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7 Secrets to happiness

Pure bliss

True joy - not quickie mood boosts but that totally stoked mental state - boils down to these surprising essentials. Behold, your ticket to bliss.

3. It's Time to Toss Excess Stuff

If you can barely scrape together enough change to spring for that $4 latte, you'll love this: Money (and all the crap that you can buy with it) won't bring you happiness. In fact, when wealthy Americans were surveyed, they reported being only marginally happier than the general public. "When you have limitless funds, you tend to be hell bent on accumulating more," says New York clinical psychiatrist Janet Taylor. "In the process, you lose the ability to appreciate what you do own and have difficulty feeling fulfilled."

And you don't need to be a gazillionaire to get caught in this trap. The problem might be that you just can't seem to throw anything out. Like your favorite sweater from your high school days, that (hello!) is from the damn Gap, not specially knit by Grandma. "Extra belongings weigh us down and crowd our space, making us feel overwhelmed and disorganized," says Dr. Taylor. "Lightening up will help you regain control and, therefore, happiness."

On that lighter note, now is the perfect moment to purge. You don't have to clean house completely, but you should hold on only to stuff you Love (with a capital L). "If you haven't used or admired something in six months, part with it. No guilt allowed," she insists. To be clear: That doesn't mean stacking things in a giveaway pile in the corner of your room. It entails bagging up the items and disposing of them ASAP — whether you donate them to Goodwill or swap 'em on eBay.

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