In a 34-year-long survey of more than 25,000 people, those that described themselves as very happy were 21 percent more likely to read a newspaper and they watched about 3 hours less television than those that were unhappy. "Happier people are more active and engage their minds and bodies," says John P. Robinson, a professor of sociology at the Univ. of Maryland.
To be even happier: Join a book club. The survey also reports that the happiest people socialize with friends, neighbors and family.
DRINK A WARM BEVERAGE: You are significantly nicer to strangers after just holding a hot drink for 10 sec., according to a 2008 study in the journal "Science." Researchers believe that physical warmth triggers physiological warmth.
EVEN HAPPIER: Sprinkle on spices. Adding cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves to that warm drink -- they have all been studied as natural antidepressants.
FLOAT IN THE TUB: After resting in a salted bath, patients' anxiety and depression were lessened by 1/4, according to a Swedish study published in the "International Journal of Stress Management." Their levels of prolactin, a hormone that contributes to relaxation, rose by as much as 33 percent.
EVEN HAPPIER: Wear ear plugs and an eye mask to achieve full relaxation. Eliminate external stimuli by blocking out all distractions. White noise machines do work!