by Gideon 

September 22, 2021

habits of happy people

This post essentially considers one vital question, what are the habits of happy people, if any? What causes some people to be happy most of the time while others are not?

The simplest answer is that people who are the happiest tend to have habits that increase their chances of feeling joyful most of the time.

Conversely, people who are unhappy also usually have habits that cause them to experience less favourable experiences and emotions most of the time, as seen in this post.

So, my goal for you in this post is to get you to look at your behaviours and habits if you aren’t as happy as you would like to be right now and see if there are things you could change or improve.

People who are content and happy tend to have a number of habits in common, and adopting these same habits will most likely result in similar beneficial outcomes for you.

We cover 10 specific powerful habits of happy people in this post.

Putting these habits into practice could most likely make a huge difference in your life too.

Optimism.

Without a doubt, believing that good and positive things are going to happen in your life or future, increases the likelihood that you will be happy.

I have learned that it does absolutely nothing to improve your mood or levels of happiness to constantly ruminate on the worst that might happen.

In fact, it usually does exactly the opposite by filling you with fear and dread and making you overly sensitive to all the bad stuff that’s happening in the world. Even when those things aren’t anywhere near you.

Optimism is a way of looking at the world that helps you see more opportunities while putting you in a state where you can actually make use of them.

But optimism is also a type of confidence in one’s own abilities.

If you feel that you are capable of dealing with any situation, you will be optimistic and consequently have the mental freedom to be happy.

Also, if you are optimistic, you will be able to open doors for yourself and live a fulfilling life.

Habits of Happy People

The opposite, on the other hand, is also true.

If you have a negative frame of mind, you may frequently find yourself in situations that you did not mean to create or find yourself in.

Now, I understand that remaining optimistic may appear to be a difficult thing depending on your current situation, but there are several simple things you can do to start making your situation better.

And if you put these things into practice on a daily basis, you will be doing yourself a big service by developing the appropriate mindset and building the necessary foundation for achieving success and fulfilment in life.

Again, this is not a guarantee but rather a correlation between optimism and happiness that I’ve observed in my life.

So, developing optimism is a good thing to pursue.

How to Increase Your Optimism in four (4) Steps.

Here are some simple ways you can employ to increase your level of optimism…

Try not to get too focused on one thing at a time.

It’s possible that you’re stuck in a situation that’s preventing you from moving forwards.

Perhaps there is just one thing that keeps happening every day that spoils everything for you.

Regardless, make a decision to let things go so that it will no longer bother you.

In the end, there’s a huge world out there simply waiting for you to discover it!

Holding onto things tends to keep us from looking forward and making use of the opportunities around us.

That leads us to the next point.

Get over the events of the past.

One of the habits of happy people is that they don’t hold on to the past.

It’s important to remember that the past is the past and that it doesn’t have to be repeated in the future.

In fact, if you keep reliving the past, YOU are the one who is carrying it forward into the present and into the future.

Learn how to let go of things, no matter how painful the experience may have been.

The future can be filled with wonderful things, but a wonderful future can only begin when you’ve come to terms with your own personal history and present.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you justify or condone the past – letting go of the past simply means that you choose to not be controlled by it any longer.

Surround yourself with individuals who are upbeat and optimistic.

Humans are social beings that are able to sense the energy of those around them and take it on board.

That process is called “emotional contagion” in psychology.

Habits of happy people

For example, have a good time with friends and family members who are cheerful and encouraging.

Simply being in the company of positive individuals can help to improve your mood when you’re feeling low.

Be mindful of your language.

Do you speak positively and constructively to yourself and others, or do you speak in a critical and dismissive manner?

Make an effort to limit your comments to solely positive statements because the language we use seems to influence our emotional state and how we feel.

Language, according to recent psychological constructionist views, is a basic ingredient in emotion, constituting both emotional experiences and perceptions.

So practice speaking in a positive manner and focusing on the positive aspects of every situation.

In the end, you’ll discover that small things can have a significant impact on your level of optimism and thus, happiness.

Don’t wait for a great opportunity to come along before choosing to be happy; simply open your eyes to the wonders of the world around you, and you will be rewarded incredibly.

Altruism.

Doing things for others has a number of advantages.

Helping others can benefit you directly at the same time.

You’ll not only feel better about yourself, but you’ll also find that others are more inclined to help you!

Here are some examples of how helping others can benefit you:

Giving attracts more of the same.

Giving increases your chances of receiving.

Some people believe this to be a universal law.

