Humans often think of happiness as a transitory state—an emotion that ebbs or flows depending on external factors and life circumstances. However, happiness is actually an intentional choice.

No matter the stress of your job, the conflicts within your relationships, the number of looming deadlines, or the burnout of Zoom fatigue, you can still choose happiness. Here’s what science says about becoming happier—plus, a few strategies on how to live, well, happier.

HAPPINESS IS A MINDSET YOU CAN CULTIVATE
In a culture that glorifies both production and consumption, the so-called pursuit of happiness can often feel like chasing a positive sensation that never lasts. You are told to set ambitious goals, hustle as much as possible, earn more money, snag that corner office, acquire material comforts, and then enjoy the success of your achievements.

However, as entrepreneur and business consultant Nick Wolny pointed out in a previous Fast Company article, this brand of satisfaction wears off quickly. That’s because authentic, enduring happiness cannot be manufactured with fleeting circumstances. If happiness seems out of reach, it might be time to redefine what happiness actually means to you.