Happy woman
Photo: Bogdan Ionita/iStock/Thinkstock
When was the last time you took inventory on your happiness? Find out how you stack up with Dr. Robert Holden's Be Happy Index (or. B.H.I.). Once you have your results, you can examine 10 different areas—self, relationships, work, attitude, gratitude, forgiveness, humor, health, spirituality and now—to increase your happiness, starting right now, with this step-by-step guide.
Self: I know who I am, and I like myself.

Happiness is your original nature—it is what you first experienced before you began to identify with a body, a family role, some school grades, your nationality, your business card, your Social Security number and any other labels you keep. True happiness is being faithful to your true nature. The better you know yourself—what it is you love, what inspires you, what you are made of—the happier you will be. When you forget who you are, something very strange happens—you begin to search for happiness!

Happiness is your spiritual DNA. It is what you experience when you accept yourself, when you relax and when you stop neurosing about being a "size zero," about "why he hasn't called" and about "what I should be doing with my life." You will increase your happiness score significantly if you can begin to accept that the happiness you hope "to get" after you find your true partner, get the dream job, buy the ideal home and earn the right money, is already in you.

Joy is the organic state of your soul. It is not something you achieve; it is something you accept.

Next: Why it's important to connect with others

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