THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Have you ever wondered what it really takes to be happy?
While some causes of happiness are out of our control, like having loving relationships and meaningful purpose in life, there are also many simple yet powerful things that happy people do differently which can help us all achieve greater levels of joy and contentment.
From surrounding themselves with positive energy to taking time for self-reflection, read on as we reveal 19 small yet effective habits well-being enthusiasts practice routinely to live more joyful lives.
#1. Avoid Toxic Relationships
Happy people notice when a person has a negative impact on their life and make it a point to distance themself.
This could be friends or family, it doesn’t matter.
They know life is too precious to allow someone else weigh them down.
#2. Try to Be a Little Better Every Day
It can be overwhelming to set and reach goals.
As a result, many happy people instead simply choose to be a little better every single day.
At the end of the day, they reflect on the good and bad things and what they could have done better.
Then they make it a point to do better next time.
#3. Enjoy the Moment Rather Than Worrying About the Future
Living in the future can give us hope for what’s to come. But it can also make it substantially harder to enjoy what’s happening now.
This is why so many people aren’t able to sit down and be. They struggle to be present because they’re worried about what’s coming next or even what they have to take care of later that day.
Make it a priority to enjoy whatever you’re doing in the present.
While planning for the future is a part of life, you don’t want to spend all your time there and miss out on all the good things happening right before you.
#4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
The comparison game is a very slippery slope.
It’s easy to look at those around us (or even those who have more than us) and say, “why am I not like that?”.
The reality is that each of us is unique. No two journeys will be the same; what you do or who you are will not look like someone else’s path.
Don’t compare yourself to those around you. Instead, set your own benchmarks and ensure you’re progressing by your own standards.
Constantly comparing yourself to those around you can make you unhappy, no matter your actions.
#5. Things Will Happen Regardless of How You Choose How to React
The reality is that life happens.
Sometimes, these are minor upsets or inconveniences. Other times, these are major life developments that have a massive impact on you.
Regardless, it’s really up to you how you decide to react to these situations.
Are you going to let someone who cuts you off on the road dictate how the rest of your day goes? Will you let a bad pot of coffee change your outlook on life?
Will you let the world run your mood? Or, will you choose to react in a way that minimizes these developments so that you can move forward more positively? It’s all up to you!
#6. Take Some Time to Appreciate the Little Things
Not every moment has to be action-packed and filled with amazing life developments to matter or be exciting.
Many people found that they could turn their mindsets around by enjoying all the small things they have.
What does this look like? Maybe you love having a cup of a specific type of coffee in the morning.
Maybe you love feeling the sun’s rays beat down on your face as you read a book outside in the afternoon.
Perhaps you enjoy walking down a specific path on your way to work. Appreciate all those small things that make life worth living, and happiness will surely be more present in your life.
#7. Don’t Burden Yourself With Societal Expectations
I think we all have an idea of how life is “supposed to be.” This often includes getting married, buying a home, having children, retiring early, etc.
But not all societal expectations are accessible or even desired. Living your life by a roadmap you didn’t create will only make you unhappy.
Ask yourself, what do you want to do with your life? Does it fall in line with what others are doing with their lives? Or do you need to pivot and find ways that you can begin doing something else so that you are more satisfied?
Don’t be afraid to break away from expectations that don’t align with you. This can make all the difference in how happy you feel!
#8. Have Realistic Expectations
Having dreams isn’t a bad thing. But when we have consistent expectations that far exceed what we can realistically do or achieve, it can become a source of unhappiness.
Try to be more realistic when you set a goal or go about your day. Maybe you won’t be able to clean your whole garage today.
However, you can throw away the trash and get everything swept up. When you’re more realistic, you have far more to achieve and less to be dissatisfied with or upset about.
#9. Set Small, Achievable Goals for Yourself
Setting goals is essential, especially if you’re someone who frequently gets down about yourself or life.
Why? The benefits are twofold. Firstly, goals allow you to build confidence. Once you can set a goal and see it through, you become much more invested in yourself.
Secondly, setting goals allows you to move forward in life and tackle the things that will help you get to where you want to be.
Of course, there’s a trick to this. Always set small, achievable, measurable goals. This way, you don’t inundate yourself with goals that are too impossible and tank your confidence.
#10. Don’t Pursue Perfectionism
Perfectionism is a myth. Nobody is perfect, and no one can do things perfectly.
When we buy into this concept, it becomes easy for us to spend too much time trying to get things right.
The result? Projects and tasks never get done because we’re never ready to finalize them, or we get frustrated and give up altogether.
Don’t try to get everything perfect. Instead, settle for good enough or your best.
#11. Invest in Friends and Relationships
Many people believe that the things that matter most are material items or life milestones.
However, the people around us often bring us the most joy.
Are you spending time with friends and family? If not, see if you can spend more time with those around you.
Of course, this isn’t always easy for everyone. Some people might not have a large circle of people they can spend time with.
If this is you, you can look for things to do in your area where you can meet up with people who share similar interests.
This might help you connect with others and form new friendships moving forward!
#12. Find Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are normal responses to life. For example, we might feel stressed and anxious before a job interview.
The problem? Some people live in these responses. Chronic stress and anxiety disorders can affect your mental and physical wellness.
This is why it’s vital to have tools at your disposal when you start to feel the effects of stress and anxiety.
A few exercises that people swear by to tackle include mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, and journaling, to name a few.
#13. Avoid Media That Makes You Feel Stressed Out or Other Intense Emotions
Today, many things can make us feel pessimistic about the future.
One way people are trying to take back their happiness is by avoiding media that negatively impact their mental health.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have to be ill-informed about things happening in the world.
However, it does mean that you can end “doom scrolling” and spend more time with the life you’ve created away from 24/7 negativity.
#14. Take Control of Your Life (And Relinquish Control Over Things You Can’t Control)
Being unhappy is a draining emotion. But the reality is that we often have more control over life than we believe.
Ask yourself, how can I approach this moving forward if something is making me unhappy? For example, let’s imagine that you’re not happy with your body.
There are several actions you could take. You could go to therapy to address some of the ways this has impacted you. You could go to the gym to get fitter. You could even eat healthier.
Of course, there are some things outside of our control. For example, maybe you’re not very happy with how your hair looks today.
If you’ve already tried to fix it and it’s just not going your way, this is something outside of your control. Learning to breathe, accept it, and move on can do wonders for your mental health and happiness.
#15. Don’t Procrastinate
Procrastination is an easy habit to fall into. We do things last minute because we feel like we’re more productive when we wait until the last minute, then we do it all again.
However, this is an excellent way to get burnt out or even miss opportunities that could have improved our lives.
Make an effort to get things done as soon as possible. You’ll be surprised by how much more peaceful and on top of things you feel.
#16. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is highly underrated in today’s society. It’s very easy to focus on everything going wrong in our lives.
Gratitude allows us to reframe things so that we can notice all the things that are going right.
But becoming more grateful can be a challenge. One way to get started is to create your own gratitude letters or journal.
You can list many things you’re grateful for each day as you encounter them.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of that, you can start working on challenging your thoughts when they arise and finding something to be grateful for, even in bad situations.
If there’s anything highly recommended when you’re feeling unhappy, it’s gratitude.
#17. Take Care of Yourself Physically and Mentally
It can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself, especially in the daily hustle and bustle of life.
However, not taking care of yourself can certainly be a reason why you feel unhappy. There are plenty of tweaks you can make to feel better overall.
These include getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy, seeking mental health support, and exercising daily.
#18. Be Kind to Others
Being kind makes your day and the other person’s day.
Additionally, it takes minimal effort to be kind. You can smile at someone you pass on the street, compliment a stranger’s outfit, or even pay it forward and cover the cost of someone’s meal.
Whatever you decide to do, being kind will undoubtedly change your outlook on life and positively impact someone.
#19. Look for Some Hobbies That You Enjoy
We can’t spend all of our free time working. It’s unhealthy and will only add to the stress and anxiety you already feel.
How should you fill this time? Look for hobbies you can pursue when you have time to breathe.
If you’re looking for something simple, try a hobby like collecting some of your favorite items or even creative writing.
You can always pick up gardening, knitting, or painting if you want something more involved.
You can choose from many hobbies, so don’t feel limited. You may even have to try out several things before you find something you want to do regularly.
The Benefits Of Positive Thinking
Having a positive mindset can go a long way in being happy.
Unfortunately, not all of us are great with staying positive all the time. Here are the tips to help you change your mindset for the better.
The Secret To Living A Happier Life
Do you want to be happier? It’s a lot easier to get than you might think.
Here is a step by step plan to help you have a happier life and get more out of every single day.
Be Happy With What You Have
It’s easy to see others success and be jealous of them. In some cases, this feeling overrides our own happiness.
It is critical you learn to be happy with what you have, otherwise, you will never be happy.
Things To Be Grateful For
They say it’s the little things in life that bring us the most joy.
But too many times, we are too busy to acknowledge these things.
Here are over 50 small things about life to be grateful for.
Self Care Ideas To Nurture Your Mind, Body, and Soul
It is important in life to take some time to care for ourselves.
Too many of up prioritize everything else and when it comes time to pamper ourselves, we don’t have the energy.
Here are some simple ways you can take care of yourself, regardless of how exhausted you are.
This thread inspired this article.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.