Perhaps a friend will suddenly repay your kindness or a new opportunity will present itself.

Perhaps you’ll come across some good fortune.

It doesn’t really matter, helping often results in receiving.

Of course, we shouldn’t give with the intention of receiving. Our gifts should be free.

But an open hand tends to receive much better than a closed one.

It makes you feel good.

We’ve all heard the saying that giving is better than receiving.

Now, that might sound like a cliché but in my experience, it tends to be true.

When we give to others were less fortunate than us or who need our help, not only does it help those people move forward in some way or another, it also fills us with gratitude and happiness.

As a result, we usually tend to want to give even more which helps everyone in the process.

Increased self-esteem.

When you help others, you may be also helping yourself in gaining a higher sense of self-worth.

Positive reinforcement for your excellent deeds allows you to take satisfaction in your actions while also generating momentum for even greater and better things.

Increased self-assurance.

You may discover that your confidence increases after you’ve done something good for someone else.

The fact that your acts of kindness have resulted in a wonderful result may provide you with the confidence you need in your own life.

As such, helping someone else might actually mean helping yourself.

Feeling more positive about your personal situation.

You may discover that you are your own harshest critic at times.

You may be willing to overlook others’ flaws, but you may be less willing to overlook your own.

That’s something, many of us can do.

It’s not a positive thing, but it is common.

However, helping others might actually help you in accepting your own situation and flaws.

It might help you in seeing things in a more optimistic way.

Habits of Happy People

Also when you help others, you share positive energy in the world and that can change the world one person and a time.

Because the people who you help may also become inspired to help others in the future.

Ultimately, when you help people, you leave an impression on them which as a result can change the course of their life, and as a result of that, the lives of many other people.

One good example of this is the world-renowned life coach, Tony Robbins.

He frequently tells a story of how a stranger’s gift on Thanksgiving changed his outlook on things and life forever (note: if you don’t get teary-eyed, you need to go see someone)

As a result, he went on to make a huge difference in the lives of millions of people around the world during his career.

Gratitude.

Another powerful habit of happy people is having an attitude of gratitude.

It’s possible that you’re not even aware of the fact that focusing on the positive aspects of your life and being grateful can make you happier.

If you’re constantly wanting to better, always going after that next goal, always looking for that next step on the success ladder, it’s easy to become fixated on the things that aren’t working in your life at the moment.

The problem is that concentrating on the negative or on what needs to be done sets you up for unhappiness, and no one wants to be unhappy all of the time.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, reminding yourself to be grateful for the wonderful things in your life is one of the most beneficial acts of self-care you can perform.

Habits of Happy People

When you do that, it is likely that you will start to approach life with a much more positive outlook, which will make your everyday responsibilities and goals feel more enjoyable and less burdensome.

And that might help you achieve the very things you’re after.

Here are four ways that cultivating thankfulness might actually help you become a happier person.

It establishes a positive feedback loop.

The more you pay attention to the positive aspects of your life, the more you will notice.

Furthermore, by concentrating on the things that make you joyful, you will become more optimistic and anticipate seeing positive results!

And as a result, you’ll be even more grateful for those things, and the cycle will continue.

You will have a greater number of friends.

People that are upbeat and positive tend to have a greater number of friends.

Consider the characters of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch: who is more fun to be around?

Who has the most number of friends?

Who do you prefer: the one who is cheerful and sings, or the person who is cranky and complains?

You’ll be more resilient as a result of this.

It sets you up to be better prepared to deal with difficult situations when they arise when you are grateful for what you currently have.

You get into the habit of seeking the positive aspects of your current situation, rather than wishing for more and being unsatisfied with the present situation.

That makes you more resilient as a result.

You live a longer life.

Perhaps the most unexpected advantage of cultivating gratitude (and other positive emotions) is the positive influence it can have on your physical health and well-being.

Gratitude prepares you for happiness, and happiness, in turn, sets off a cascade of good chemical interactions in your brain and throughout your body.

The stress chemical cortisol, which can cause inflammation and poor immunological response, are replaced by dopamine and serotonin in your happy brain, which will improve your mood and overall health.

As a result, reduced blood pressure and heart rate occur, which in turn also increase immunological function.

According to research, those who are happier tend to live longer and healthier lives.

Additionally, if you are happy and content with your life, you have a better and more positive experience as you age.

Conversely, however, people who are unhappy are more likely to suffer from chronic stress, stress-related illnesses, psychological illnesses like depression, and even death at a younger age.

Essentially, increasing your happiness and practising thankfulness will help you live a better, longer, and more pleasurable life!

A bright and promising future.

Another habit of happy people is that they’re always looking forward to something.

It could be anything from graduating from college to having a child, retiring, taking a vacation, or going on a hot date on a Saturday night.

Some researchers discovered evidence that visualising a happier future helps people find significance in everyday life actions, as long as such acts are judged to be beneficial to pursuing happiness.

Additionally, their research revealed that those who are prone to seek purpose in life are more likely to predict such gains in future enjoyment.

Additionally, their research demonstrates that as people picture a more promising future, their perceived meaning in life increases, particularly for those who are prone to seek significance in life.

Taken together, these studies imply that fantasising about future happiness contributes to our ability to perceive life as important.

So, how do you think about the future?

Do you find it easy or difficult to believe that something good awaits you in the future?

Do you have something you’re looking forward to?

Now, even though I understand that developing positivity can be difficult when you’re feeling tired from life, if not impossible, I also believe that there is hope for you!

Habit of Happy People

It is possible to look forward with anticipation to an exciting future, even though you’re in a dark moment right now.

To help you regain optimism about the future, keep the following suggestions in mind:

What does the evidence of the current reality suggest?

Even though it is easier to be optimistic when a favourable outcome is more likely, there are instances when you need to know when to let go or when to make a shift in your thinking.

In addition, taking proactive action to achieve a better outcome enhances your optimism since you no longer feel like you are a powerless victim of your circumstances.

The key is, taking as much action as possible in the direction of the outcome you desire.

But that leads to the next point…

Prioritise.

Begin by identifying the issues, events, and timeframes that are most suited to be hopeful about at this time.

Rather than scattering your energies across numerous goals, some of which may be improbable at the moment, consider concentrating your efforts on the most critical goals.

No one can predict what will happen in the future.

How many times have you encountered a circumstance that resulted in unexpected outcomes?

Most likely plenty of opportunities!

And many of those were likely to have been positive experiences in the end as well.

Even if life appears to be full of situations that are less-than-promising on the surface, you never know what may truly transpire in the end.

By widening your perspective, you put yourself in a more positive emotional state to see the positive side of things.

In addition, it’s wise to expect the best, because new opportunities await you around every corner.

Remain focused on your own personal interests.

It is when we do what we love that we experience joy, and joy breeds optimism.

habits of happy people

Whether you prefer playing a musical instrument, working on cars, or engaging in any other activity, make sure to schedule time in your week for your passion.

If at all possible, schedule some “me” time each day.

Putting your craft, hobby, or passion into practice will enable you to avoid placing your hopes in the hands of another person, location, or thing.

All of the happiness you’ll ever need is already within you, and you’ll discover it moment by moment as you pursue your passions.

Sometimes that requires us to juggle a few things in life, but in the end following your joy also helps you remain in the present. For the past has already come and gone. And the future hasn’t shown up yet either. This is all you have at the moment.

So make the most of every opportunity in the present because you will almost always find that your future is better off as a result of doing just that.

Be open to new possibilities.

A promotion might have been on the cards, but it didn’t come through. Perhaps you even lost your job as a result of something. Rather than sulking about it, you should take advantage of this excellent opportunity.

Despite the fact that you were probably looking forwards to whatever didn’t happen, or were relieved to avoid what did happen, the reality is that you are in control of your own destiny.

Or at least, you have some control over your future.

Some people dream of working from home as a freelancer or creating something with their hands for a living and experiencing a “loss” might be their chance to pivot. Now is the time to start moving in that direction right away because some things are no longer a barrier or an excuse.

Keep in mind that there is always assistance available to you.

It doesn’t matter if you use your social network or consult with a licenced counsellor; other people are there to encourage and support you as you embark on your new journey.

So rely on people around you as you strive to create a new future. It’s far easier than going about it on your own.

As you open your mind to new possibilities and experimenting with the suggestions above, you might be surprised to discover that designing an interesting future is less difficult than you originally imagined.

Happy people tend to just get on with things and refuse to allow things and people hold them back from feeling good and going after what they want.

Success.

One of the habits of happy people is that they spend a lot of time doing things that they are good at and that they also like doing.

That is why they make the time for it: they understand how crucial it is to feel good to performing well in anything.

Now, this does not necessarily imply that you are the best or that you are participating in a competitive environment.

Simply striking golf balls on the range or picking up a guitar and feeling good about yourself can be enough to make you feel good.

