Happiness. Something many of us desire, but few truly achieve. In this article, I will be highlighting 15 common habits of happy people.
A curious thing about happiness is that each of us defines it differently. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
For one person, happiness could be dependent on buying a particular material possession (eg. Fancy car) or having millions of dollars in their bank account.
For someone else, it could be about fitting back into their super-tight levi jeans or being liked by all their friends and family.
The problem with basing your happiness on these kinds of things though is that the happiness you experience will be short-lived.
This is why so many people in the western world are unhappy and discontent with their lives.
They are focusing on the wrong things to cultivate their happiness and in the long-term, it will fail.
Instead, here are 15 proven things that you can add to your daily routine to feel greater happiness, meaning, and fulfillment in your life. Check them out below!
1. Happy People Express Gratitude
The next time you’re feeling down or pissed off with life, take a moment to pause and reflect.
Consider instead, all the amazing things you have in your life and everything that has been going right up until that point.
When you wake up in the morning, or just before you go to bed, express gratitude.
Take 30 seconds to run over all the things that you are currently grateful for in your mind. It could be having:
- Your loving family and friends by your side
- The cutest doggy best friend in the world
- A roof over your head
- Food on the table
- The ability to choose how you live your life
- A car to give you flexibility & independence
- Living in a safe neighbourhood
The list goes on…
When you start to note down all the small things you’ve been taking for granted, your perspective changes.
There are many others around the world who are not as blessed as you are and would KILL to live a day in your shoes. Always remember that.
2. Happy People Show Compassion & Kindness to Themselves and Others
It’s time to let go of the things you don’t like about yourself. You are extraordinary, you are unique and there is no one else in the world like you. Embrace it!
Be kind to yourself; loving and accepting yourself as is, flaws and all. Negative self-talk will only make you feel sad and lose confidence.
Try to treat yourself as you would a friend…with forgiveness, kindness and compassion.
In addition to being kind to yourself, show kindness and generosity to others.
Just one small act of kindness could brighten and completely change the day of someone else around you. You will also feel great for doing it too.
3. Happy People Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“Don’t sweat the small stuff!” – A sentence my mum used to say to me all the time! I can still hear her voice relaying over in my head like a broken record.
For those who sweat the small stuff (like I have the tendency to do at times), life can become overly stressful, when in reality it really doesn’t need to be.
There are always going to be things that you don’t have control over…so why get all wound up about it. Such things happen all the time.
Instead of worrying about these small things, just ask yourself “Will this matter a year from now or not?”
In most cases, the small things will have little importance. Let them go! See the bigger perspective and choose to focus only on the things you have direct control over.
You won’t be able to be a happier person if you’re constantly worried and angry about small insignificant things.
As Taylor Swift would say: “Shake it off! Shake it off!”
4. Happy People Have a Positive Outlook on Life
Being happy doesn’t mean you’re always smiling or laughing. But, it does mean being resilient when life decides to punch you in the face.
Change how you perceive the world. View problems and setbacks as challenges and opportunities, not as a failure.
Nothing will ever be perfect and in most cases, it all works out in the end anyway.
AND usually, there is something you can learn or can take away from the experience.
5. Happy People Hang Out With Other Happy People
Bahh negative people. Such drainers…
A year ago, I took this exact idea on board and started disassociating with the negative and toxic people in my life.
No more gossipers. No more pessimists. AND GOSH what a difference it made to how I feel!
You can do it too!
Happy and successful people surround themselves with like-minded individuals. This also means letting go of any relationships that are toxic or draining.
Being surrounded only by those we love and who make us feel good causes our brain to release happiness hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin.
Friends who make us feel good also provide us with a greater sense of security, togetherness, self-worth and belonging.
Nurture these relationships and rid yourself of the others. Start now and remove the excess toxicity from your life.
6. Happy People Don’t Hold Grudges
I laugh at this one, because Jesus Christ, some people love to hold a good ol’ grudge! Yet most are completely unaware that really, the only person they’re hurting is themselves.
Sure, your repeated passive-aggressiveness may succeed at hurting someone’s feelings every once and a while, but why focus your precious time on hurting someone else, when you could be spending that time and energy on something else that you actually love doing.
Come on guys …priorities!
Many of us have also experienced the humiliation when our long-held grudge completely backfires, with the person not even noticing that you’re angry with them #FAIL!!
So, stop wasting your time consuming yourself with hate and anger.
Learning to forgive and forget is one of the greatest foundations for happiness and building strong relationships.
You will feel much better in the long run. Trust me I know!
7. Happy People Start Their Mornings on a Positive
Sleep. Sleep AND Sleep.
Sleep is so critical for good health and also has a big impact on our mood. Aim for 7-9 hours if you can, as this is typically what your body needs for repair and recovery.
In addition to sleep, you could even start your morning with a short meditation session, as I do.
Or if you’re not into “that kind of thang”, try making your bed before you leave, indulging in a cheeky coffee sesh or enjoying a workout to get some endorphins going.
These morning activities can help you to get into the right headspace and a good mood to tackle the day ahead. And whatever you do, please please please don’t start your day by reading the news.
Newspapers and live news on TV are focused primarily on getting your attention. And their best bet with this is by delivering negative, fear-inducing news.
