Today marks World Happiness Day. To celebrate, author and life coach Dr Dain Heer shares the secret to true contentment

The latest World Happiness Report has revealed that wealth and possessions do not determine our happiness, with people living in poverty-stricken countries, such as Sierra Leone and Nicaragua becoming increasingly happier. Meanwhile research has shown that in Australia, levels of happiness are declining.

This International Day of Happiness, it's more important than ever that we start looking at the reason why we are becoming increasingly unhappy. And it's possible it may be because we are losing sight of what happiness is and where it comes from.

Happiness has nothing to do with what is going on around us; it's a choice we individually make, moment to moment. It's great to hold outside circumstances responsible for our level of happiness - how much money is in the bank, whether we have the perfect relationship, or the right car - but the truth is, it's not the stuff that makes you happy, it's your choice to be happy that makes you happy.

To understand how much you are in charge of your happiness, you need start practising the art of choosing it. Start by practicing to be happy, even if it's just for 10 seconds at a time. You can choose it again as many times over as you like. When you become satisfied with what you have, you will create more and find happiness.

Choosing happiness can be simple if you're willing to get started now and change your point of view. Click through the gallery above for my seven secrets to being truly happy:

Dr Dain Heer is an international best selling author, life coach and co-creator of Access Consciousness. His book, Being You, Changing the World - Is Now the Time? has been published in seven languages. For more info visit drdainheer.com

7 secrets to being truly happy