But succeeding at anything is a heck of a lot easier when we feel good in ourselves when doing something.

That doesn’t mean it always feels easy or is enjoyable, but we should always feel good about what it is that we’re investing ourselves in.

To put it differently, we need to be clear about WHY we’re doing what we’re doing.

And that WHY has to fill us with happiness if we’re serious about succeeding in life in the long run.

Habits of Happy People

What about the fear of achieving success?

Now, fear of failure is something we can all relate to, but what about fear of success?

That’s another story.

It sounds somewhat ridiculous but many individuals are afraid of success, even if they aren’t aware of it.

The truth is that success isn’t always a positive experience, and there’s a part of you that recognises this.

For example, success may bring with it possible attention, demands for assistance, and even disappointment, all of which you may not want or be prepared to deal with.

The reality is that success can make your life easier in some aspects while making it more difficult in others. Every circumstance has advantages and downsides that must be considered.

Consequently, if you desire success but have discovered that you consistently undermine your efforts or find it difficult to pursue your goals, you may be experiencing success anxiety.

The following are some examples of how the fear of success might sabotage your progress and happiness:

To be successful, you must be or do more than before.

Our brains yearn for familiarity. Your brain’s basic goal is survival, which is why it prioritises comfort over anything else.

But changing your life necessitates altering your behaviour, your mentality, and, in certain cases, your beliefs and ideals as well.

That is something that can make you feel unconsciously uncomfortable, and as a result, your subconscious mind and brain might step in to ensure you remain comfortable, despite that potentially meaning missing out on improved success.

Social pressure is increased as a result of success.

Success is more than just having a large bank account and gaining fame.

When you achieve success, people perceive you in a different light.

In fact, many people who previously ignored you might now begin to pay attention to you.

Many people might come to you for financial assistance if you are making a lot of money.

Charities will most likely begin contacting you frequently as well.

Driving a nice car or living in a large house attracts attention too, which can lead to a lot of probing questions and uncomfortable conversations.

These might all be things that you unconsciously despise or want to avoid, and as such, the prospect of success actually poses a threat rather than something you want.

habits of happy people

You are unfamiliar with the concept of success, and you are afraid of the unknown.

You are familiar with the circumstances surrounding your current situation.

You may not be happy with your current circumstances, but at least you know what to expect on a daily basis.

It is all very familiar and perhaps even comfortable.

However, dealing with new settings and new people is part of the process of changing your life and is part and parcel of success.

That could be a frightening idea to you, and as a result, sabotaging your own success is a much more enticing thought.

You’re terrified of what you might turn into in the future.

Right now, you may consider yourself to be a good person, but you may also be concerned about what you may do if you were in a position of greater financial or political power, for example.

Who you are right now might be very comfortable and you don’t want to change nor do you want to be experienced as someone else by other people.

So, again, sabotaging your own efforts to succeed more becomes a natural and automatic consequence.

You are concerned that success may not be as good as hoped.

Humans are inherently predisposed to feel dissatisfied with their lives. This is the natural consequence of dopamine flooding our brains.

Have you ever observed that a lot of things aren’t quite as good as you had hoped they would be?

We typically call this “disappointment”.

Whether it’s a vacation, a hot fudge sundae, or a new gadget that you really had to have, there’s sometimes a sense of disappointment that comes with it.

Some people believe that they are sabotaging their own efforts to succeed because they inherently fear that they would put in all of the effort only to be dissatisfied in the end.

The problem is that as long as we cannot enjoy the success of the moment, regardless of its size, the green grass on the other side will always be more enticing. For some people, however, the thought of disappointment can be that big that it’s easier to not even try to start with.

Anxiety of being criticised.

Many people are sceptical of and contemptuous of persons who have achieved success.

You only need to read the comments on social media when there is some article about some rich person who did something – good or bad.

Of course, a lot of this is typically motivated by feelings of jealousy, but it might still be enough to cause you anxiety.

Perhaps you too are anxious that you will be perceived negatively and critically by people when you start experiencing success. Financially or otherwise.

Now, if you yourself have a negative attitude towards successful people right now, that, of course, will only increase your chances of experiencing anxiety around success.

You’ll automatically assume that others will perceive you in the same light as you do successful people at the moment.

While the fear of success may not be as visible as the fear of failure, it is a significant obstacle that holds a lot of people back from succeeding more in life.

As a result, they rob themselves of potentially more positive experiences that could be beneficial to their happiness.

Resilience.

