When I boiled down the ocean of research I did for "The Joy Of Thriving" I arrived at what I believe to be five core happiness practices: appreciation, generosity, interest, lightness and easy. What all five and all others, I believe, have in common is presence. They put us right here, where we are.
It's interesting to consider that joy is the core of our being. It is our natural state that we can only experience or obscure by finding ways to be or not be in the present. Being present naturally puts us in touch with our true nature as happiness. In this sense happiness is not something we create, in the same way we do not create silence. When we remove noise, we realize the silence that is always there. When we remove distractions from the present through the practices of happiness, we realize the happiness that is always there waiting to be remembered and enjoyed.