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52 Happiness Habits

This article is a list of suggestions on how to practice happiness habits. This is a simple list of small mantras, practices and habits you can include in your daily life in order to better manage your stress, anxiety and increase your happiness. Happiness starts within yourself. Practice these happiness habits and remember that these are just some suggestions in order to help you live your life as the happiest version of you. They are not the only happiness habits and not the only ones you should abide by in order to become happier. Add your own happiness habits, pick the ones you like but remember that no matter what, the goal is to help ourselves become happier.

This article splits up happiness habits based on a few criteria: happiness habits for yourself – which includes emotional, spiritual and physical health and happiness habits which can, once mastered, be shared with others in a beneficial matter.

Make sure that the life you are living is one of quality and that the happiness you experience is a direct result of the work you have put in on yourself and with your loved ones. Happiness habits start within you: your confidence and happiness are the foundation to a successful life and without self-assured happiness within yourself you cannot fully share this experience with others. Give your best self the opportunity to shine while you experience the following happiness habits.


The best happiness habits start from within. If you cannot experience happiness on your own, it is even harder to share it with somebody else. The most essential happiness habits are cultivated within you. Emotional habits are essential to happiness because it is to ourselves that we lie the most. We need to be able to check in with ourselves in an honest way and make sure that we are living a happy life and if not, we know how to work towards that.

This article begins with reminders of how to check up on ourselves to know and understand if we are happy and how to improve upon it, where possible.

Happiness Habit #1: Smile

Rule number one is as simple as it is important: remember to smile! Whether or not you are feeling happy, it is important to smile because smiling can help you feel happy even when you are not.

Force a smile when you feel like doing anything but…this will help you to visualize and experience a positive emotion. We can trick our brains into thinking we are happy in moments of sadness, stress and annoyance. This is one easy way to simply shut out stress if only for a moment in time we can feel better about whatever situation we might find ourselves in. We can take this smile and show the world and ourselves that we are in fact happy people – we are smiling and victorious – sadness be damned!

Smiles can be infectious, plant one on your face, and soon others will be wearing the same expression as well. Cultivating the happiness habit of smiling not only benefits you but it also benefits those around you who get to see the smile on your face. We remind others to smile when we do and in the same way, when we see others smile it reminds us and even inspires us to smile. We can show the world we are smiling, happy and enjoying life and in moments when we are not happy we can smile and help to create a positive energy around us.

Smiling has many health benefits. Smiling decreases stress, makes others happy and activates powerful memories for us as well. When we smile, we think of the moments in our lives that have made us happy – big moments of joy such as weddings to small moments we share with loved ones. Activate the positive memories in your brain and attempt to shut out the negativity by smiling. It is the easiest happiness habit, and it is free. Everyone is capable of smiling. This rule is the most universal rule of them all.

Our outward expression of smiling creates positive inward expressions for us. The easiest way to ensure more happiness in our lives is to cultivate the daily habit of smiling. Smile whenever and wherever you can in order to better your emotional outlook on life. The frown lines on our faces need to be overshadowed by our happiness lines.

Smiling in moments where you feel defeated or angry can call to mind the moments in your life when you were once happy and carefree. We flip through these memories, as they are called to mind, with a smile, like a photo album. Isn’t it better to enjoy great moments of our lives, and add to them on a daily basis, with the simple outward expression of smiling?

We all forget to smile and enjoy the moments of our lives that seem mundane, monotonous or trivial. It is within these moments that we must remember to smile. Smiling should become second nature to us – a habit so deeply ingrained in our sense of self that we do not need to be reminded or prompted to perform this outward emotional expression. The more genuine and unforced a smile is the less it feels like a mask we wear for the world. Do not smile just because you have to, smile because you want to and it will turn into a rewarding experience. Smile to begin to cultivate the happiness habits that should become the focus of your life. Smile to thwart off sadness, anger and annoyance. Smile because you can.

Happiness Habit #2: Kindness

When we create happiness within ourselves, via smiling and positive experiences, we can then pass that positivity onto others. It is much harder to be kind to others when we are unhappy. In order to be kind, and help to increase the happiness of others, we must learn to establish it within ourselves. Without our own personal happiness in check, we cannot fully contribute to the happiness of others. Courtesy and kindness are two simple habits to cultivate within ourselves that help to not only make us but others happier. These two habits seem to be fleeting in a society where our most basic social interactions have been taken to social media. We forget that #hashtagging and spreading messages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are fruitless, they do not directly help anybody. You are not joining a movement by posting a picture and #hashtagging it with the name of a charitable movement. You don’t need to establish a charity or a societal movement in order to be kind but you do have to be proactive.

Do not just sit back and wait for good things to happen to you or to others. Be kind- to yourself and others. Kindly show people small gestures such as smiling at strangers, holding doors for them and sharing small acts of kindness such as donating time (a free commodity we all possess) or money (if you can afford to). Volunteer your time to causes you can contribute to. Find your skills and share them with the world, on a smaller scale participate in small acts of kindness out of your social media bubble and commit to performing them on a regular basis. This can range from buying the person behind you in the drive-thru line their coffee in the morning to volunteering with a local charity on a monthly basis. When we understand that our time has the ability to be not only our own but a shared experience with the people that we interact and share our time with, we understand how important kindness can be. We would all like to be treated with kindness and respect and need to remember to treat others in this way. Be kind to perfect strangers and loved ones alike. Kindness is a universal language that has no language barriers – we can all understand and speak this language no matter where we are in the world and whom we may be surrounded by at the time.