It is impossible to avoid experiencing difficult times.

Something will happen sooner or later that will jeopardise your growth, success, or happiness.

You can count on it.

However, resilience is defined as the ability to keep going despite adversity.

Some people have a natural ability to make hurdles appear larger than they actually are, but others are able to retain their cool and continue to make progress despite the challenges they face.

What I have learned about resiliency, is that it is one of the habits of happy people.

As already talked about, when we harbour a positive mindset with a healthy outlook on life and future, expecting good things to happen, we inadvertently create an inner resolve that enables us to deal with disappointment and adversity better.

The inverse is equally true, of course.

So, rather than seeing resiliency as a separate issue from happiness, I see it as interconnected.

A happy person will most likely have more resiliency, and more resiliency will most likely feed a person’s happiness.

It’s essentially a positive feedback loop with the added benefit of helping us deal with challenges better.

Strengthen your resilience and tenacity with the following ideas:

Recognise that the most successful people are those who are able to maintain their composure under pressure.

It may be simple to be successful (in the broad sense), but the process of becoming successful is anything but straightforward.

Even when faced with problems that the typical person would shy away from, those who achieved greatness were willing to take them on.

So, what about you?

Are you in the habit of taking things on or do you shy away from difficult things – even those you know will get you closer to where you want to go?

Take exceptional care of your physical and mental health.

No matter what is going on in your life, you still require food, relaxation, love, exercise, and enjoyment in order to function properly.

Developing resilience easier requires taking good care of yourself so that you’ll be in a better position to deal with any difficulties that may arise.

In my experience, during difficult times, the majority of people make the mistake of overlooking their own needs which ends up worsening the situation.

Now, I understand why we do that, but it doesn’t mean it’s wise.

When we take good care of ourselves, especially when things are going well, we lay a foundation for dealing with challenging times better – even when that means barely.

So, make hay while the sun’s shining.

Habits of Happy People

Rather than being passive, be proactive.

When you’re actively working towards a goal, it’s much easier to stick with it and it develops your resolve.

So, rather than passively waiting for things to improve, take steps to make the situation better right away.

Take action if there is something beneficial you are trying to accomplish because it is in the act of moving towards your goals that you develop the discipline and resiliency to keep pushing forward.

Take mental vacations from time to time.

Now, developing resiliency will definitely feed your happiness levels, but the opposite is also true.

No matter how resilient you are, it is important to take regular rests to allow your batteries to recharge because fatigue and overwhelm can diminish your levels of happiness.

The moment you start pushing yourself too much to the point where you might start running on empty, it is possible to begin experiencing some adverse effects.

Some experts suggest that people who are exhausted from fatigue due to a lack of sleep can experience symptoms similar to depression, such as:

  • impaired concentration
  • loss of energy and motivation
  • irritability

That is not what you’re aiming for here as it will surely impact your happiness levels.

So, what is your favourite way to unwind and recharge your batteries?

It could be watching a movie, reading a book, or going for a run.

Make a decision based on what is best for you.

Remember all of the difficulties you’ve faced since you were a child, and remind yourself of them.

It is impossible for anyone to live a life that is completely stress-free all of the time with no scars to show for it.

Chances are you’ve already overcome a lot of difficulties.

That’s a good thing because you’ve been through some stuff and you’ve survived.

That means that you already have some level of resiliency to build on.

So, during difficult circumstances when you feel tempted to become unhappy and frustrated, it’s important to remind yourself of your past struggles and successes.

They are a testament to your resolve – if you could overcome something in the past, that means you can do it again.

By focusing on your strengths and successes over adversity in the past, you’ll eventually find the strength and motivation to keep going again.

But the next factor can definitely help in speeding things up…

Surround yourself with individuals who are resilient.

You become more like the people with whom you spend the majority of your time.

If you surround yourself with happy and resilient people, chances are you will adopt similar habits and behaviours in good times and bad.

But the opposite is equally true when you choose to surround yourself with people who are unhappy all the time, feel cheated by the world, and are frustrated with their situation.

After enough time around those people, you will find yourself thinking and behaving very similarly.

So, make sensible choices when it comes to your friends.

If you surround yourself with strong individuals, you will grow into a stronger person.

Weak-minded individuals will only pull you down to their level. Do not believe for a second that you will be able to pull them up. It is usually the opposite that happens.

Thus, find some people who inspire you to be a better version of yourself.

Expectations that are reasonable.

Another powerful habit of happy people is that they have reasonable expectations.