They know that is how they will get the most eyeballs and therefore up their ratings.
If you want to start your day on a happy note, don’t expose yourself to these negative vibes.
In most cases, it doesn’t affect your life directly anyway so why get worked up about it?
8. Happy People Don’t Base Their Self Worth on Pleasing Others
You can’t be happy if you’re constantly trying to please and impress others.
Trying to make everyone happy at the expense of your own happiness is ridiculous and will fail.
This is because it is impossible to please everyone 100% of the time, no matter what you do. AND by trying, you will never get to live the life you want because you’re so impacted by other’s opinions.
None of us are perfect. So, if you want to please anyone in life, just focus on pleasing yourself.
Do the things that make you feel good, happy and that you love…regardless of the opinions of those around you.
9. Happy People Practice Mindfulness Regularly
Even if it is for just 5 minutes a day – meditation has significant benefits for your mind, body, and soul.
It can help you to reduce stress, negative thoughts, and emotions and can also help you to see things in a more positive and healthy way.
If you’re interested in getting started with meditation, ensure to check out these articles:
- Related: What is Mindfulness Meditation?
- Related: Meditation For Beginners | The Health Benefits of Meditation
- Related: Mindfulness Meditation For Beginners | The 8-Step Guide
10. Happy People Live a Healthy & Balanced Life
We only get one body in our lifetimes, so why punish it?
Exercise and a healthy diet have such a positive impact across all areas of your life. It releases “feel-good” chemicals (Dopamine) into our brain helping you to feel energetic and pumped for the day ahead.
It also reduces stress and anxiety, which means, more happiness for you!
Ever get that flabby feeling after eating a whole block of chocolate…… OK, maybe that’s just me. Yes, I can eat a WHOLE BLOCK in one go. #ChocolateAddict
Anyway, having that whole block of chocolate sure felt great at the time but shortly, that dreaded food baby appears and the need for a recovery nap food coma ensues. You start to quickly regret that poor life choice.
What I’m trying to get at is that unhealthy sugary food makes you feel good in the short term, but over the long term, you just feel fat, lazy and lethargic.
The key takeaway here: Take care of your body and it will take care of you!
11. Happy People Live Within Their Means
It continues to amaze me how so many of us live within cultures that are obsessed with money! And especially with spending it… on sh**ty things.
Happy people have smart spending habits and live within their means. They spend within their budget and avoid having unnecessary debts that cause high levels of stress and regret.
On the contrary, unhappy people spend their money unnecessarily and then complain and wonder why they are still broke and living paycheck to paycheck.
Which one are you??
12. Happy People Find Joy in the Small Things
If you want to be happier, spend your time and money on new experiences and memories. Not material objects and possessions.
A fancy car or a million dollar mansion isn’t going to mean much to you when you’re on your death bed.
Even, research shows that the happiness you get by acquiring materialistic objects does not last. It doesn’t take long for the novelty of something “fancy” to wear off.
Especially given how fast things are advancing these days.
That super dooper car you recently spent thousands on or your brand “new” iPhone will probably be outdated and old-fashioned within a few years.
On the other hand, experiences, memories and the small joys of life last a lifetime.
I know what I’d choose! What do you choose to spend your money on?
The best things in life are free.
13. Happy People Live in the Now and Plan For the Future
Stop worrying so much that your life isn’t where you hoped it’d be. You still have time.
Dwelling on your past isn’t going to help much. The past is done and dusted and there’s not much you can do now, other than to accept what happened and move on.
Focus on living your life now!
Live every day to its fullest and appreciate the small joys of each day.
Take a moment to look up from your phone and appreciate the clear blue sky, the birds singing or even the impressiveness of the skyscrapers that stand tall above you.
People die, just like that! You never know what tomorrow will bring.
So, do your best to plan for your future, but also take the time to find the joys in the present.
14. Happy People Take Action Towards Their Goals
One of the greatest foundations to cultivating happiness is seeing signs of progress towards your goals.
Whether it’s losing weight, saving enough money for a holiday or learning a new skill, seeing growth towards our goals gives us an amazing sense of achievement and success.
15. Happy People Treat Themselves and Make Time for the Things They Love
When something really good happens, reward yourself! And for goodness sake, do NOT feel guilty for doing so.
After a tough day at work take the time out to watch a movie, have a luxurious bath with scented candles, get a massage, eat some chocolate or spend some money on a weekend away.
Life without indulgence is pretty boring. You’re allowed to enjoy life’s luxuries every once and a while.
So there you have it – 15 Common Habits of Happy People.
Remember: in the most part, your happiness is based on your state of mind. It is the only thing you have complete control over and the power to change.
In the end, it’s really up to each of us to find our own happiness.
So, starting today, which of these habits are you going to introduce into your life?
Feel free to write yours in the comments section below.
If you’re looking for some further inspiration ensure to check out my other article: Find Happiness in Life | 10 Simple Tips.
- Why Seeing Progress on our Goals Helps us Live a Happier Life - March 10, 2021
- 7 Time-Saving Productivity Tips that Can Transform Your Life - May 4, 2020
- How to Do Body Scan Meditation & 5 Ways it Benefits Your Health - May 1, 2020