The trick is to understand the full breadth of positive emotions.
When seeking to be "happier" take a look at the experiences, people and places that bring the following into your life: curiosity, hope, awe, serenity, gratitude, amusement, joy, inspiration and pride. All of the above are categorised in psychology as positive emotions, and we know that frequency rather than intensity is a greater predictor of wellbeing, meaning we want to pepper our lives with liberal amounts of all of them.
Because most of us have never explicitly been asked to consider such things, it might pay to write them down. Even if you're not a writer-downer, go through the list one by one and ponder, "What does this emotion look like in my life, where and how can I get more of it?"
As an example, I know the people I can hang out with when I'm in need of a good laugh, that tramping or mountain biking in the back country returns awe to my life, listening to Desert Island Discs gives me hope, going to the movies can inspire me, watching our kids play sport fills me with pride, and heading to the beach or sitting by the fire with a good book invokes serenity.
Obviously, we're not aiming to tick them all off in a day, but understand these emotions are important.
They lead to enhanced creativity, greater problem solving, a longer life, a stronger immune system, enhanced relationships and greater resilience.
When I'm feeling down and starting to feel life is spinning out of control, I'll sit down and work out a plan for topping up my positive emotions.
I visualise my mental health as a piggy bank. If I'm raiding it all day long with the stresses and frustrations inherent in contemporary living, then
I know it's my job to pay into my piggy bank, to top up my positive emotions and restore the emotional balance back in my favour.