It's hard to say what makes people happy because we are all very different. It also could be a lot of things, such as health, relationships at home, hobbies or spirituality. View pictures of people in the pursuit of happiness here.
Are you as happy as these three women? Can you tell what it is that makes them so happy? It's hard to say, but it could be their friendship or bond. It also could be a lot of other things, like their health, relationships at home, their hobbies or their spirituality. Read on to learn more about the pursuit of happiness.
Family and friends can make you happy. Well, usually; you know that saying about how you can choose your friends, but you can't ...This couple is happy, and studies show that most married people are happier than their single peers.
Spending quality time with family, like this mother and daughter pair, can add to your happiness. Sometimes we get so caught up in the business of life that we forget to just sit down to talk -- and listen.
Being together also can be productive, or give one family or generation member a chance to share with another. And these three ladies are adding another happiness quotient: activities like gardening, even alone, help give you a sense of satisfaction.
Playing a musical instrument brings many people happiness. Plus, it's another activity family members can do together if they like. OK, not all family bands stayed together, but if you keep it light, it might be a lot of fun.
How many times have you said, "I used to" of "I wish I"? Well, "It's time to." Take up the creative outlet you've dreamed about. Make time, save the money, whatever it takes. And if you don't like the first thing you try, check out something else. It's never too late to learn.
Speaking of time, how about scheduling some exercise? This man is running along the Oregon coast on a gorgeous day. How can that not make you happy? Exercise also releases endorphins, which are happy little hormones.
Running might not make you or your joints happy, but just get outdoors. Get in touch with nature alone or with someone close for the spiritual connection, or just get out there to enjoy the clean air and beauty around you. It's guaranteed to make you smile. Unless you forget the bug spray.
If you really want to get away, consider a vacation. This couple is lounging on a cruise, a great stress reliever. But seriously, if you go to the tropics, don't forget the bug spray, or any required shots. Maybe some Dramamine for the boat ride ...
It's not the middle of the Atlantic or the forest, but these two and their loyal friend are spending quiet time outdoors. You can relax even in the city. And a little nap in the middle of the day never hurt anyone, unless they're late getting back to work. Getting enough sleep helps keep you happy.
And what's wrong with your own patio or deck? The point is to stop, de-stress, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, the breeze, a little birdsong. Spending time in reflection usually is good for us. Read on for a few more ideas.
Meditation is a popular, formal method of reflection and relaxation. You can practice it just about anywhere, even right outside that stressful office.
Any kind of reflection can help you pursue happiness. Journaling helps many people record their thoughts, hopes and dreams. There are no grades or bad ideas, just you and your thoughts. But don't take self-reflection too far.
This is self-reflection gone bad. Not because of how he looks, but because he's so concerned about it. Accepting yourself, your body image, and all the baggage (physical, emotional and other sorts) is essential to being happy. The happiest people accept themselves.
Not to contradict, but that doesn't mean you can't -- or shouldn't -- change things that make you unhappy. Clutter and disorganization plague many people and it's not until they declutter and take control that they can be happy.
You might spend most of your time at work, so it's important to love what you do. If your work makes you unhappy, chances are the frustration you feel bleeds into other areas of your life. You may not have a choice of employer or vocation, but if you do, make a change.
Whether you work or not, you still can find satisfaction and happiness helping others. In this photo, AmeriCorps volunteer Jessica Peter assists with emergency efforts due to flooding in Poplar Bluff, Mo. Studies have shown that more young people volunteer than their parents do.
So volunteer to walk an elderly neighbor's dog or for that matter, walk your own. It's a great combination -- dogs, exercise and the outdoors all help make you happier.
You see, happiness is not dependent on any one factor, and there's no absolute prescription. Some people pursue it. And for some, it comes easier than for others.
Whether happiness comes easily for you or you feel like you're constantly chasing contentment, the real trick comes in relaxing and balancing acceptance of who you are and what you have with a few new activities that might add to the happiness factor.