By Sunny Simon

It happened again yesterday. While doing some volunteer work at a conference, I met Coach Valerie Alexander selling her book, “Happiness …as a Second Language.” One glance at the cover and I was hooked. As I rummaged through my purse for cash, Valerie presented me with a bright lemon-yellow motivational wristband declaring, “Speak Happiness.”  I offered up my most gracious smile. In my book, an inspirational band beats a gold bangle.

Full disclosure: I am a junkie, to be specific, a happiness junkie. Whenever I find myself near a book about happiness, I must take it home and add it to my library. Of course I know how to practice joy and bliss. On most days, that comes naturally.  But I delight in the study of happiness and aspire to one day earn an honorary degree in the subject. 

As a life and career coach it is sometime my responsibility to guide clients back on the path to their happy zone. When pain and discord enters our lives like an unwanted guest, feelings of contentment vanish. Gloomy days turn into dark nights and unless we make a concerted effort to get back to the light depression sets in. Mood disorders gone unchecked can influence chronic health conditions. Consequently, happiness is strongly linked to good health thus the popular cliché, “laughter is the best medicine.”

In her book, Alexander writes about achieving permanent happiness. I’m not certain we can always achieve an everlasting buoyant frame of mind, but I do believe a solid understanding of techniques that help negate our blue moods is of value.

So when we are stuck in reverse, what are some things that pull us out of the doldrums? My first go to is to focus on finding one positive in a negative situation. Stay with it until you can find one. Next, shift to something that needs your attention. Glimmers of happiness return we when get productive taking our minds off our troubles.

When time permits, get on the move. Kick those endorphins into gear by a solid workout. Or, immerse yourself in nature. Head out the door with a notepad and jot down or photograph any sign of surrounding beauty. Want an activity more energizing? Turn up the music and rock out with your favorite playlist.

This week invest some time into understanding how to create and cultivate a positive mindset. Get serious about the study of happiness. I guarantee it’s worth doing your homework on the subject.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog,