It's all over the news! Hawaii is the "happy" state. According to a survey conducted by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that asked over 350,000 Americans how happy they felt in their state, Hawaii topped the list with New England states ranking high as well.

The study matrixed six categories of well-being to arrive at the findings. The categories included life evaluation (present life situation and five year projections); emotional health; work environment; physical health; healthy behavior; and basic access to health care, a doctor, a safe place to exercise and walk, as well as community satisfaction.

Save money, don't go to Hawaii to be happy. Be happy right where you are! It is easy when you take simple, practical steps to improve your personal happiness score.

Let's examine YOU in each of the categories:

Life Evaluation - take inventory of who you are and what you want in your life. I am serious. Take one hour. Clear your mind and then write your personal assessment list. It will help if you divide your page into three columns - I AM (simple descriptions about yourself), I WANT (short details about what you want) and I LOVE (these are your passions). Be real honest-this is your self-operation that only you will see right now so let it flow.

Once you have completed this clearing exercise-STOP. Put your list away for a day and then come back to it in 24 hours and then look at who you are, what you want and what you love. This is a part of your happiness profile. What you will see, I feel quite assured, is that you have a lot of common overlap which will direct you to "happy" moments.

Next, make your five year projections. Write four or five 2016 goals and compare them to your present conditions. Go one step further and write a short action plan to experience each of the goals you have set for yourself in 2016. This is your blueprint for change.

Emotional Health - check out your consciousness. What are you doing that adds happiness in your life? That is what this category is about-how happy are you? Ask yourself that question. Record your answers, make a "happy" picture.

You are probably more happy that you credit yourself with. The reason why our happiness quotient is often lower than what is true for you in your life is that adults tend to downgrade fun and happiness in your life. Instead, to make this emotional health checkup more balanced, take out a pen and write how often you smiled today, how often you were kind to others, how often you sang or hummed a song, danced or listened to music. All of these things, and more such as repeating positive words or mantras, add serotonin or "happy" secretions into the bloodstream and boost a feeling of good will.

There will be downturns, but overall most people are more happy than they give themselves credit for. Test your health consciousness.

Work Environment - brighten the corner where you are. Yes, work can be stressful but you can manage the chaos and demands of work by adding a little "happiness" to your 9 to 5. Add family or travel photos or flowers or color in your work space.

Another "happy" suggestion for work is to refrain from office politics and gossip that tear colleagues down. Instead offer encouraging words and offer assistance to others who are struggling. It may also help if you set soft boundaries that minimize interruptions.

Physical Health - get moving. Shake a leg. Step it up. Whatever your present level of exercise, stretch it out and do a little more. Recently, I hired a trainer since I noticed that I had been exercising regularly for about a year and not really seeing a lit of change in my physical presence. What I discovered is that I was not stretching myself enough - I had a passive routine. You should see me now!

Physical health is all about making change in your exercise habits. Your health and life depends on eating a better diet and exercising more. You will be happier for doing so.

Healthy Behavior - what are you doing (look back at your list) that augments happiness? This category suggests that healthy behavior contributes to happiness. Are you taking classes, spending quality time with friends and loved ones, gardening, planning time outdoors, exercising your creative side, participating in sports? These ideas and more measure healthy behavior.

Health-care Access - health care costs and access is protracting, but you can and must take care of your health in order to regulate your happiness. Even if you do not have health insurance there are teaching schools and clinics or free screening or free educational series at hospitals or insurance outlets. It may mean that you have to drive to get to these offering if you live in remote, under-served areas but these health care facilities can provide you with accessible health care.

Six categories - six happiness options. You have the chance and the choice to live happy - it does not matter where you live.

Author's Bio: 

Anita Jefferson believes in happiness and encourages others to use simple, practical steps to zone in on inner happiness.

Her book, Climb Every Obstacle: Eliminate Your Limits! teaches you how to live happy!