Sitting in front of your computer at the starting end of a work week may not exactly be your happy place, but as those who've mastered the ever-elusive state of joyfulness know, happiness is largely what you make it.
Today, an increasing focus on happiness as a measure of success, combined with the often-shared feeling that something is missing, is prompting people to pursue happiness on their own terms. And yet many of us -- especially women -- are moving further away from true joy. It's an anomaly that researchers Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers sought to explain in their 2009 paper "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," and one that life coach Valorie Burton describes as a crisis.
"We are in a crisis. But no one seems to have noticed. As women, we have more, but we enjoy less. We are more educated. We have more choices. We make more money. We raise fewer children. And thanks to technology, the chores are much easier. Women today have more opportunities than any women in the history of the world. And yet, research shows that collectively we are less happy than we were 40 years ago -- while men are actually getting happier," Burton says, referencing Stevenson and Wolfers' work in the preface of her latest book, Happy Women Live Better.
Why women's happiness may be declining is tied to our tendency to always think that we should be doing more, Burton adds. In a chat with The Huffington Post, she outlined 13 ways to counter that thinking and harness true happiness instead.
Valorie Burton's Happy Women Live Better hits shelves on Oct. 1, 2013.