Happiness is the purpose of life. Despite this, only 1 in 3 Americans say they are very happy. The truth is - you control your happiness. Yep! Whether you like to admit it or not, there's no one else responsible for your happiness or well-being other than you. You might say “that’s easier said than done.” But frankly, you can contribute to your own happiness to a large degree. Here are 5 secrets to happiness

1. Friendliness First

5 Secrets To Happiness

5 Secrets To Happiness

Friendliness is about offering good humor and warmth to those around you.

It's about being willing to take the first move socially while understanding that others may be a bit slow to warm up and that the rewards for friendliness are not always instantly enjoyed.

Humans are social creatures and being kind is more likely to help you build your “tribe” than showing indifference to or disinterest in the people that you might someday need for assistance or support.

2. Make Cheerfulness Your Default Demeanor

5 Secrets To Happiness

5 Secrets To Happiness

A lot of old songs encourage us to “smile when your heart is breaking,” or “don’t worry, be happy” or “put on a happy face”. Most of us may feel a bit confused about why we're always encouraging people to “lie” to themselves.

Being able to give a sunny disposition to the world, irrespective of your inner state actually encourages you to physically feel better!

Smiles are contagious, so if we are able to find the energy to offer our own smile to others, even when our inner world is falling apart, we're going to feel better when our smile is returned.

Seeing someone offer you an honest smile has actually been discovered to be mentally and emotionally healing.

3. When You’re Feeling Lonely, Do This . . .

5 Secrets To Happiness

5 Secrets To Happiness

Close your eyes for a moment. Now, envision being with someone you love and who cares about you and who is not here with you today. Then, imagine this person giving you a warm smile. Once you have locked that image in place, take a deep breath and gently open your eyes. Did you notice you were smiling just reminiscing about that special person’s smile? Did you feel the warmth around their heart, like a hug, as you imagined that person? Yeah, it works almost every time!

Letting yourself smile in the midst of difficulties is what brings a change in perception.

4. Be Compassionate

5 Secrets To Happiness

5 Secrets To Happiness

Being compassionate to others is another charitable act that positively impacts the giver. When we accept others’ weaknesses or cut others slack for their own mistakes or failures, we're actually valuing humanity over someone else’s personal flaws.

No one is at 100% of their game every day. Nevertheless, if we accept the shortfall of another, the windfall for us is a happier life.

5. Offer Gratitude

5 Secrets To Happiness

5 Secrets To Happiness

Wherever you are in life and whatever you have, you can find some reason to be thankful. Recognizing your own good fortune – no matter how seemingly slight or minimal – can truly enhance your overall wellbeing.

Studies have found that being truly appreciative of what you have can produce important physical benefits – we sleep better and enjoy better relationships!

Furthermore, researchers have also found that our level of gratitude is inversely proportional to our level of depressed feelings or sadness.

The more grateful you are in life, the better the chances are that you'll actually enjoy what you have!