March 20 is the happiest day of the year, or at least it should be since it's International Day of Happiness. In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.” More and more people are recognizing the positive impact happiness can have on a society and realizing that progress should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy. For that it is important to adopt habits that make our day to day better and even improve our health!

1.   Be thankful and actively express it: Some people keep a ‘gratitude diary’ and write things they’re grateful for each night; others just look on the bright side all day focusing on what they do have instead of what they don’t. The important thing is to express it. Thank your loved ones, congratulate people when they do a good job, give sincere compliments, and actively remind yourself how lucky you are by enjoying the little things.

2.   Surround yourself with the right people and invest in them: Although this sounds obvious, it’s much more common than we think that people spend time with acquaintances they don’t really care about or invest time and energy in people who are toxic and negative. Distance yourself from these people and invest your time, efforts and love in those who bring you joy and growth.

3.   Give to others: While giving is considered a selfless act, it can also be more beneficial for the giver than it is for the receiver. In addition, giving can remind us how fortunate we are compared to those in need, while reafirming your self-worth.

4.   Don’t procrastinate: Dragging things around means added anxiety to your every day life. Getting things done, no matter how tedious or painful they'll be, always provides relief and helps you feel more relaxed.

5.   Exercise: Of course we all know exercising is good for you, but keep in mind that it’s not only good for your health, but it’s good for your mood since it stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. In addition, doing something for yourself always brings satisfaction because, as L'Oreal would put it, you're worth it.

6.   Bring yourself back to the moment: This might be a total cliché but living in the present is crucial to our happiness, mostly because thinking about the future either brings worry or high expectations, about things that might never live up to either, and thinking about the past means hanging on to things you can no longer change.

7.   Be honest: Lying is like procrastinating in a way. Each lie is like adding a rock to this sack you’ll be carrying around for a long time. Being truthful to others and yourself, literally takes a load off your shoulders since the less you lie, the less you have to hide.

8.   Avoid excuses at all costs: Using excuses all the time might seem like the easy way out of things, but in reality all we’re doing is telling ourselves we have no control over our lives. Again, blaming others might feel comfortable but stepping up and taking control over things will make you feel strong, empowered and therefore happier.

9.   Don’t sweat the small stuff: The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was, “pick your battles,” and that goes hand in hand with not worrying or fighting for stuff that doesn’t matter. Once you've learned to distinguish the small things from the important ones, take a moment to see the big picture before you worry or take offense over the ones that won't transcend.

10.  Learn to trust your gut: A lot of times we get into things even when we have a bad feeling about them; but by learning to tell the difference between normal anxiety and that feeling that something’s just not right, we start making better choices and therefore star leading a life that’s more in tune with what makes us happy.

Bonus: Laugh until you think it's funny.