Finding happiness may be easier than you think. You don’t need the perfect circumstances, a 25 inch waist or a ton of money in the bank. For the most part, finding happiness comes from simple mindset tweaks. We’ll outline tips on how to live a happy life below!
I feel very blessed to have a pretty high level of happiness naturally. Once I realized a few things that stole my joy, I was able to even tweak my mindset to find even more happiness in each day. No matter where your happiness level is naturally, our thoughts and actions hold the secret on how to live a happy life.
In this post, we’ll outline if happiness is a choice, 27 simple hacks to finding happiness and our favorite books on how to live a happy life.
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Is happiness a choice?
In short – yes. Sonja Lyubomirsky, the author of the selling book The How of Happiness, found that about half of our happiness is under our control. The other half is our natural state and recent life events. So while our natural happiness level can range from Sue Heck from the Middle to SNL’s Debbie Downer, we can create a new level of joy through our lifestyle and mindset.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. Jim Rohn
Your Guide to Finding Happiness
Finding happiness is somewhat elusive to so many people.
I think it’s because we tend to assume certain things or achievements will lead us to happiness, versus finding joy in the moment and place we’re currently in.
We have to stop linking finding happiness to a future thing. For example, “When I have this nice car, I’ll be happy,” “When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll be happy,” ” When I’m the boss, I’ll be happy”.
The thing is – more money and accomplishments just magnify what we already are. So if you’re a grumpy gus now, and add in a million dollars, you’ll likely be a grumpy millionaire.
Money and accomplishments are usually where our minds go to find happiness; however, happiness is found more on things we can do right now.
The other thing to do is to ask yourself what you really want? The answer will help you know how to live a happy life.
Sure it’s fun to splurge on a new top, drink a cocktail or two or reward yourself with a big piece of cake – but none of those things will bring lasting happiness.
Below we’ll identify the simple steps to finding happiness everyday that doesn’t involve stuffing your face or putting it on credit.
27 Tips on How to Live a Happy Life
We need to make finding happiness a priority. With so much chaos around us, it’s important to step away from the busy and the negative and refocus.
We hope these tips on how to live a happy life can help you do just that!
1. Get Enough Sleep
There is a reason your mom always said, “everything will look better in the morning.” Our society keeps pushing for productivity, success and long hours, and this puts sleep on the back burner. It’s almost judged to get in 7-9 hours a night of sleep, but those that do are often more productive, have a higher level of energy and are happier.
2. Eat Well
Your body requires proper nutrition to feel and perform at it’s best. That doesn’t mean you can have your favorite foods too, but it is important to get in healthy meals through the day. Check out our Healthy Living Guide for diet reviews and free meal plans!
Again, this doesn’t have to be extreme. You don’t even need a gym membership. Just walking on your lunch break or streaming a workout at home can do the trick!
You may also like: 7 Surprising Tricks to Feeling More Energy
4. Feed Your Mind with Good
The news and even our social media newsfeed can be full of garbage and negativity. Just as you are what you eat, you are what you think! Don’t consume negativity! Limit those items which stress you out and feel your mind with positive personal development. You can even read or just listen in the car with Audible.
5. Have a Pet
Pets help our heart, stress level and mood all in one fell swoop according to WebMD. I’ve also found that having a pet has brought our marriage even closer together because we have something in common to love on each day. (And it doesn’t get us up in the middle of the night – which works for us too!).
6. Get Out of Your Head
Whether we are retelling a bad memory in our head and making ourselves the victim or just focusing on our insecurities, our happiness is squashed. If you’re reliving a bad experience, consider trying to wipe the memory clean – putting it in a “mental trash can” and purposely switching your focus.
Focusing on others and your listening skills can take pressure off of you and help you feel more at peace. Volunteering can also open up a new passion for you!
7. Let Go Of What You Can’t Control
Acknowledging that I can’t control everything helps me live a happy life. Focus on what you can do – how you treat others, when you leave considering traffic, and getting snow tires…but let go of the rest.
8. Get Rid of “Should”
Should is such a dirty word that can bring on shame. “I should go to the gym,” “I should save money,” etc are all great in theory, but they are bringing you down. If the “should” action is important to you, set it as a goal and phrase it as “I will.”
