Our world is centered on acquiring possessions and gaining power or recognition, thinking these are important to a more prosperous life. If we learn to appreciate the simplest things that life has provided us, we immediately put ourselves on path out of the 'rat race' and moving independently forward to a life where we are truly in control.

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within." - Romona L Anderson

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor." – Benjamin Franklin

If you often feel slightly depressed, unhappy and unmotivated; then you may need to re-evaluate your unhappy habits. There are ways to assist alleviate unhappy feelings by instilling some happy habits.

1. Smile. The smile that begins as an effort and a pretense quickly grows to become genuine and, given time, a habit of happiness. When you go through the activities of your day with a smile on your face, your outlook on life naturally becomes more positive. "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." - Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master

2. Breathe deeply and slowly. Focus your entire attention on each in- and out-breath. Imagine drawing new clean energy in through the top of your head on each in-breath, and expelling old stale energy out the soles of your feet on each out-breath.

3. Tidy up clutter. According to Feng Shui, the key for happiness is an organized home and workplace without clutter - bringing positive energy and good vibrations.

4. Make a happy list… consisting of things that lead to a happier you! This could be taking a bubble bath, drinking a big cup of hot herbal tea, eating ice cream, relaxing with your favorite book or whatever else takes your fancy. The next time you are feeling blue, pull out the list and pick an activity that will lift your spirits. "Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product." - Eleanor Roosevelt

5. Take a quiet walk by yourself. Focus on each step & on your breathing. As stray thoughts enter your mind, thank each one, quickly release the thought & return to a focus on your breathing & your steps.

6. Count your blessings. Make a gratitude list. You have thousands of reasons to be thankful. Be thankful for those many people who assist/serve you. Make a list of those people you depend upon. Don't forget those people who grow and deliver your food, keep your electricity & telephone running, provide emergency medical care and protect the safety of your community & your nation. "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." - Frederick Keonig

7. Forgive someone for something right now. Release the resentment and anger. Telling the other person that you forgive them is optional – a bonus. "Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past and is, therefore, the means for correcting our misperceptions." - Gerald Jampolsky

8. Make a change for the better. For example, if you are always griping about how awful your boss and job are, do something that will move you in the direction of a new career or position. Consider taking a night class to learn some new skills or updating your resume. When you start heading in a positive direction, there is a good chance that you will be happier in the long run. "The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession." – Mark Twain

9. Stretch your body. For example, stand & hold your arms out to your sides – forming a cross. Gently bend each hand back at the wrist until the fingers point straight upward. Twist each hand and arm in a wringing motion as if you were operating a screwdriver.

10. Turn on happy music and dance. Don't stop until you're tired. Choose music that makes you want to keep moving such as Dance, Fitness, Latin or Rock music.

11. Spend some time with a furry friend. If you don't have your own, borrow a cat or dog to love today.

12. Be of service. Find someone who has worse troubles than you & do something nice for them today. "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." - Albert Schweitzer

13. Have a conversation with God (or whatever you call your Higher Power). Approach the conversation with an attitude of gratitude rather than neediness.