Everyone wants to be happy every day. Picture the people in your life who you would describe as the happiest. What are some of their characteristics? I have observed and read a lot about happiness and have come up with 7 things that happy people do daily. So I wanted to share this list with you so that you too can be happy every day!
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It is so important to take a moment each and every day to be grateful for all of the things that you have. Happy people know this. They wake up each and everyday and set a positive intention for the day. They wake up eternally grateful that they have another day ahead of them filled with endless possibility.
How you can adapt it: Start keeping a gratitude journal. To start one, just find any notebook, journal, or notepad that you are going to dedicate to keeping your gratitude notes. You can type these, but I find it helps to write them out by hand. Every day, write down three things that you are grateful for. You can write that you are thankful for your significant other, running water, the home you live in, your job, your paycheck, anything that you have in your life that you take for granted. In time, you’ll be able to reflect back on all the things you do have and be grateful for your life and be happy every day.
Happy people know what makes them tick and what they like to do. They only engage in activities or keep the company of people that make them feel… HAPPY! Many of us find ourselves committing to activities or things that we actually don’t want to do. We feel like we need to say yes to something that we don’t really want to do because it would be impolite or selfish to say no. That is a mindset that happy people have learned to overcome: it is okay and extremely healthy to put yourself first. Don’t associate putting yourself and your needs first with being selfish. Overextending yourself and not bringing your best self to something is actually the selfish and impolite act. Besides, it is more rude to cancel or flake on the things you say yes to that you know you won’t fulfill.
How you can adapt it: The next time someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do or would over-extend your schedule, simply decline! Say NO! No is a complete sentence. You do not need to justify, make an excuse, or explain why you cannot do the thing that is asked of you. A line that I have found myself using is “Thanks so much for the invite/thinking of me, but I am going to pass on this time.” That’s it! No hard feelings, no excuse, just a plain and simple no thank you. It leaves the door open for them to include you and think of you for the next time without having to do it this time.
Smile and laugh
It is scientifically proven that smiling and laughing makes you feel good! When you smile, the feel good neurotransmitters called endorphins are released and they make you feel good. Endorphins are natural painkillers and can help you feel happy. Ever heard the saying fake it ’til you make it? Our bodies don’t know the difference between fake smiles and real smiles, so turning that frown upside-down even if it isn’t genuine still gives you that great rush of endorphins.
How you can adapt it: Make a mental note to yourself to begin smiling at strangers as you pass them by. This may feel really strange and unnatural at first, but you will get used to this habit. Soon, you will feel so much joy in giving strangers a little happiness boost as well as the rush of endorphins you’ll get for yourself. If you need a good laugh, make a list of movies or tv shows that can always put a smile on your face. For me, watching re-runs of Friends makes me laugh and can instantly put a smile on my face! Know what shows and movies do that for you.
Building relationships may be the best predictor of how happy we are likely to be. One of my favorite authors and happiness experts Gretchen Rubin says that the key to happiness is strong relationships. She spent an entire year dedicated to her happiness project (you can read all about my review of her book The Happiness Project here), with three out of the twelve months being dedicated towards relationships. February focused on Marriage and remembering love, April focused on Parenthood and her relationship with her kids, and June focused on Friendship and making time for friends. Twenty-five percent of the book is on the importance of relationships!
How you can adapt it: To start, you can read The Happiness Project and see what Gretchen Rubin learned from focusing on relationships in those three months. Additionally, find time every day to reach out and connect to people. Spend 5 minutes chatting with your co-worker in the kitchen, text a friend that you haven’t talked to recently and connect, use Facebook to connect with like-minded people (you can connect with me here!), and spend some quality time with your family and spouse. Prioritize relationships and realize how important they are to both your happiness and the other person’s happiness. One daily habit of mine is to call my parents on my walk from work to the subway every weekday. This gives me 10-15 minutes at a consistent time to connect with my parents and I’ve paired this habit with walking to the subway.
Make time for self-care
Taking care of yourself is key to being happy every day. In a world where we are so busy, many people (especially women) often put themselves last on the list of who to take care of that day. Self-care is extremely important for your physical and mental health, and taking good care of yourself enables you to be better equipped for taking care of others. You know on an airplane when they do the demonstration about if the cabin pressure decreases and how oxygen masks will appear over your seat? They always remind you to put on your own mask first, before helping others to secure their masks. The same goes for self-care! You need to take care of your physical and mental health before you can help others succeed.
How you can adapt it: Create daily and weekly rituals. Maybe you wake up 15 minutes before everyone in your household so that you can enjoy a cup of coffee and some light reading. Or you have your husband or sitter watch the kids once a week so you can spend a couple of hours on me-time. You can take five minutes a few times a day to stop what you are working on and just breathe or meditate. Even starting your day by reciting some positive affirmations can help you with self-care. For me, getting a good nights sleep is so important to my mental and physical health. I make it a point to get to bed at a consistent time each night!
Appreciate the little things
Happy people find joy in the little things. They take time to embrace the cliché: stop and smell the roses. Science has backed this one up too saying that it allows people to “acknowledge the value and meaning of something.” The people in my life who I consider the happiest always appreciate the little things. They are genuinely happy about small things like the iced coffee they got for breakfast, a new pen to use at the office, a friend giving them a small token of appreciation, and so many more things.
How you can adapt it: Find and acknowledge the little things that make you happy each day. A way to do this is to pay attention for times that you or someone else remarks “it’s the little things.” It truly is the little things in life that can make the biggest impact on our happiness.These things will be different for everyone since we each associate value and meaning of items or activities differently.For me, changing the page on my daily desk calendar can be a huge happiness boost but is such a little insignificant part of my daily routine that it could be overlooked if I didn’t give it the value and meaning.
Decide to be happy
This is the hardest yet most profound thing that happy people do each and every day. They decide to be happy. Happiness is a choice, and their is once again some scientific proof to back this up. Just like you choose what to wear each morning, you can also decide every day to be happy.
How you can adapt it: Simply declare each morning before you get out of bed that today you will be happy and that today will be an amazing day. That is it! Set the intention and you have decided that you will be happy. While there will be many challenges you may face over the course of the day, as long as you remember that you are choosing happiness, you will be happy.
If you are looking for an easy way to jumpstart your happy life, be sure to download my 7 Day Happiness Challenge Printable! It gives you 7 days worth of ideas for how to be happy in the areas of wellness, love, money, fun, lifestyle, gratitude and purpose in one handy printable sheet you can follow along with.Jumpstart my Happy Life!
Do you do these 7 things every day? If not, what areas do you want to work on?