#1 Re-Interpret Any Negative Experiences: There is nothing but that thinking does not make it so. There is a silver lining to every cloud, a possible benefit in virtually everything. Re-think anything you are choosing to see negatively, find the lesson, focus on the upside.

#2 Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude: Notice at least one good thing each and every hour of your day. They are out there, rays of sunlight, every-day heroes, smiles. The more you look, the more you will see, the happier you will be and the happier others around you will be too.

#3 Written Goals: Write down your goals for each of the major roles of your life: Career/Financial, Family/Personal, Social/Community, Physical/Health, Spiritual/Creative, Education/Mental. Set up action plans, write down what you do weekly toward your goals. You may not be able to work on every area every week but over time you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish. We often overestimate what we can accomplish in a week, underestimate what we can do in a year.

#4 Build a Solid Social Support Network: The people you hang with can have a powerful effect on your life. Live smart: choose your friends and associates carefully, invest your free time wisely, it is a limited resource. Do your friends and associates support you? Cheer you on? Believe the best of you? Challenge you while still accepting you as you are? Are they living lives of passion and purpose? And are you returning the favor?

#5 EXERCISE: Exercise is an awesome stress reducer. Find an activity you enjoy (or can learn to) and cultivate it, make it a MUST on your calendar three to five times a week. For me it is racquetball after work, for others it is the 6 a.m. aerobics class or tennis, or the noon basketball game at the YMCA. Others prefer biking or running because of the flexibility. Exercise regularly and you will find it to be a mood elevator and energy generator that demolishes stress.

Look for Thursday’s post that lists secrets six through ten, plus your bonus…