When this listener called and asked what my secret to happiness was, I was flattered. I think I may struggle with it as much as many, but the truth is, I decided a long time ago that I would be happy. If you listen to this conversation, I think that is the only thing I left out. I decided to be happy.

I saw this article about the habits of happy people and really wanted to share it. There are so many of these things that I do already, and others that I think will work, so I am going to try them. A couple of my favorites follow.

4. Express Gratitude For What You Have

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.

Just having air to breathe is a blessing. We're not even talking about food, clothing and shelter. If we have someone or more than one person who loves us, we have so much for which to be grateful.

8. Avoid Making Excuses
It’s easy to blame others for your life’s failures, but doing so means you’re unlikely to rise past them. Happy people take responsibility for their mistakes and missteps, then use the failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

Taking responsibility for everything gives us all the power. Blaming, making excuses, or not taking responsibility takes all our power away.

1. Let Go Of Grudges

Forgiving and forgetting is necessary for your own happiness, as holding a grudge means you’re also holding onto resentment, anger, hurt and other negative emotions that are standing in the way of your own happiness. Letting go of a grudge frees you from negativity and allows more space for positive emotions to fill in.

When I sought help for my drinking problem, the first thing we did was to work on resentments. They are considered a major key and block for people like me with addictions.

18. Exercise

Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.