From The Root:
Happiness has become a hot topic. In the last several years, dozens of books about how to be happy have hit the market, including The Happiness Project (an Oprah fave) and a re-issue of The Art of Happiness by no less an authority than the Dalai Lama. Now, Dr. Ian Smith has turned his attention from losing weight to gaining joy in his new book, Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life (St. Martin's Press). The New York Times best-selling author of The 4 Day Diet and The Fat Smash Diet and host of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, questioned his own happiness a few years ago. Dr. Ian, as he's called, had an epiphany after admitting to himself–while on his honeymoon–that he was a PDA-junkie who was working way too much and too hard.
“If you had asked all my family, friends and coworkers whether I was a happy person, the unanimous answer would be yes,” he says. “Some would mention how hard I worked and how busy I always seemed to be, but they would agree that I was a happy person. But now, I was second-guessing what I had taken as an absolute truth for so long.” In his book, Smith points to a number of ways to measure happiness–and none of them, according to research, is about a fat paycheck, a big house, a nice car, good sex, success at work, winning the lottery or a spa vacation. Instead, Smith has scoured research on topics like positive psychology and happiness studies, and culled lessons in happy living. His own first step was to get less busy. Below, he offers his suggestions for slowing down and getting happier. His advice isn't earth-shatteringly new; maybe you've heard it before. But this time, try it: