We build our self-awareness on these habits of happiness and joy. As we focus on gratitude, kindness, empathy, service and positive reflection. This all encourage greater resilience and contentment.
Ever wondered about those people who seem to be in a good mood all the time? What’s their secret? Is it a magic potion they drink?
Well, not exactly. It turns out, they have some habits that make them happier – and guess what – they’re things you can start doing today!
We take a look and dive into habits that happy people have in common.
1. They Start Their Day with Gratitude
The early bird catches the worm, right? But it turns out, the happiest birds also take a moment to appreciate the worm! In other words, happy people often start their day by counting their blessings.
Think about it. Instead of grumbling about the alarm clock, they wake up and think of something they’re grateful for.
This could be anything – from the comfort of their bed to the aroma of morning coffee, to the sound of birds chirping outside.
Gratitude helps kickstart the day on a positive note. And the good news is that it’s super easy to do! You could write in a gratitude journal or just take a moment to think about what you’re thankful for.
Practical Tip: Before getting out of bed each morning, think of three things you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as the warmth of your blanket or the sunlight streaming through your window.
2. They Stay in the Present
We’ve all heard that saying, right? “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Happy people really take this to heart.
Instead of stressing over past mistakes or worrying about what the future might hold, they focus on the here and now.
They live in the moment and fully enjoy whatever they’re doing at that time.
Whether it’s savoring their breakfast, listening to their favorite song, or just feeling the breeze on their face, they immerse themselves in the experience.
This doesn’t mean they don’t plan for the future at all. They just don’t let it steal away the joy of today.
Practical Tip: Practice mindfulness exercises, like deep breathing or meditation, for a few minutes each day to help you stay grounded in the present moment.
3. They Surround Themselves with Positive People
A few years ago, I found myself stuck in a rut. I felt like everything was going wrong, and I couldn’t shake off the gloom. Then, one day, a friend of mine noticed and gave me some advice that changed my life.
He said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
It hit me like a bolt of lightning! I realized that I had been spending a lot of my time with people who were negative, who complained all the time, and who saw the glass as always half-empty.
So, I made a change. I started hanging out more with friends who were upbeat and positive. Friends who inspired me, encouraged me, and brought out the best in me.
And guess what? My mood started to lift. I felt happier and more energized.
And this is something happy people do – they surround themselves with positivity. They choose to be around people who uplift them and inspire them to be better.
Practical Tip: Evaluate your current circle of friends and acquaintances. Make an effort to spend more time with those who uplift you and consider distancing yourself from chronic complainers.
4. They Practice Regular Physical Activity
Did you know that moving your body can do wonders for your mood? It’s true! According to a study, people who exercise regularly are happier than those who don’t.
And it doesn’t have to be anything intense or strenuous. Even a brisk walk around the block can make a world of difference.
The secret behind this is endorphins – our body’s natural mood lifters. When we exercise, our body releases these feel-good hormones which help to reduce stress and boost our mood.
So, whether it’s hitting the gym, taking a yoga class, or going for a bike ride, happy people make sure to get their bodies moving.
Even a little bit of physical activity can go a long way in keeping your spirits high.
Practical Tip: Set a daily reminder to take a short walk, stretch, or do a quick workout. Even 10 minutes can make a difference!
5. They Give More Than They Take
One of the most beautiful things about happy people is that they believe in the power of giving.
They understand that true happiness doesn’t come from material possessions or self-interest, but from helping others and making a positive impact in their lives.
There’s something incredibly heartwarming and fulfilling about brightening someone else’s day. It could be as simple as sharing a smile with a stranger, helping a neighbor with their groceries, or volunteering at a local charity.
When we give, we not only bring joy to others, but we also enrich our own lives.
Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
This is the spirit that happy people embrace – they know that every act of kindness, no matter how small, adds up to make a big difference.
Practical Tip: Once a week, perform a random act of kindness. It could be paying for someone’s coffee or leaving a positive note for a colleague.
6. They Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity
You see, I used to be terrified of failure. The mere thought of messing up or not meeting expectations would keep me awake at night. But then, something happened that changed my perspective.
I was working on a project that I was really passionate about. I put in hours of work and gave it my all, but in the end, it didn’t pan out as I’d hoped. I felt like I had let myself and everyone else down.
But then, my Dad told me something that struck a chord. He said, “Failure isn’t falling down; it’s refusing to get back up.”
