The great American President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” To better understand “what is happiness,” we’ve published this post about the daily habits of happy people.
Do you want to be happy?
Of course, who in their right mind would ever say no, I want to be miserable?
Yet, how many people do you know who live their lives precisely this way, always unhappy with this precious life?
In this world, some people, no matter what happens to them, will rarely ever let life get them down on them. And then some rarely allow life’s good experiences to lift them up no matter how good it gets.
Life, Liberty, And Pursuit Of Happiness Quote
Constitution quotes by Thomas Jefferson
Just like success in life, happiness is a lot about choices and how you choose to see the world and experience it daily.
If you want to be happier, you’re not alone.
Almost every person will admit how much he or she wants to be happy. However, life circumstances, relationships, sickness, and constant change in the world around us often seem to conspire against our will.
Human beings always have the aspirational goal for people to be happy.
Most experts agree that the key to lasting happiness is realizing that “happiness” is a choice that we make. Then, over time, you can learn to be happy despite your circumstances.
When you’re happy, you spread your joy to those around you. That being said, here is the list of 21 daily habits of happy people.
21 Daily Habits Of Happy People And Happiness Personality Traits
- They get enough sleep
- They use food as fuel rather than as emotional
- They begin every day with breakfast
- They express gratitude often
- They exercise regularly
- They give to others
- They practice forgiveness
- They smile and laugh
- They embrace adventure
- They focus on important relationships
- They surround themselves with other happy people
- They live in the present rather than focusing on the past
- They set reasonable goals
- They hold themselves accountable
- They practice regular self-care
- They focus on their spiritual side with meditation
- They create routines
- They welcome change
- They continually learn
- They look for the positive side of things
- They focus on more than just work
The choice to be happy is harder in some moments versus others. Fortunately we’ve compiled 21 habits of extremely happy people
Being happy is a choice. But, honestly, it is more than one.
No matter who you are or how successful you become, there will be times when life will challenge you to be miserable.
Loss of a loved one, unexpected job losses, and natural disasters are just a few ways life will toss you a curveball.
People from all walks of life will go through these things. It is just life.
Some people will remain happy even when they are grieving, while others cannot let themselves enjoy the good sunshine after the storm.
My sincere hope is that you will choose to be satisfied with life and be happy no matter what comes your way.
So, what is happiness?
Happiness is a state of mind; each person can choose or not choose this mind-state at any given moment.
Neuroscience is teaching us that the brain is malleable, and there are ways to change it.
In other words, there are things that you can do to strengthen the ‘happiness muscle’ in your brain.
Getting rid of old habits that do not serve to enhance your happiness and replacing them with some of the common happiness personality traits shared by happy people can raise your level of satisfaction in noticeable ways.
The foundation for becoming a happy person is creating daily habits that set you up for success and teach you to take care of your body and mind.
These habits of happy people show you how looking both inward and outward can help you find happiness in life.
21 Daily Habits Of Happy People – Table Of Content
Happy People Get Enough Sleep
Without sleep, your body cannot heal its injured cells or fight against aging. Likewise, your mind needs enough sleep to rejuvenate itself.
A good night’s rest should be a foundational daily habit for everyone.
If you are one of those people who swear by your great-great-ancestors that you only need four to five hours of sleep each night…
How about one of these fine days, you try to increase your sleep to the recommended minimum of seven to eight hours of nightly sleep for most adults?
Go ahead. Determine when you need to wake up in the morning and count 7-8 hours backward to know when you should go to bed.
Motivational sleep quote by Charles M. Schulz, American Cartoonist
Create healthy bedtime habits and an innovative sleeping environment so you can sleep quickly and soundly all night.
For example, you may need to improve your bedroom with a white noise machine and blackout curtains while making it a tech-free zone.
By focusing on good sleep as your first smart habit for feeling happier, you will have the energy to work on the rest of the daily routines of happy people.
They Use Food As Fuel Rather Than As Emotional
Food is the fuel that keeps your body chugging along through each day.
By using meals and snacks wisely, you can feel wide awake each morning and avoid the periods of sluggishness that so many people experience every afternoon.
You will want to focus on well-balanced meals filled with healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole-grain carbohydrates with the occasional indulgences added at special events or celebrations.
Stop turning to junk food as a way to fuel your feelings and instead eat healthy food to feed your body and mind, and you will feel happier.
Happy People Begin Every Day With Breakfast
Food experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
If food is your fuel, you want to give your body what it needs to get you ready for work or whatever tasks you have planned for the day.
Researchers have found numerous benefits of eating breakfast. It jump-starts your metabolism, gives you better focus and memory throughout the day, and may even help you lose weight.
All these benefits can fill you with high self-confidence and a better self-image, infusing you with happiness.
Breakfast quote by Adelle Davis
Happy People Exercise Regularly
Exercise is undoubtedly great at keeping your weight in check and building long, lean muscles.
However, those are not the only benefits of exercising that helped land this habit on our list of the “21 habits of happy people.”
You will probably feel less stressed and have a brighter outlook after exercising. The key to gaining the most happiness from exercise is paying attention to how long your workouts last.