When your expectations are unrealistically high, you will almost always be disappointed with the outcome.

But when your expectations are continually low, you won’t be filled with enthusiasm for the future.

Neither one is a good prescription for long-term happiness.

Aim high while remaining flexible and realistic, psychological researchers say, is the most successful strategy for achieving success.

Positive emotions and thoughts, strengths, and the fulfilment of fundamental psychological needs for belonging, competence, and autonomy have traditionally been viewed as the cornerstones of psychological health.

While these areas are critical, they fail to capture many of the dynamic, conflicting influences that are immediately apparent as people navigate their environment and social context.

Rather than that, there appears to be evidence that psychological flexibility is critical for psychological health, i.e. feeling happy and content.

So, in simple terms, having a flexible mindset (which includes your expectations) is critical for your mental health and, as a result, behaviours.

Try these three (3) suggestions for maintaining high expectations while converting losses into successes:

Make a distinction between goals and expectations.

There is a difference between goals and expectations.

For example, you can desire to lose 30 pounds or purchase a new car without allowing these goals to determine your level of happiness.

In fact, a goal is actually supposed to invigorate you not deflate you.

The reason some people’s goals are counter-productive and demotivating is that somewhere along the line those goals have become expectations.

And the moment a goal becomes an expectation you are playing a dangerous game with your psychological health.

Let go of what has happened in the past.

Many, if not most, of our expectations, are shaped by our previous experiences.

The problem with that is the bigger the gap between your expectations and reality becomes, the more your levels of unhappiness increase.

Be realistic in your expectations.

Talking about realistic expectations is always tricky because one has to find the balance between dreaming big and keeping things within the realm of possibility.

So, unfortunately, this is unique to every individual.

There is no way that I can tell you what “realistic” means for you?

For one person it is “unrealistic” to hold onto certain dreams, whereas for another person, although very difficult, it is still a “realistic” possibility.

It is therefore really up to each of us to gauge what is realistic or unrealistic for us.

However, it is still true that keeping your goals and expectations realistic will help you to feel less stressed and as a result, happier.

Recognize and appreciate your abilities, strengths, and resources, and build your expectations on that.

Forgiveness.

One of the trickiest habits of happy people, but also most liberating, is the ability to choose to forgive where others choose to hold onto things.

For how can you be happy if you’re harbouring ill will towards someone or cannot forgive them?

Now, like the previous point on expectations, the topic of forgiveness is even more tricky.

For example, you may believe that certain people are unworthy of forgiveness, and that’s fine.

The problem, however, is that choosing to remain angry and not forgive someone is like drinking poison hoping that your enemy will die.

Unforgiveness seems to always only hurt one person – the one choosing not to forgive.

Of course, forgiving someone doesn’t mean justifying or condoning their actions, not in the slightest.

It also doesn’t mean that you’re gonna allow the person back into your life or even be friends. Not at all.

It does however mean that you are choosing your own happiness over the poison of resentment.

Give yourself the amazing gift of forgiveness by employing the steps outlined below:

Gain an understanding of what forgiving truly means.

The incorrect belief held by some people is that forgiving someone entails giving them the opportunity to hurt you again and again.

However, this is not always the case.

When someone has wronged you, you have the option of forgiving them and never speaking to them again.

Habits of Happy People

Simply put, forgiveness means that you are no longer going to think about the transpired events anymore.

You’ve made the decision to no longer feel horrible about yourself.

You’re resuming your life and letting go of the past in a healthy way.

Recognise that the past is irreversibly sealed in stone.

There is no way to go back in time and undo what has been done.

No amount of anger or resentment will change that.

The other person will never be able to say or do anything that will entirely erase what has transpired.

The only way you’ll be able to move on is to forgive, let go, and move on.

What do you believe you are getting by refusing to forgive others?

Is it your intention to punish the other person?

Do you believe that your anger is somehow punishing the other person, and as a result, you intend to keep it up?

What do you stand to gain by clinging to your own suffering?

In many cases, the person who wronged you doesn’t really give two hoots about what you’re going through.

For example, some people are adamant about not forgiving someone they haven’t even seen in years.

The reality, unfortunately, is that your hurt and fury have absolutely no effect on them.

Only on you.

They’ve gone on with their lives, and you’re simply torturing yourself.

Acknowledge and accept your suffering.

You will not be able to release the pain that you are unwilling to accept.

So make a time to (finally) sit with your feelings of unhappiness and anger and refrain from passing judgement on them.

