Last month the World Happiness Report ranked countries on how happy their citizens are. Sadly, in recent years, the USA has been dropping down the list. We fell this year to the 18th spot. Happiness is a  skill that we can all work with and develop. We need to start making more of an effort to spread happiness so that the country can move up in its ranking.

I have been studying the Science of Happiness for years. Teaching people how to become happier and increasing their well-being is my passion. That is why I created the Happy Meditator and became a happiness coach.

Today I want to share with you three easy, surprising tips that will help you increase your happiness.

Tip # 1: Improve your Posture

Yes, that is right. Science tells us that poor posture causes stress, puts you in a negative mood and increases sadness. Improving your posture can make you more energetic and confident and less anxious. Next time you feel depressed and lonely, check your posture. Research has found that it is quite possible that you are hunched over and looking down. Correct your posture and smile. A study on posture found that people evaluate themselves more negatively when they are sitting hunched over. When people are seated upright with their chest up, they are more positive and confident. Also, consider setting reminders to check your posture throughout the day. The more you practice, the more likely it is that correct posture will become a habit.

Tip # 2: Get More Sleep

Statistics on sleep are rating America as a sleep-deprived nation. As an adult, you should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep. How much sleep do you normally get? Studies on sleep deprivation have proved that your mood is tied to the amount of sleep you receive. Sleep-deprived people have between 40-70 percent more physical and emotional complaints. Not getting enough rest can have a very negative effect on your mental health and well-being. Improving your mood and becoming happier could be as easy as improving your sleep. Make it a priority to get the hours of sleep your body needs. If you have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, consider learning relaxation techniques. Techniques that have proved to help with sleep are Control Breathing Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and mindfulness meditation.

Tip # 3: Learn Mind Control

We are living in a world that creates a lot of noise and distraction. Brain studies have found that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. In an average day, your mind wanders around 50 percent of the time. When your mind is wandering, it usually means that you’re focusing on the past or the future. This habit of not staying “in the moment” increases fears, worries and stress. Taking time to keep your mind focused on one task has proved to be very helpful at diminishing mind wandering. Learning meditation will help with this type of mind training. When you meditate, you practice focusing your mind. You also learn how to deal with worries and fears in a non-reactive way. A mind that is present and focused is a happy mind.

I invite you to start putting these tips into practice today. These practices will help you to become happier, reduce your anxiety and minimize levels of stress. A great bonus is that you will also increase the happiness of those around you. Happiness is contagious!