7 Truly Unusual Ways to Be Happy

We've heard about meditating, exercising, and decluttering our lives in our quest to be happy. Tried all those? Then these quirky tips are for you.

By Adrienne Farr
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    Rub your ears!

    Ear reflexology, the practice of stimulating those pressure points on the ear that are believed to correspond to various parts of the body (foot, bladder, even your trachea), also can work to reduce negative emotions (rejection, self-pity, even "bearing the burden of the world"). To counteract depression or a feeling of being overwhelmed, try massaging the outer ring of each ear.

    Lunch on the beach!

    If you eat at your desk, your happiness index score tumbles, according to a British study from the University of Sussex. Take your sandwich to a park bench, dine at a restaurant, or enjoy your meal at home to up your happiness quotient. The most happy midday meal? Find a spot at the shore.

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    Tell yourself you're having more sex than your neighbors!

    According to research from the University of Colorado Boulder, survey data from over 15,000 people showed that those having sex two to three times per month were 33 percent more likely to be happy than those who did not have sex during the previous 12 months. Interestingly, people also reported having higher happiness levels not just by increasing the frequency two to three times a week, but also when they believed they were getting more than their peers.

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    Eat grass-fed meat!

    An Australian study of 1,000 women found a strong correlation between mental well-being and red meat. Researchers noticed that participants who ate less than the recommended amounts of beef or lamb (between two and four ounces, three to four times a week) were twice as likely to suffer from depression or anxiety disorders. After ruling out various factors and other proteins, they believed that the animals' grass-fed diet factored into the results, as it produces meat higher in key nutrients like omega-3s.

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    Move to Norway!

    Norway has been crowned "The Happiest Country in the World" by a Legatum Institute Prosperity study, which compared 142 countries around the globe. (The United States currently ranks 12th.) Why Norway? Maybe it's because 95 percent of residents are satisfied with their personal freedoms, or that 74 percent of Norwegians believe most people are trustworthy. It could also be country's natural beauty, including spectacles like the Northern Lights.

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    Sell real estate!

    What's the happiest job in the country? Real-estate agent, according to Forbes. The jobs site CareerBliss.com polled more than 65,000 people on workplace happiness factors like office environment and compensation, and found real-estate agents at the top of the list. Other careers to consider for maximum joy include senior quality assurance manager, senior sales representative, and construction supervisor; the lowest levels came in for customer service associates, marketing coordinators, and legal assistants, among others.

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    Play video games!

    When polling casual gamers with an average age of 77, 67 percent reported that video-game playing decreased their depression, and increased their well-being and social functioning.

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