We've all had that no good, terrible, really bad day, when coffee seems to be magnetically attracted to our white shirts and everyone else's mission in life seems to be to make our day as miserable as possible.

The secret of highly successful people isn't that they magically avoid having bad days, but that they find effective ways to avoid being consumed by their inner Eeyore.

In every success story there is a person who derives happiness from the worst day imaginable.

Here are some ways you can do the same.


Smiling does more than make you look happy. It tricks your body into thinking you're happy, and releases a flood of feel-good neurochemicals into your body in the process.

Faking it 'til you make it has other benefits as well. Think about walking into an office full of angry people. Did it bring you down a little?

If you answered "yes," it's because visible moods are contagious, including smiling. So no matter how bad a morning you're having, try to walk into the office smiling. The whole office will smile along with you.

Tech isn't always helpful

Arianna Huffington once said that we take better care of our smartphones than we do ourselves, and she was right. The average smartphone user checks his or her device every six and a half minutes. That's 150 times a day.

The media mogul had to reinvent her life after collapsing from exhaustion, and she found that unplugging from her devices was a key component to finding happiness.

Checking your email and phone constantly creates unnecessary stress and can eat away at your happiness. So if you don't need to use it, put your phone in a drawer till the end of the day. If having it is necessary for work, limit the amount of times you check it to once every half hour. I do, and it's made a huge difference.

Pay it forward

President Obama said that "if you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope."

That's more than just a pretty speech. Multiple scientific studies have shown that paying it forward not only makes others feel better, but creates long-lasting feelings of joy within yourself, and can provide that much-needed boost to your overall mood.

Bring some donuts into work. Offer people coffee. Offer to help with a project. Do what you can to get the whole team beaming, and they'll do the same for you.

Take a breather

During a hectic day, taking a break is usually the last thing on our minds. But even the US Women's Soccer team needs some bench time every once and a while, and so do you.

According to Sharon Salzberg, the author of Real Happiness at Work, "without some breathing space in the face of constant demands, we won't be creative, competent, or cheerful."

The little time taken off from work is well worth the investment. Put everything down for a few minutes and take a walk, read your favorite book--whatever it takes to get your mind off work for a few minutes. I promise, whatever you were working on before your little breather will still be there when you get back - and you might even have your next big idea when you return.

Business opportunities are like buses

If you think being a successful entrepreneur means saying "yes" to every opportunity, you're doing it wrong. The best entrepreneurs take smart, calculated risks instead of embracing every opportunity that presents itself.

If the idea of passing up on these opportunities fills you with FOMO (fear of missing out), just take a tip from Sir Richard Branson.

"Business opportunities are like buses," he once said. "There's always another one coming."

Rather than dwelling on the opportunities that pass you by, realize that there's another one right down the road.

Don't compete with others

"Comparison is the thief of joy," Theodore Roosevelt once said, and it makes me wonder if he ever worked on Wall Street. I saw intense competition make people constantly look over their shoulder, which ate away at everyone's happiness. That's why I only set the bar for myself, and you should do the same.

Feeling competition from others is never beneficial. Hopefully, you're already trying your hardest, and negative thoughts will never help you perform better.


I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but nobody will take the time to shower you with praise. That's why you have to do it yourself.

Most people in business will only set aside their precious minutes if they see you doing something wrong, or if they want something from you. Sprinkling your ego with dew drops of praise is the furthest thing from their minds.

You're doing great things, so take the time to recognize it. By 5:00 every day, write down three things that you accomplished. They don't have to be life-changing, just good things that deserve recognition.

Re-read yesterday's entry every morning. If you're feeling low on confidence you can read through a couple of weeks' worth of your many successes and gain confidence and perspective.

Psychologists call this journaling, and it's a proven way to boost your happiness. Start using it today.

Do you have happiness boosting tips that I haven't mentioned? Share them with me on Twitter or Facebook with #HappinessHacks and lets start a happy conversation!