Simply feel it and make her note of its characteristics.

What part of your body are you experiencing it in?

What words would you use to describe it?

Acknowledge and assess your pain honestly and objectively.

Then choose to rise above it or put it down.

Either way, sever the connection by dissociating yourself from the pain and reconnecting with the goodness in your life.

Then step into that.

Recognise the consequences of not forgiving.

As I’ve already pointed out, the cost of maintaining your feelings of animosity is something you should seriously consider.

For it is most likely interfering with your ability to truly be and enjoy yourself.

It is most likely causing you issues to either hold yourself back in your current relationship, or it’s making it difficult for you to enter into a new relationship. At least without baggage.

Perhaps it is causing you to feel rage all the time and that’s influencing many areas of your life.

Perhaps it’s s causing you feelings of depression, and as a result, life feels dry and pointless.

Withholding forgiveness does not come without a cost. It always finds a way to hurt you in some way.

Forgive.

Make the decision to let go of the situation.

Allow yourself to gently move your thoughts away from what happened and towards a better and more hopeful future.

For the past in the future only live in our minds.

Learn.

This is an important part of the process of forgiveness.

What is the most important lesson you can learn from this experience?

Oprah Winfrey is known to say,

Turn your wounds into wisdom.

Oprah Winfrey

I think that is great advice.

It could be anything as simple as “Don’t get involved with someone who has a drug problem,” or as complex as “Never lend money to a buddy.”

Maybe it’s something a little more subtle.

When there is suffering, there is almost always a lesson to be learnt.

The key however is to make an effort to discover it.

Listen, choose today to forgive and move forwards from your past mistakes or past hurts.

Tony Robbins is known to say,

Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.

Tony Robbins

Your anguish is not worth the misery you are causing yourself by clinging on to your angst or anger.

It is definitely not making you any happier.

So, choose to let go and move on.

Authenticity.

I think one of the reasons some people are happy all the time is because they choose to be authentic.

Authenticity seems to be an important habit of happy people.

It kind of makes sense when you think about it because spending your time pretending to be someone or something you are not must be detrimental to your self-esteem, and as a result, your levels of happiness.

The pursuit of happiness will most likely elude you if you don’t feel comfortable in your skin.

However, the opposite is equally true in that you will only “pursue (more) happiness” if you are happy with yourself.

And you’ll only be happy if you believe in yourself and your own capabilities.

It seems that authenticity and happiness go hand-in-hand.

So, if that’s the case, it is vital that you understand that no one else can be the judge of your life keeping you from being authentic.

Additionally, however, if you don’t take initiative to empower yourself so that you can assert control over your own life, someone or something else might just step up and do that for you.

As a result, chances are you’ll start moving further and further away from being yourself and creating the life you truly desire.

That in turn will most likely reduce your feelings of happiness.

The phrase “Believe in yourself” is a well-known piece of advice for people.

But, what does it truly mean in this context?

What is the deeper meaning here that we must understand?

habit of happy people

Self-esteem is a function of self-awareness.

You are well aware of your capabilities and limitations.

And when you believe in yourself, others are powerless to coerce you into doing something you dislike.

On the other hand, no one can prevent you from accomplishing what you know you are capable of.

The reality is that while outside perspective is critical, nobody knows you as well as you know yourself.

Additionally, with regular introspection, you can develop unflinching self-confidence.

The Delphic motto “Know thyself,” engraved on the Temple of Apollo for posterity, attests to this reality.

What are your advantages? What are your flaws?

Only you are capable of responding to these questions.

You are the only person who genuinely understands your capabilities.

As with a garden, self-esteem must be cultivated. And weeds can come in at any time in the form of negative self-talk which you need to get rid of.

However, that begins with liking oneself, which begins with raising one’s self-esteem. When you engage in doing that, you are essentially becoming the architect of your own success.

And as your confidence grows, you’ll gain the ability to accomplish even more in both your personal and professional lives.

This concept, is without a doubt, one of the most critical habits of happy people.

Presence.

Another powerful habit of happy people is staying present.

Reminiscing on the past usually only leads to feelings of regret or nostalgia.

Conversely, anxiety tends to arise from worrying about the future.

So, again, if you want to be happy on a consistent basis, you must keep your mind in the present like happy people tend to do.

But what exactly does that mean in practice?

Well, for thousands of years, eastern religions have focused on the present as a point of emphasis.

Let’s unpack it in very simple terms…

Religion and philosophy are two terms that are used interchangeably.

