This story first appeared in InStyle's November 2015 issue, now on stands and available for digital download.

Julia Roberts smile
Credit: Josh Olins /

Julia Roberts may be known for her Mona Lisa smile, but not many people realize how damn hard she works for it. The Lancôme spokeswoman and star of Secrets in Their Eyes, out Nov. 20, reveals how she cultivates the joy from within.

Choose wisely.
One of the first steps to happiness is deciding that you want to be happy and knowing what that means. I have had many full-on conversations about what that looks like for me. To be happy is a choice you make every day, every hour. And refining and renewing that state is a constant pursuit.

Take a moment.
I'm devoted to yoga, but the empowerment comes not from doing the asanas but from being able to step out of a busy day and take time for myself. That could be running or reading a book or whatever. To feel yourself get lighter, you must let go of what weighs you down emotionally.

Turn off.
We live in an age in which technology is both liberating and enslaving. It's hard for any parent, especially a working parent, to sign off. When I'm at home with my children and husband [cinematographer Daniel Moder], it's a continual exercise to allow myself to unplug.

Be strong and fair.
I make an effort to teach my kids to respond with empathy when someone is unkind. If they feel hurt by someone, my husband and I try to help them see beyond the pain, into what might be happening with the person who caused it. It's hard, even as an adult, to see beyond your own experience, but it allows you to treat others fairly.

Find a power anthem and run with it.
My kids listen to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," but I am obsessed with "Geronimo," by Sheppard. I first heard it at my son's soccer game. Whenever it's on while I'm running, I feel like I can complete whatever mile I'm on.

Trust yourself.
It's been more difficult for women than men to be no-nonsense. But in tough decisions, I've always relied on my gut. I think it's really important for women to be in touch with their instincts and have enough faith in themselves to follow them.