24 Things Happy People Never Forget to Do
Happiness isn’t just a trait you’re born with, it’s a choice. These simple habits of happy people are guaranteed to get you there.
Look on the bright side
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Happy people tend to look for the silver lining in even unpleasant situations, and that can help reduce stress and depression. Instead of focusing on the worst-case scenario, tackle challenges head on. Break it down into achievable steps and visualize what success will look like. Try these other 50 tiny changes that will make you a happier person.
Appreciate your partner
The secret to happiness may not be what you have in your life, but who. In a survey of over 200,000 people, researchers from the London School of Economics found that the number-one thing that increased people’s happiness was being partnered in a good relationship. Whether you say it with a lunchbox note, a text, or face-to-face with a hug, appreciating your partner encourages happiness. Here are 40 creative ways to say I love you.
Go to work
In the same London survey researchers found that having a job directly increased happiness, particularly if it was something that felt important, meaningful, and needed. Those who disliked their jobs could still get that happiness boost by helping others in their community or by enjoying a rewarding hobby. If you are in a bad job, just don’t stick with it forever; that’s one of the 18 things happy people never do and you shouldn’t either.
Get regular mental health checkups
You get an annual physical at your doctor’s each year because you know it’s important for your long-term health, so why is it so many people don’t prioritize their mental health in the same way? Getting a mental wellness check was another top factor for people who reported being the happiest, according to the London survey. Unsurprisingly, untreated depression and anxiety were linked with being miserable. Here are 9 signs you should think about seeing a therapist.
Surround themselves with other happy people
Happiness is contagious and you can “catch” it from your friends, says Diane Passage, a life coach. This is not to say you should cut your mother from your life because she complains too much, but do be sure to have a balance of positive and negative people around you. Look out for “emotional vampires,” she says—meaning people who suck the energy and joy right out of the room. “Negative relationships can be more damaging to a person’s success and happiness than you think,” she explains. “Worrying about negative opinions, being rejected, or not fitting in can stop you from living life to your fullest and finding true happiness.” Here are 11 ways to finally stop comparing yourself with others.
Only check the news to once a day
If you pay attention to news stories 24-7, you know that we live in a terrifying, evil world and we’re all going to die a painful death soon. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but news outlets run shocking headlines because they get more clicks so take a moment to think about what the constant barrage of bad news is doing to your mood. “It is crucial to be aware of global, local and personal events but you don’t want to get stuck in a default mindset of fear, anger, and negativity,” Passage says. “If you want to be happy, limit your news intake.” Check the news once a day, plus experiment with what format is best for you. For example, just listening to the news and not seeing images may not be as jarring.
Make a list of their priorities
Time is its own form of currency and how you spend yours can make all the difference to your happiness, according to a study published in Social Psychology & Personality Science. You can spend it, save it, budget it, or blow it, but you definitely have a finite amount of it. Genuinely happy people know this and make a conscious decision to prioritize their time for beloved people and important events. Happy folks in the study said they did things like taking a lower-paying job with shorter hours, hiring a house cleaner, and booking vacations in advance to make sure they left time for what was really important. Learn 50 more similar strategies that life coaches won’t tell you for free.
Schedule tech-free time every day
Scrolling through social media, answering emails, binge-watching Netflix, and playing games on your phone may all give you a good feeling, but that feeling shouldn’t be mistaken for true happiness, according to the Social Psychology study. At best, your tech is putting your brain on pause and at worst, it is interfering with the kind of real-life connections that bring true happiness. Happy people recognize this and make time every day to cut lose, choosing instead to talk to loved ones, enjoy a home-cooked meal, or spend time on a fun hobby. Hint: This is one of the 20 things happy couples do after work.
Learn something new
School isn’t just for kids! Picking up a new skill or a bit of knowledge won’t just make you better at trivia night, it’ll also make you happier, according to data from a recent Gallup poll. People who took educational opportunities wherever they could find them reported being happier. Here are 28 brain games guaranteed to boost your brain power.
Talk with a mentor
Fact: The world is filled with people who are smarter than you. But that’s actually good news, as one could turn out to be your mentor. People who had at least one mentor throughout their life were two times more likely to report “thriving,” according to the Gallup poll. And it’s never too late. Find a mentor at your job, your church, or within your community and learn from their wisdom. (Then, don’t forget to pass it forward by mentoring others.) Don’t miss these quotes that prove teachers make the best mentors.