Research shows that the most positive benefits of physical activity come within the first 20 minutes.
Focus more on short, practical exercises rather than on long, grueling routines to reap the most happiness benefits.
Happy People Express Gratitude Often
Gratitude is a vital component of happiness.
Even when things are swirling out of control, you can choose happiness by finding even the most minor things for which you can be thankful.
If this is a new idea for you, start small.
As soon as you wake up in the morning, think of five things for which you can be grateful. By filling your mind with positive thoughts as soon as you wake up, you are more apt to feel optimistic about the rest of your day.
When this exercise becomes easier for you, you may want to progress to keeping a daily gratitude journal or even sending letters of gratitude to those you most appreciate.
Happy People Give To Others
Giving to those around you can bring happiness right back to your doorstep. When you open up your hands and your wallet to those around you, you will find yourself living a life of abundance.
Even though you may not find yourself with more belongings or more money from practicing this habit, you will find that you quickly become more grateful for what you do have.
Try giving monetary gifts to your favorite religious institution or charity.
Volunteer at homeless shelters or food banks in your hometown. Knit scarves for children or help build a home for a needy family in your community.
You can always give your time or talents if you do not have money to donate to others. But, when you’re willing to share, there will always be a way to give!
Happy People Practice Forgiveness
Studies and real-life experience show that those who forgive regularly are happier and healthier than those who hold on to their resentment and unforgiveness.
Those who choose not to forgive have increased tendencies to feel bitter, plot revenge, and continually go over real or imagined conversations in their minds.
If you want to feel real peace in your heart and be more empathetic toward those around you, learn to forgive those who have wronged or hurt you.
In your relationships and encounters, always aim to make yourself stronger and happier from what you go through with other people.
Happy People Smile And Laugh A lot
Happy people smile more often. Smiling has become a habit for them.
Research shows that choosing to smile can create happiness and that happiness creates smiles, making this a habit that yields excellent returns.
When you give a genuine smile, it lets those around you know that you are an open and positive person.
Similarly, laughter shows that you do not take yourself too seriously and know how to have fun.
Laughter can decrease stress and release feel-good hormones in your body.
Find something to laugh about daily, in little things such as a movie, a funny sign, or something your coworker says.
Happy People Embrace Adventure
Adventures open you up to the world around you.
It allows you to meet people you would never have met, see beautiful vistas, experience excitement, and benefit from something new.
While routines are okay (as you will soon see), a little adventure truly is the spice of life. Getting out of your comfort zone can increase happiness through good memories and spontaneity.
To increase those positive feelings, embark on a new adventure with a friend or a loved one because shared experiences amplify the enjoyment quotient.
Remember that adventure does not require an expensive trip to a country halfway around the world. Instead, it can be something as simple as trying new cuisine at a local restaurant or even taking a new route on your bike ride.
Happy People Focus On Important Relationships
Happy people focus on much more than themselves. They look at those around them and see how they can bring pleasure to other people’s lives.
Of course, any relationship requires constant work to make it stable.
To be truly happy in your relationships, you have to care, nurture and spend time regularly with those individuals who are most important to you.
Start focusing more on your nearest relationships with your family, neighbors, and coworkers. Then, branch out to others with similar interests, such as fellow PTA moms or those in your workout class.
Happy People Focus On Important Relationships
It is hard to be happy when you are constantly surrounded by people who are not satisfied with their happiness.
While you can choose to be happy despite your circumstances, keeping up those positive feelings is hard if those around you are always complaining or feeling down.
You will likely smile back if someone smiles at you from across the room.
If your coworker is always making snarky remarks, you may find yourself protecting your feelings by shooting back unkind retorts.
Focus on spending most of your time with those who exemplify the happy, positive feelings you want to experience.
They Live In The Present And Think About The Future
Focusing on the past stops you from experiencing the positives in your present.
Happy people choose not to dwell excessively on past discussions, relationships, choices, or actions that may have been negative.
They also decide to stop living in the past, even when it comes to good things that happened to them years ago.
Instead, they stay open to the positives in their current lives, which helps them focus their thoughts on what they are doing, choose the best work and pastimes, and have more fun.
If you are having trouble stepping away from certain regrets or difficult circumstances in your past, it may be time to see a psychologist who can help you work through any disappointments.
The resulting happiness will be well worth your time and effort as you work through painful emotions.
Happy People Set Reasonable Goals
While living in the present is one of the essential happiness personality traits shared by happy people, it is also just as important to plan for the future.
Knowing what is ahead can help you prepare and fill you with excitement over the new possibilities.
Keep your goals specific while focusing on both long-term and short-term goals.
For example, make some goals for what you want to accomplish each day, every month, this year, and for the next five years.
Keeping track of your goals can help you stay focused and show you how much you have accomplished.
Smart goal-making can help you accomplish more, keep you on your desired path, and fill you with enough hope to keep a smile on your face.
Happy People Hold Themselves Accountable
It may be tempting to think that blame-shifting can make you feel better.
