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Boost Your Mood: Find Bliss

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Step 2: Take Action

People often put off doing things -- traveling, learning a new skill, going after a better job -- until they feel less stressed and overwhelmed. What they don't realize is that trying new things, pursuing new goals, and having new adventures is what makes happy people happy. "Happiness is a side effect of an action that you take," explains Baker. "Those who aren't content to wait for things to happen have a higher happiness index than people who are passive."

For this exercise, pick one area of your life (such as job performance or a friendship) and focus on improving it. Then ask yourself what you could do today that would make you believe you're one step closer to that goal. What new skill would make you better at your job? Perhaps you can take a seminar to learn how to polish your PowerPoint presentations. Or maybe you have a friend you used to talk to regularly, but now you only e-mail. Find 15 minutes and pick up the phone. "It's not a lot to do," says Baker, "but you'll feel more empowered for having taken this action."

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