dogs' eyes are more likely to have increased oxytocin levels, the hormone associated with happiness.

4. Be more kind and generous.
There can never be enough good deeds in one day. You can treat your officemates out for coffee or you can donate your time to charity—either way, being generous and kind can contribute to your overall happiness. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Social Psychology, as featured on Greater Good, shows that people who perform good deeds experience a significant boost of happiness.

5. Experiment with aromatherapy
Certain smells trigger certain memories and emotions. The smell of baked bread, for example, could remind of your childhood, so it’s not really too much of a stretch to consider that smells may also be linked to happiness. It’s all a matter of finding the right scent for you. According to the Examiner.com, Ylang Ylang decreases feelings of anxiety and depression while grapefruit essential oil and lavender can help you repel office stress.

(Photo by Gabiearodriguez via Flickr Creative Commons)

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