When we show kindness to others, in both small and significant ways we add happiness to both our lives and to the lives of others. Being happy and giving happiness to others in turn also increases our own personal happiness. Happiness breeds happy habits such as kindness and increases everyone’s overall happiness. Giving and receiving happiness can be done through the habit of kindness. Give the kindness you want to receive.

Happiness Habit #3:  Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It is important to realize our own self-worth and to stop comparing ourselves to others in order to feel a sense of validation from the world. Our happiness, first and foremost, should be dependent upon our appreciation of ourselves. Learning to value our self-worth, independent of others’ opinions of us, is an essential happiness habit. When we compare ourselves to others, in both positive and negative ways, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to genuinely appreciate ourselves. Speaking negatively about others and ourselves creates negative body images, personalities and impedes our own personal happiness.

Gossiping about others perpetuates these types of negative body images, confidence and self-worth. We need to remember to stop comparing ourselves to others but to also stop holding others to exceptionally high standards. We cannot expect kindness from everyone if we participate in the toxic and judgmental habit of gossiping. We see the negative effects of harshly judging others through online bullying, gossip magazines and to whispered rumors at work, school or our personal lives. Gossiping breeds hateful feelings, we are hating others we do not know based on physical appearances, false judgments and hateful bashing. Gossiping benefits no one.

Once you are happy with yourself, you learn not to seek this kind of validation from others as much as you once did. You learn to be a happier person when you stop factoring others into the way you view yourself. We are happy and healthy when we feel that way, not when we compare our jean size to our friends, famous celebrities or anybody else in our lives. We need to feel happy in mental, emotional and physical ways as well. We must value ourselves.

Happiness Habit #4:  Focus on the Now, Forget the Past, Ignore the Future

It is important to focus on the present. Remember to live in the now. When we are caught up in living in the past we make it harder to enjoy the present. Learning to let go of past grievances, worries and stress allows us to create positive experiences in the present. We all learn from past experiences – they help shape us into the person we are in the present but it is important to not let the weight of negative experiences be an anchor that weighs us down in the present. While we learn to combat negativity, we can focus on someone other than ourselves. This is where extra activities such as volunteering and joining clubs can come in to play. We can join organizations and help others.

Stop wishing for things to come true while you pretend to live in the present. Dreamers and wishers are a wistful breed of people. Do not spend your life wishing for everything you’ve ever wanted to come true, make it happen now. The doers and movers and shakers of the world who accomplished their life goals did not just sit around and wait for the things they wanted to happen – they went out and made things happen. They focused, learned from their mistakes, and pushed themselves further each day in order to realize their dreams. They lived fully in the present as they chased their dreams instead of just thinking about them.

Focus on the present and live in the moment by pursuing your dreams, your passion and your goals now instead of tomorrow. Don’t harbor failures of the past – improve upon them today. The most successful people in the world didn’t waste their time on daydreams – they went out and made things happen even if they started on a small scale. If you are living a life that you are not proud of, stuck in a job that you hate – doing work that is unfulfilling, then work to change it. For example, if you love the outdoors, familiarize yourself with some local hiking trails. Work to become a tour/hiking guide in your town and then work to be the best at it. If you work hard enough and smart enough you can find yourself leading larger groups and eventually maybe even translating your passion for the outdoors into a sustainable income. NO passion is worth putting on the back burner. Realize what you want and work towards your goals today instead of tomorrow. Tomorrow people – or procrastinators, wait for the best things and push them off until the next day instead of living their dreams today. Do not rob yourself of the chance to be closer to finding bliss by holding off on chasing your dreams until tomorrow. Live in the present. Live in the now – you owe it to yourself to realize your goals now before your life slips on by.

If your job is unfulfilling and your passion doesn’t pay the bills – work on trying to establish more time for your passion. Don’t let work rule your life if you do not enjoy doing it. There is always the dream that we end up doing exactly what we love to do as a living but it is not an easy road for everyone to match their passions and desires with a large paycheck.

We can spend our lives worrying about our pathway to our future but we need to live in the moment. We cannot spend time fearing the future, dreading the bills coming in the mail the next day – we need to live in the moment in order to enjoy life today and tomorrow. We can live in the fear of failure of what is to come in our lives in the future – will I get the job I interviewed for? Will I get into the college I want to? Will I be able to afford the dream house? – or we can focus on improving the now. Failure is always a possibility in life. We can fail at most anything. If we can fail at anything, isn’t it best to focus our efforts on things we love? If we can get fired and fail at a job that we hate, can’t we try to pursue one that we love? Failure at something we are passionate about is more worthwhile than failing at everything in life we do not care about at all.

Forget the past. Our pasts are important and while they shape who we are, we must learn to not live in the past as we can sometimes get stuck there. If you were at one point a great athlete, don’t live in the past of when you wore a letterman’s jacket while your health declines in the present. Appreciate your past but don’t live in it. This is especially important for negative experiences because the negative experiences of our past tend to stay with us longer than positive experiences and hold us back from living happy lives.

Ignore the future. Don’t forget about the future entirely but let this serve as a reminder to fully be a part of the present because without being a part of our present and living life to the fullest our futures look pretty bleak. In the same sense, don’t think that this is an open invitation to forget that the future even exists. Don’t blow all of your money and forget important things like your inevitable retirement which you will spend penniless if you squander every dollar that you make. Ignoring the future means that you shouldn’t use the promise of a better tomorrow as a crutch to waste time today. Don’t watch your goals slip away while you simply wish a better future for yourself. Continue to read part 2 of this article here.

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