When the subject of Eastern philosophy is brought up, many people instantly want to run away because they believe it would undermine their fundamental religious convictions (especially Christians).

However, staying in the present is not about religious requirements, but rather is open to everyone at any time, regardless of their religious beliefs.

In fact, rather than living in the past or the future, most religions, in one form or another, adhere to the concept that life should be lived in the now (this includes Christians, who would know that if they actually understood their own scriptures).

Eastern Religious Traditions and the Present Time

In the East, as in the West, there are many diverse divisions of religion, just as there are in the West.

Many of them hold different ideas and philosophies, yet they all agree on the value of the present moment in one way or another.

habits of happy people

Eastern Religions In The Modern World

The East, like the West, has numerous religious factions.

But while many of them hold diverse beliefs and philosophies, they all agree on the critical nature of the present moment.

The West has also started picking up on these old beliefs in recent decades, and many individuals use these principles now to help them cope with contemporary difficulties.

It works and demonstrates that the human condition has remained constant throughout history.

Defining the Present Moment

The present moment can be defined as your attention being entirely focused on the task at hand.

It occurs when you are not preoccupied with “other things.”

For example, when you’re washing dishes, your attention is completely focused on the task at hand as you turn on the tap, hold the sponge, and wipe the plates clean.

There are no other thoughts in your mind except the task at hand.

Now, while remaining in the present moment may seem tedious at times, you’ve almost certainly already experienced its true power without realising it.

Have you ever been outside appreciating nature and experienced an overwhelming sense of peace?

Have you ever looked up at the sky and stars and wondered about their meaning?

The past and future vanish, and the only thing that matters is the “now.”

That experience is what we’re alluding to here.

Maintaining a Present-Moment Focus

Now, if you want to get better at being present and mindful, practising remaining in the present may take some time.

If you attempt to remain totally present for an extended period of time, your mind will almost certainly attempt to pull you out of it because thoughts about the past and future are continuously infiltrating our consciousness.

We’re always thinking about work, other people, things we have to do, future projects, and so on.

This can be frustrating, but you must resist the impulse to judge or criticise yourself, as this would defeat the whole point.

Mindfulness in essence is really about observing without judgement.

Just recognise that your mind will most likely gravitate towards the past and future; nevertheless, be prepared to let go of such thoughts as they arise.

Simply acknowledge them and let them pass.

The more time you spend practising being present, the easier it will become.

Practising meditation

Meditation is a skill that can be practised by people of all faiths, not just those of the East.

The practice of mindfulness is a means of bringing yourself into the present moment that is available to you at all times.

But, why do we want to cultivate mindfulness and be in the present moment in the first place?

The short answer is that mindfulness techniques can assist us in improving our ability to manage our emotions, as well as reducing stress, anxiety, and sadness.

By becoming more present in our lives and in our relationships with others, we can make better decisions, control our emotions more effectively, and be more completely engaged in life.

All of those seem like very good reasons, don’t you think?

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when getting started with meditation:

  • Select a time of day when you will be able to relax and be alone.
  • Sit in a position that allows you to maintain proper posture while you work.
  • Pay close attention to your breathing.
  • Take several deep breaths in and out, concentrating just on your breathing.
  • Aim to meditate for at least 30 minutes per day if possible.
  • Resist the temptation to fall asleep.

With time and practice, you’ll notice that your meditation skills improve.

Meditation will allow you to gain a better understanding of your own mind and body.

You’ll be able to keep awareness even when your mind is disturbed, and you’ll be able to better concentrate on solving your problems and progressing towards your objectives.

Overall, cultivating mindfulness of the present moment might help you experience greater serenity and fulfilment in your life.

Isn’t that worth a little practise to get there?

What to Take Away About Habits of Happy People

When it comes to happiness, there is nothing complicated about it.

Forgive, be kind, give, and be thankful.

Ultimately, being happy comes down to choosing one set of habits versus another.

In this post, we have looked at 10 powerful habits of happy people that you can consider and try out for yourself.

You don’t have to do all of them, simply pick what spoke to you most, what you believe you need most, or where you think you’re perhaps stuck and start with that.

Don’t overcomplicate happiness because it is not.

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.

Omar Khayyam

About the author 

Gideon

Gideon is the founder of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) focused on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor and hypnotherapist (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.) almost 10 years ago. He is currently pursuing further graduate Psychology studies at Massey University while working as a relationship and dating blogger the majority of the time. He has been married to his wife for over fifteen years and is the father of two children.

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