That, by shifting blame to others, may help you get rid of your guilt.
However, holding yourself accountable can improve your sense of motivation, helping you get more accomplished every day and showing you clearly where you can improve.
Then start holding yourself accountable to your commitments at work and in your personal life, and recommit to your short-term and long-term goals.
Being responsible for your actions makes you feel equally responsible for your happiness.
Happy People Practice Regular Self-care
Focusing on others certainly has its place in your quest for finding happiness. But, focusing on yourself is just as important.
You do not ever want to get so caught up in activities that you fail to care for the needs of your body and spirit.
If you are feeling rundown physically, you may not be attending to your emotional needs. Likewise, if you are feeling down or discouraged, you may not be listening to your physical needs.
Therefore, you need to take time to rest your body and your mind just as much as you need to care for them with the right foods, activities, and sleep schedules.
Schedule self-care moments for yourself, and hold yourself accountable to keep them just as you would any other appointment.
Make time for a bath or a walk in the woods.
Spend time reading that self-help book that you have had on your nightstand for months, or unwind with your favorite TV show that brings a smile.
Your self-care needs will be as unique as you are. When you take time to recharge yourself, you can change your state of mind and feel happier immediately.
They Focus On Their Spiritual Side With Meditation
Happy know that life is about much more than just their physical bodies.
They understand that there is something deep inside them that needs more from life than just food, clothing, money, and all those material things that seem so important.
Daily meditation is key to spiritual health and breeds happiness, contentment, and numerous other positive qualities throughout life.
Meditation lets you focus your thoughts and shut out the noise of the world around you.
You will be able to find clarity in your thoughts and feel more than you ever thought possible. Try a meditation app to get you in this habit.
Of course, meditation does not have to mean sitting still and chanting a phrase.
Instead, you can make this practice your own by using this quiet time for yourself to add a journal entry, do a mindful yoga sequence, or even spend time in nature.
Happy People Create Routines
Daily routines create a more organized and less chaotic life. They even promote healthier habits and save you time.
Research shows that people with good routines experience less stress and better sleep while following healthier diets and using their time more effectively than those without.
If you are someone who has stayed away from daily routines in the past because you think they are annoying and could sap your joy, you should know that there are many ways to create fun daily chores.
Work the activities that you most love into your days. Schedule your favorite tasks when you want to and create time for yourself.
Happy People Welcome Change
Routines are great.
At the same time, you should learn to embrace change with courage and joy if you want to keep your happiness levels up despite the circumstances around you.
Happy people have just as healthy of reactions to those things that are changing around them as they do to those things that stay the same.
They embrace change, knowing it will strengthen them and bring them more adventure.
Stagnation can breed discontentment and grumpiness over time, but dynamic living produces happiness.
Inspirational quote by Rumi
Happy People Continually Learn
Thinking of learning as a one-step process you complete as soon as you graduate from college is sure to hold you back in nearly every aspect of life.
It will undoubtedly keep you back in your job and may even hold you back in your relationships or hobbies.
Learning new things helps you master new or challenging skills. It also lets you stay open to those critical changes that you need to make in your life.
Learning something new can raise your self-esteem and directly raise your happiness levels as well.
Happy People Look For The Positive Side Of Things
Daily optimism is a huge part of a happy life.
Focusing on what you do not have, what you did not accomplish, or what bothers you about your place in life fills you with negativity.
Whatever you regularly focus on will become more amplified in your mind over time.
Therefore, switch to positive thoughts.
Whenever something negative happens or comes into your mind, immediately choose to switch to a positive angle of thinking about it.
Not only can positive thinking help you feel happier, but also it will help you become more present and mindful overall.
Motivational quote by Oprah Winfrey
Happy People Focus On More Than Just Work
While you can find happiness in your work if you are doing something you love and remain focused on those around you just as much as you do yourself.
Your daily job will never be your sole source of happiness.
Happiness is found in those spontaneous adventures you take with your family and friends who surround you and those hobbies and activities you look forward to after work.
Happy people schedule some fun time into each day.
On the weekend, set aside more time for fun activities, such as bike riding with your family or heading to an apple orchard.
You can even make time for fun on your busiest days of the week. For example, have a five-minute dance party in your living room, do a finger painting with your child, or read a light book.
If you want to find your happiest life ever, scheduling time for play is necessary for adulthood.
Research has shown that a daily habit can take time to create.
Most habits require at least two months of regular practice before becoming part of who you are.
Try adding one daily habit to your lifestyle every week or two, and you may be surprised at just how much happier you feel only a year from now.
True happiness is rooted in taking charge of your life and relying on your inner strength rather than outward circumstances for you to be happy.
21 Happiness Personality Traits And Habits That Happy People Have In Common
In conclusion, there are many ways and things you can do to invite more happiness into your life. For instance, here is a collection of quotes about happiness by famous people.
It is possible to increase your happiness. Scientific and academic research continues to show this to be true.
This list is inconclusive; however, adopting some or all of the above 21 habits of happy people into your daily routine will impact how you feel daily.
So, pick one or two to start and learn how to find happiness daily!