Happiness Makes a Difference

Happiness is good for your body and mind (and it feels good too).

Follow Your Unique Path

Each person's path to happiness is unique, but knowing the basics can help. Strategies for feeling focused, using your strengths, shifting your thoughts, appreciating your life, and doing the things that support your wellbeing all contribute to happiness.

Choose Your Starting Point

Calm Your Mind

The more we can bring ourselves to the present moment and calm our bodies and minds, the more we can make purposeful choices in life.

Try these pathways to practice getting present: 

  • Senses: Eat a sour candy, wash your hands, place your hands flat on the counter and breathe.
  • Breathing: Talk yourself through slow, deep breaths...inhale, pause, exhale, pause, inhale.
  • Tiny distractions: Count backwards by 7, name all the blue things in the room, recite the lyrics to your favorite song.

Take 5 Minutes to Calm Your Mind






Calm Body, Calm Mind

Try More Grounding Strategies



person sitting on a couch wearing headphones and petting a dog

Feel Energized & Confident

Feel more energized and confident by using your unique strengths and taking a holistic approach to self-care. Start wherever you are by naming at least one strength you have and one action that supports your wellbeing. Then, do something about it. Be intentional about using that strength and schedule that wellness activity sometime next 24 hours and notice how you feel.

Nurture Well-Rounded Wellbeing

You're multidimensional. Your self-care should be too. Research backs this up! Folx who incorporate all the basic building blocks of happiness into their daily life and live in alignment with their unique strengths enjoy more happiness and less stress. 

Try It Yourself

Build Happiness In

PERMA-V represents the basic building blocks of happiness. Here's what it means:

  • positive emotion
  • engagement
  • positive relationships
  • meaning
  • accomplishment
  • vitality

All of these areas play a role in your happiness and wellbeing. What's one thing you can do to build more happiness into your daily life?

Take a Bird's Eye View

Zoom out and look at these domains of wellbeing:

  • Academic
  • Emotional
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Interpersonal
  • Occupational
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Stage of Life

What's working well for you? What areas could use a little attention?



a group of people sitting on a couch playing video games and eating potato chips

Talk to Yourself Like You'd Talk to a Friend

We talk to ourselves all day long, whether we know it or not. That self-talk plays a huge role in the way you feel and the choices you make. You can support your mental health and happiness by getting to know that self-talk and practicing guiding to a positive place.

3 Ways to Practice Positive Self-Talk 

Notice When It's Easy

The next time you're feeling good, notice how you're talking to yourself. Becoming familiar with our natural positive self-talk makes it easier to spot unhelpful thoughts and take them in a more constructive direction.

Notice How You Encourage Your Friends

Many of us find that kindness comes more naturally with others than it does with ourselves. The next time you're stuck in an unhelpful thought, ask: What would I tell a friend?

Create a Personal Affirmation

To create a personal affirmation, start with a list of empowering beliefs or aspects of yourself. Distill this list down a word or phrase that's meaningful and easy to remember. Keep this phrase visible and repeat it often.

Put It All Together


two people giving each other a high five

Boost Your Mindset

Your perspective shapes your mental health and happiness. It influences the way you see yourself and the world around you, how you feel, and how you respond to stressful situations. 


2 Ways to Develop a Healthy Mindset

During the Good Times

When good things happen, see them as stable and meaningful. Allow yourself to feel good and even give yourself a little credit for that good thing coming about.

During Challenges

Life's challenges feel worse when we view them as personal, permanent, and insurmountable. It's helpful to instead view challenges as a natural part of life and yourself as capable of growing through them.

Try It Yourself

  • Name one thing that's going well and feel it.
  • Name one challenge and how you're growing through it. 

Take Your Mindset Practice Further

Power of Perspective Activity


two people viewed from behind hold their hands together in the shape of a heart

Think More Positively

Appreciating the things going on in our lives and looking forward to the future is good for our mental health. The best part is, it doesn't have to be something big to make a difference. Gratitude and optimism about the little things can boost our mood, lower or stress, and improve our health and happiness.

Strategies for Practicing Gratitude & Optimism

Find Something to Look Forward to

Name at least one thing about tomorrow you're looking forward to.

Do a Day in Review

At the end of the day, name at least one good thing that happened. 

Stop & Smell the Roses

Take a few extra seconds to appreciate the good things when they happen.

Web of Gratitude Game

Name all the steps and people involved in making something you appreciate available to you.

Envision Your Best Possible Self

Spend time picturing your highest vision for yourself and your goals in an important area of your life. 

Get Inspired

Take time out for awe and inspiration. Listen to an inspirational song, watch a documentary about someone you admire, or spend time in nature.

Put It All Together

Try your favorite gratitude or optimism tip.

CAPS Gratitude & Optimism Journal Worksheet

More Ways to Practice Gratitude & Optimism

Greater Good in Action Gratitude & Optimism Practices


additional resources