You may also like: How to Create a Vision Board That Works
9. Surround Yourself with Good People
You are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with. This also includes any authors, TV shows, etc you spend a lot of time with. If you don’t have positive people in your life, start limiting time with negative Nelly’s and find new friends in a new hobby or interest you may have. If doesn’t mean you have to disown your old group of friends, but it does open you up to new, good relationships.
A great audio book on this is The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.
10. Don’t Set Yourself Up Limits
Setting yourself a limit can only feed into negative thinking. You’re never too young, too old, too rich, or too broke to try something new or accomplish a goal.
11. See Where Your Time is Spent
Are you making time for you? Are you hanging out with the right people? Taking care of yourself is how you’ll be able to take care of others. It’s okay to limit obligations or friendships that drain your energy. Take that extra time to find something that helps you feel more focused, calm and happy.
12. Let People Know What is Important to You
You set the expectation of how you expect to be treated through your actions. As a former people-pleaser, I’ve learned it’s important to voice and hold-strong to how you expect to be treated. If something is important to you, let it be known. If you need an action changed, start creating those healthy boundaries and opportunities for yourself. People will adapt.
13. Be Humble Versus Entitled
I don’t think many of us go in with an entitled attitude; however, I have noticed I get most upset when I feel like I’m deserved something and don’t get it. For example, I used to get annoyed when someone sat next to be on an airplane when there were other seats open. I selfishly wanted the extra room and feel like I “deserved” it. Then I felt awful about thinking that and being rude. So I made a conscious choice to be nice and happy about sitting next to a new person.
14. Be Kind
This goes hand in hand with being humble. Next time you’re met with a grumpy gus, remember it’s not about you. They probably have a ton of things going on, and you just happen to be there. Zig Ziglar tells a funny story about the idea of how anger or kindness can have a ripple affect in the video below.
15. Don’t Assume
Assuming can also effect us finding happiness either by getting us angry, limiting ourselves, or feeling insecure. We can’t make assumptions for other people. So if someone cancels, you can’t assume it’s because they didn’t want to hang out with you. If someone is short on the phone, we can’t assume we’ve angered them.
16. Do Your Best & Forget the Rest
Perfectionism is a robber of how to live a happy life. Instead of comparing yourself to your past accomplishments or someone else, aim to do your best each day. If you do your best, you can’t be mad at yourself about something.
We watch the The Christmas Carol every year. Scrooge is the perfect example of what happens when you don’t share your dreams, life and success with someone else. Happiness is best shared with friends, family and causes your passionate about.
Not forgiving someone doesn’t harm them – it harms yourself. Ask yourself, “What do I need to let go of?” As you do, you’ll immediately feel lighter.
19. Get Outside
Sunshine and nature can help ground and relax you. A 20-minute walk also gets your hormones that affect happiness elevated.
20. Be Optimistic
Studies show optimism is linked to a longer life, better health, enhanced coping skills and problem solving.
21. Learn when to say “No”
Dr. Thema Davis puts it clearly,“saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to things and people that stress you out.”(9)
22. Try New Things
Trying new things is a powerful tip to finding happiness. Research shows that people with a variety of experiences are likely to hold onto positive emotions than those with fewer experiences.
Why? Dr. Alex Lickerman M.D. writes in Happiness in this World, that new experiences promote courage. They also open up a person’s possibilities and helps them to grow.
23. Stop Trying to Please Everyone
24. Say Goodbye to Guilt & Pride
25. Don’t be Afraid to Be a Beginner
You don’t have to be perfect to start something new. Finding joy in learning something new and the process will help you stick to something new and find happiness.
26. Set a Morning Routine
Setting the tone for your day and identifying your priorities first thing in the morning can make the rest of the day better. The Miracle Morning routine is a great way to create a habit of waking up happy each day.
27. Be Yourself
This is a huge theme in Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling, Happiness Project. Allowing yourself to be unapologetically creates new opportunities to find happiness. It releases you from a lot fo the guilt and perfection we put on ourselves and allows us to find what really makes us happy.
Finding Happiness is a daily choice.
The tips above will get you started, but these 3 books on how to live a happy life are amazing. We highly suggest listening to or reading them on your quest to finding happiness.
How to Live A Happy Life Book Recommendations
Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life – Michael Strahan
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Don Miguel Ruiz