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All right, all right! We'll try to be happier! Jeesh.

July 29, 2009 |  1:05 pm

Smiley Americans seem to have become somewhat preoccupied with their happiness level.

A recent Atlantic article, What Makes Us Happy?, examines one of the more notable studies in the field.

"Is there a formula -- some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation -- for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition -- and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.

A recent Booster Shots blog post, The key to happiness is living in the micro-moment, explains that the ability to appreciate little things is crucial.

And in today's New York Times, we have an explanation of how an iPhone app can help you identify, and more easily get in touch with, those things that make you happy.

Now there's the Happiness Project Toolbox.

The website says: "The Happiness Project Toolbox supplies eight tools to help you construct your 'happiness project.' Everyone's project will be different, and there's no right or wrong way. You can use all eight tools, or you can pick one tool that appeals to you. Just jump in and start now."

The toolbox is the work of Gretchen Rubin, who not coincidentally has a book titled "The Happiness Project" landing in the fall. The book is described as "a memoir about the year I spent test-driving every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study I could find, whether from Aristotle or St. Therese or Martin Seligman or Oprah." She also has a blog about her efforts to be happier on the Huffington Post. 

The first step in the toolbox, by the way, is to set resolutions.

For an overview of the science of happiness, here's a package of L.A. Times stories.

C'mon, get happy: Being happy has always seemed like a good idea. But now science, with research to back it up, can finally show us how to get there.

How a 'Happiness' guide helped one Topanga Canyon family

Tips on switching to a happy outlook

Recent self-help books on happiness

So with all this expounding, if you're not happy, you know who's fault it is. The media. They obviously didn't do enough to provide the proper advice, explanation or context.

-- Tami Dennis

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