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Dr. Ian Smith always looks pretty happy, even when he’s berating guests on “Celebrity Fit Club” who can’t get their weight loss strategies together. Maybe it’s good health – or maybe it’s that Dr. Ian knows what it takes to be happy.

Now, he’s sharing his insights in his new book, “Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life.” Smith says that the key is to appreciate the little things in life. He found out that despite all the material advantages that many people have in the United States, it is not the world’s happiest country. That distinction belongs to Denmark.

“They believe they’d like to have it all, but accept that they can’t have it all,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constituion, “so they’re grateful for what they have and don’t think about what they don’t have. In the U.S., people always want more. They’re never satisfied.”

In “Happy,” you can expect to find that happiness has nothing to do with money or beauty, fame or shopping. Nope, not even losing weight necessarily makes you happy, though it’s possible that if you’re healthier overall, you can enjoy life more.

Dr. Ian touches on several keys to happiness in his book. They include:


– How to be optimistic

– Why optimism and realism are not opposites

– How to get outside yourself

– The importance of family and community

– Why involvement leads to contentment

– Shedding the treadmill mentality of getting and spending

– Tapping the power of simple pleasures

– Mastering modern life to live in the moment

– What we can learn from the Danish people

– How to be, not just to do

Smith uses scientific research to prove his points and makes the case that happiness is somewhat set by genetics, but that much of what allows you to be happy is in your control. If he can do for happiness what he’s done for health, then he’s probably on to something.

Read the first chapter here

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