The Happiness Factor: 5 Ways to Get More of It

We all strive to be “happy and healthy,” yet both can be elusive and even subjective. How one person describes their level of happiness might seem snooze-worthy to someone else. So how do we figure out what really makes us happy? And what is happiness anyway?

First, let’s start with a simple definition. Happiness is a noun, used to describe ‘the state of being happy.’ Pretty simple. But if we expand on that definition a bit, we might say that happiness is the feeling that comes over you when you know life is good, and you can’t help but smile. It’s the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are safe or successful, or lucky, they feel happy.

By maintaining a strong sense of happiness and well-being, you will likely influence others to feel the same way. Simple things such as a smile shared with a stranger can boost your happiness hormones very quickly. 

Here are a few ways you can lift your spirits (and improve your overall health)!

Keep a gratitude journal
Psychologists at UC Davis found that those who kept a regular log of things they were grateful for, had more optimism and experienced greater satisfaction in their lives as compared to those who wrote down only major events or daily hassles. For those that cultivated gratitude, they noticed an improvement of physical symptoms, including runny noses and headaches.

Go on a literature adventure
If time and travel prohibit you from taking your own adventure, you can tag along with someone else’s by picking up a good book. In 2012, researchers found that when volunteers simply read about an adventure from another perspective, they experienced less stress, were more satisfied, and more willing to help others.

Look for ways to volunteer
One of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. As it turns out, volunteers experience improved psychological health, decreased risk of depression, and higher overall satisfaction with their life. In other words, it makes them happier.

Smile more often
We are born with an instinct to smile. Even babies in the womb have been caught on camera, smiling proudly about whatever babies smile about. 😊 And when we smile, our brains receive a signal, telling them that life is good. So if you want more of the good life, set a goal of smiling genuinely at least 25 times every day. Wearing a fake smile doesn’t count!

Get your hands dirty
It’s true. Breathing in the smell of dirt can have a similar effect on the brain to antidepressant drugs. Certain bacteria found in the soil seem to stimulate the release of serotonin in the brain when injected into mice. And in a human test, cancer patients who received this bacteria reported increases in their quality of life as well.

So whether you read an adventure, cultivate the daily practice of gratitude, or smile at every stranger, happiness shouldn’t be far behind.

Happy Patients

I have had back issues most of my life. Since starting treatments with Dr Greg I have had no more issues. It's such a relief to be able to be physical at the high level I want to be. I am able to maintain wellness by seeing Dr Greg on a regular basis. Thank you Dr Greg!!

Michael L.

Hello! I just want to say that you are truly a healer! After leaving your office last Monday, I was more able to breathe, truly breathe - after having suffered all weekend to take a deep breath due to a "rib out of place" OK - if you say so....all I know is that, though I continued to have a bit of pain in my upper back and neck for a day or two, I could take wonderful, glorious deep breaths thanks to your treatment. Thanks again for all you do! Even if I do make many sound affects while you are treating me - "OUCH!!! Hmmmph!! Ughhh!! Really???" I truly appreciate your healing touch....


I have had Parkinson's Disease for 8 years.  I have developed arthritis in my back and hips. The stiffness of the Parkinson's and the arthritis has caused me a lot of pain. Because of that unrelenting pain I was unable to exercise. Exercise is an important part of pain management for Parkinson's.  Since I have been seeing Dr. Krapf I am feeling much better and his care has allowed me to begin exercising again, which has improved my overall well being. In the past I have been treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. Dr. Krapf's chiropractic manipulations have had an amazing impact on my health and happiness. I highly recommend Dr. Krapf to anyone who needs excellent chiropractic care and the many alternative therapies he offers. I would say he is magical!

When my friend received excellent care from Dr. Krapf, she recommended him to me. I have had gastrointestinal problems for nearly 50 years that have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease with lactose intolerance. All that, including unrelieved stress had made me unhappy and unhealthy. Today I am a different person with the help of Dr. Greg. The Gastro issues are practically nonexistent, my stress levels have plummeted, and my body is changing. I am so grateful for Dr. Greg and his healing hands.

Mary Ann L.

Our family have been patients of Krapf chiropractic for a few decades. We have several success stories archived. The most recent event involves our youngest son who is completing his senior year of high school. He has been a patient of Krapf Chiropractic (KCA) since birth. He has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and has sustained numerous injuries over the years. Dr. Krapf has successfully assisted in every recovery.

Most recently, he began complaining of his feet hurting while playing soccer. Both feet hurt - particularly the balls of his feet while running and cutting. He came to Dr. Greg with his complaint as this was seriously affecting his game. Dr. Greg evaluated the situation and decided a foot scan should be done. The finding was dropped arches. My son was fitted for orthotics. They arrived within days and he wore these as directed. Within a few short weeks he is now playing full games pain free.


I first called Krapf Chiropractic when my back was so bad that I couldn't get up off the floor. It's been a blessing to have Dr. Greg help me with my overall wellness and health! I find this to be a place where you are not a number and everyone cares. Mollie is always cheerful and reminds me to come. Erin is always smiling and helps relax me when I'm in pain. I would not be functioning if I did not have Krapf Chiropractic to keep me going. As I get older my appreciation deepens, especially when I see people around me who are suffering with back problems. If they only knew how helpful this is. I believe Dr. Greg treats the person not the symptoms. Thank you

Debbie B.

I've been lucky to have exceptional health care from the beginning. At the beginning, seventy-six-plus years ago, Hugh Rodgers brought me into the world in mother and dad's second-floor bedroom in our dairy farm home. Hugh's son, Hugh, Jr., practiced with his dad and beyond caring for my parents, he, also, cared for hundreds of others and me. Roughly forty years ago, a friend suggested I make an appointment with Richard Krapf for help with back-pain. Richard treated the pain that, often, was debilitating, and on Richard's death, his son, Greg became the second second generation to help me from one place to another. I'm grateful to Hugh, Hugh, Richard and, perhaps, most of all, to Greg.


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