For some strange reason, if you can get your face to smile, you actually feel better. The third week of March is "Act Happy Week," where you are encouraged to act happy, even if you're not. Our brains are equipped with an inner pharmacy that release endorphins and other chemicals that bolster our immune systems and promote well being. Everybody feels stressed out and frustrated at times, but we have the power to choose our mood.

Next time you get up from your desk or job site for a bathroom break, look at yourself in the mirror and laugh! What's so funny? You are! Try it. Start training yourself to be happy. Smile and laugh often and others will smile and laugh with you. You can also lift your mood by getting more sleep and exercise. Nurture your spiritual self. Studies show that actively religious people are happier and that they cope better with crises. Get outside! What was once an obvious path to happiness has been moved to the back burner as we spend much more time indoors with our computers. Take a walk in the woods, go to the dog park, the beach, anyplace where you can be in contact with nature. The natural sunlight will also give you a lift. Do something nice for others. Charitable acts bring immediate and long-lasting rewards to the giver.

Times are tough and the world can be a cruel place, but more often than not we have the power to do something about how we feel. Make it a point to act happy. Repeat frequently enough that the act becomes reality. You can do this.