Do you have a little extra pep in your step today? It could be that March 20th marks the first International Day of Happiness.

The United Nations officially declared today International Day of Happiness in hopes of urging the global community to act on the UN Charter's pledge to end conflict, poverty and ensure the well-being of all.

But if you're looking for some less-lofty ways to mark the occasion, "happiness expert" Elizabeth Manuel says there are some simple ways to adopt an "attitude of gratitude" and become a happier person.

"When we're happy we have more to give to others and it dramatically increases the well-being in the world," Manuel told CTV News Channel on Thursday.

Manuel, a certified clinical hypnotherapist and life coach, said research has shown we're born with a "happiness set point" that can be increased by adopting new attitudes and behaviours.

Some of her recommendations include:

  • Have more sex
  • Be grateful
  • Volunteer
  • Go outside
  • Treat someone to a random act of kindness
  • Meditate

Asked what she has noticed provides a significant happiness boost, Manuel said it was sex.

"During my research I found that sex boosts nitric oxide in our bodies, which is a gas that diffuses throughout our body and brings an incredibly sense of well-being," she said.

"If we wanted to feel better and healthier, having passionate, loving sex in an intimate relationship is a fabulous way."