There is no shortage of happiness advice out there, from meditation to exercise to finding new ways to experience nature and awe. But of all these tips, which should you try first?

Your might think it's best to tackle the change that will have the most impact, and common sense suggests that's probably whichever is the biggest (and most difficult). But according to useful new research highlighted recently by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, for most people that's actually the exact wrong approach.

Lazy is good.

Apparently, a handful of new studies all point in the same direction -- racking up easy initial wins is a better bet when it comes to improving your mental state than trying to make big changes right off the bat.

"By going after the low-hanging fruit of happiness, you can build up reserves of confidence and good feelings that may help you tackle the trickier skills later," writes the Center's Tchiki Davis.

Or in other words, when it comes to starting to live a happier life, science says lazy is good.

The easiest happiness habits to start

So what exactly are the "low-hanging" fruit of happiness habits? There's plenty of research on that question too. Rather than opt for starting a rigorous new exercise routine or trying to establish a meditation practice, both of which can be challenging, Davis suggests those looking to get the maximum mood boost for the least effort give these habits a try:

  • Savoring. Make it a habit to take a moment and fully appreciate the little pleasures of life, like a warm cup of tea or a beautiful view. A simple savoring ritual can help you shut out the mental noise and focus on small, beautiful things.

  • Gratitude. Who doesn't like counting their blessings? A straightforward gratitude practice like writing down three good things that happen to you each day can have a huge impact on your outlook with next to no effort.

  • Visualization. It sounds a little hokey to some, but imagining a better version of your life improves both mood and motivation, and that really does make a happier future more likely. And visualization requires nothing but your brain and a few spare moments.

All of these habits are simple to start and likely to make you significantly happier, but don't feel like you have to pick just one. In fact, testing out a variety of approaches to improving your mental well-being will probably give you the best shot of finding happiness habits you will actually stick with, Davis suggests.

"Using a greater variety of practices, regardless of what the practices are, may also be beneficial," she reports, citing several studies.

So experiment with many practices to find the one that works the best for you. But whatever you do, don't try to be a hero and radically reshape your life from day one. When it comes to something as notoriously difficult as forming new habits, the science is clear -- accepting your laziness is the best possible foundation for success.