09/10/2014 05:49 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Hashtag Happiness

On our second date, as we sat in a Mexican restaurant my husband looked me right in the face and then asked me the most baffling question. He said, "are you a happy person?"

Huh? Am I a happy person? Well, it had never even occurred to me to think about it. Like happy all the time? Are there people that are just happy people? Handsome people, funny people -- this I get. But can someone actually maintain happiness enough of the time to gain the title of a happy person? I have to tell you, I just didn't know. But once he raised the question, I was determined to find the answer.

So now, eight years later, I have decided to do more research. I figured I would start with Google, as they know everything, so I Google Image "happy person." See below.

Yes, the results are clear. Adorable two toothed babies and dental office models. It also appears that holding our arms open to the world, jumping, or giving thumbs up are signs of happy people. Hmm...not sure where that leaves me. I have jumped a few times.

On a whim and not related to this research, I decided to Google "happy animals."

Awwww. No you diddn't...look at that monkey. Too cute.

Then I moved on to further and more intense research. No results for "happy person." However, there is an app that teaches you how to "learn how to stop thinking so much and find happiness." As might have been obvious, I downloaded it and added another piece to the puzzle. Thinking too much. A happiness killer.

Next I moved on to Twitter. The #happyperson on Twitter is either at a concert, wondering if they are wrong for laughing for no reason, taking good naps, eating Krispy Kreme, getting a new car, always smiling or laughing at literally everything, pissing people off because of how happy they are every day, and finally, they are saying that "to be happy can be easy; just decide to be."

Well darn it, who knew it was that easy?

After all of this research, I was thoroughly exhausted so I sat down to eat a chocolate.

As I ate, I wondered to myself if it made a difference whether or not I was a happy person, and if I wasn't a happy person, then what type of person was it possible that I was? Was I a sad person? Is there an in-between box that I can check here, like, um, I don't know, "a person with different emotions at different times"? Is that box available?

Well, I am not going to lie. After at least four more minutes of internet research, the results were devastating. It became apparent that the qualifications for a happy person were quite extensive. According to many articles and lists of seven to nine points, in order to be happy, the following things are required (I am only pulling from the lists that have the words scientifically proven in their titles. This way you know they are valid).

Well, here they are. The culmination of all of my research and hopefully a helpful tool for all of us in this quest for happiness.


Number 1-Go outside.

Number 2-Stay Inside.

Number 3-Do nice things for others. Like if you see garbage on your neighbor's lawn, help them by kicking it up to their doorstep.

Number 4- Spend some time by yourself and think about how lovely it is to be alone. And when you get lonely, check Facebook so that you can feel like a part of a community. Then post that you are finally getting some alone time and see what everyone says.

Number 5-Turn off your phone.

Number 6-And then turn on your Ipad because it has a bigger screen and you will be able to see what you are reading which will lead to less frustration which eventually will lead to more happiness.

And finally, number 7-Confirm that your "Happy Quote of the Day app" is recent. This will help to minimize antiquated and confusing quotes like Aristotle's "Happiness depends upon ourselves." Instead, it will make sure that your quotes are clear and helpful such as this anonymous quote, "Happiness is like peeing in your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth."

Need I say more? Probably not. But I will as I feel that an "in conclusion" is necessary. So, here it is.

In conclusion, it has been a long, arduous road but I think that we have all gained some valuable insight here. Am I a happy person, you ask?