That got me thinking. The most successful people in the world aren’t those who never fail – they’re those who never quit. They see failure not as a dead end, but as a detour to something even better.
From that day onwards, I began to view failure in a different light. Instead of dreading it, I started seeing it as an opportunity to learn and grow. And let me tell you, it has made all the difference.
Happy people understand this concept well. They see challenges as opportunities and aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone.
When they stumble, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again.
Practical Tip: Whenever you face a setback, write down what you learned from it and how you can apply that lesson in the future.
7. They’re Not Afraid to Say No
Society often tells us we need to be agreeable, to go with the flow, to say yes to everything. But let’s face it, that’s a quick ticket to Burnout City.
Happy people have figured out that saying no is not only okay, it’s necessary. They understand that time and energy are precious, and they choose how and where to spend them wisely.
They don’t overcommit or stretch themselves too thin. If something doesn’t align with their values or priorities, they’re not afraid to politely decline. And they do it without feeling guilty or worrying about what others might think.
Saying no is about respecting yourself and your needs. It’s about setting boundaries and maintaining your mental health.
Practical Tip: Practice assertive communication. If you can’t commit to something, politely decline with a simple explanation, like “I have prior commitments.”
8. They Nurture Their Relationships
Did you know that maintaining strong, positive relationships can significantly boost your happiness levels?
It’s true! According to a study conducted by Harvard University, one of the most significant factors in overall happiness is having solid relationships with family, friends, and partners.
Happy people understand this and make it a point to nurture their relationships. They invest time and energy into building strong connections with their loved ones.
They’re there to celebrate the good times, and they stick around when things get tough.
It’s not just about having a big social circle, but about having deep, meaningful connections.
So take some time out to call an old friend, have dinner with your family, or plan a date night with your partner. These moments of connection can bring so much joy and fulfillment.
Practical Tip: Schedule regular catch-ups with loved ones, whether it’s a weekly phone call with a family member or a monthly dinner with friends.
9. They Take Time for Themselves
Here’s something I learned the hard way: You can’t pour from an empty cup. A few years back, I was juggling multiple roles at the same time – employee, spouse, friend – and I thought I was doing pretty well. But then, out of nowhere, I hit a wall. I was burnt out.
That’s when I realized that in my bid to take care of everyone else, I had forgotten to take care of myself.
So, I started carving out some ‘me time’ in my schedule. It could be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee in silence, reading a book, or taking a leisurely walk.
Taking this time for myself was like a breath of fresh air. It helped me relax, recharge and refocus. And honestly, it made me a better person in every role.
This is something happy people understand well – the importance of self-care. They know that taking time for themselves isn’t selfish; it’s essential.
Practical Tip: Dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to a hobby or activity you love, whether it’s reading, gardening, or listening to music.
10. They Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Life comes with its fair share of irritations.
Maybe you spilled coffee on your white shirt, or the bus was late, or someone cut you off in traffic.
But here’s the thing – happy people don’t let these little annoyances ruin their day.
They understand that stuff happens and instead of getting all worked up about things they can’t control, they choose to let it go.
They save their energy for the things that really matter. So next time something minor goes wrong, take a deep breath and let it slide.
Your happiness is way too important to be disturbed by trivial matters.
Practical Tip: When faced with a minor annoyance, ask yourself, “Will this matter in a year?” If not, let it go.
11. They Don’t Compare Themselves to Others
Here’s an ugly truth: comparison is the thief of joy.
It’s so easy to scroll through social media, see others’ highlight reels, and start feeling like you’re not good enough.
But happy people? They don’t play that game.
They understand that everyone is on their own unique journey, with different strengths, challenges, and paces.
So they focus on their own growth and progress, not how they stack up against others.
Remember, your value doesn’t decrease based on someone else’s ability to see your worth.
Practical Tip: Limit your social media usage or follow accounts that inspire and motivate you rather than make you feel inadequate.
12. They Choose Happiness and Joy
This is probably the most raw and honest point of all: happy people choose to be happy. Yes, life throws curveballs at us.
Yes, there are days when the skies seem endlessly grey. But in the midst of all this, they choose to find the silver lining.
They believe in the power of positive thinking and make a conscious decision every day to embrace joy and optimism.
They remind themselves of the good in their lives and in the world around them.
Because ultimately, happiness is a choice that we each have the power to make.