How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

Based on the 10 Keys to Happier Living

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

To celebrate the International Day of Happiness, I have taken the pledge to “create more happiness in the world around me”. To honor this pledge I have put together this list of 50 Actionable Ways to Be Happier, based on the 10 Keys to Happier Living, set forth by the Action for Happiness non-profit group. I have provided 5 tips for each of the 10 Keys.

Please feel free to share this list, add to it, and make it your own. Happiness is a habit that we have to practice on a daily basis. Life is full of uncertainty, fear, and struggle, but we can cultivate a practice that brings out the true joy living inside us at all times. These practices will make us more resilient and allow us to bounce back with more ease and grace from life’s challenges.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

  1. Give sincere compliments often. You can easily lift someone’s spirits by complimenting their work, attitude, style, or anything else you genuinely find remarkable. Not only will it help them but it will help you be seen as a person who is uplifting and nice to have around.
  2. Say thank you to the grocery cashier, barista, Lyft driver, or anyone else who makes your life easier.
  3. Write a letter to your Congressman, local police department, or fire department thanking them for the service they provide each day.
  4. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  5. Carry a Homeless Care Bag in your car and hand it out when you see someone in need.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

  1. Smell the flowers and while you’re there count the number of petals they have. Really notice the beauty nature provides us.
  2. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Remember that no matter how difficult things get, the sun will rise again tomorrow.
  3. Light a candle or fire and watch how mesmerizing the flames can be.
  4. Eat an orange mindfully (or raisin, piece of chocolate, anything you have on hand).
  5. Marvel at the all tasks your body performs automatically without you having to tell it anything. Breathing, feeling, digesting, thinking, yawning, blinking, sweating, shivering….how many can you come up with?

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

  1. Keep a daily gratitude journal. Each day write 3–5 things that happened that you are grateful for.
  2. Make a Gratitude Board. This can be a chalkboard, white board, bulletin board, any type of board, that you can write or post things you are grateful for. Keep it somewhere that you see often so it serves as a reminder of how much you have to be happy about.
  3. Make a practice of sharing the best of moment of your day with family or friends at dinner each night. Knowing that you have to come up with something good that happened each night will train your brain to look for the good things in your day.
  4. Know what makes you happy and do more of it. Does dancing put you in a good mood? Then make a point to dance a little each day.
  5. Visit the Soul Pancake website. They create inspiring, heartwarming, uplifting, and humorous content guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

  1. Practice loving-kindness meditation. This type of meditation cultivates the awareness that happiness is accessible to us at all times.
  2. Notice what your self-talk is like. Are you constantly criticizing and judging yourself? If so, try talking to yourself the way you would talk to a friend or loved one.
  3. Have an open mind. The more accepting you are of yourself, the less you care what others think. This allows you to open your mind and broaden your horizons.
  4. Challenge yourself. Step outside your comfort zone once in awhile and you will begin to grow exponentially. This can be as big or small as you like. I like to say each day I will do at least one thing a little more, or a little better.
  5. Nurture yourself. Get a massage, go to a spa, take a warm bath.
  1. Volunteer. Whether your thing is teaching underprivileged kids, visiting the elderly, or helping clean up the environment, there are numerous ways to volunteer your time and feel part of a community.
  2. Visit the planetarium. It’s amazing what learning about the solar system does for putting things in perspective. Even gazing at the night sky can have inspire feelings of deep connection.
  3. Join a community group. Whether it is social activism or a recreational sport team, getting together with people in your community will make you feel a deeper connection to the world around you.
  4. Adopt a pet. There are an abundance of domestic animals that need loving homes. Having another living thing that is dependent on you brings deeper meaning to your life.
  5. Plant a garden. Tending to a plant, especially one that you will eat, creates an appreciation for the nourishment the soil can provide and a deeper respect for Mother Earth.

And there you have it, my 50 tips for cultivating a happy life. I hope they provide some inspiration and motivation to discover your own best ways to live a happier and more meaningful life. Suggested use: choose one of the 10 keys, and each week try a few ideas from that key. Slowly make your way through each of the 10 keys and see what works best.

If you’d like a FREE PDF copy of this list to print out, click here.

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From your posture to your breathing to the images on your laptop.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

Feeling down? Got the blahs? This post provides 10 easy ways to feel happier in 30 seconds or less—and every technique is based on the best research available.

Of all of the definitions of happiness, my favorite is from psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, who defines it as “the overall experience of pleasure and meaning.” I find it true that neither “pleasure” nor “meaning” alone quite describe happiness. You need meaning to give you a sense of purpose in life, and you need pleasure to give you a sense of joy or well-being in the present moment.

If you want to be happier, just add pleasure or meaning to your life (assuming your pleasures or purposes do not harm you or another person). You’ll discover that you’ll not only be happier in the moment, you’ll also increase your ability to be happier in the future.

The following happiness enhancers will increase your immediate sense of pleasure or your sense of your life’s meaning, or both—in the blink of an eye. You don’t need another person to help you, and you can practice the techniques almost anywhere—at work, at home, outside, in your car. Only your willing mind is required.

How to Become Happy in 30 Seconds or Less

1. Take one deep breath.

Just one deep breath can turn down your “fight-or-flight” instinct and activate your “rest-and-restore” mode. Got 15 seconds more? Take another deep breath. You’ll feel even more content.

2. Find something in your day that triggers a feeling of gratitude.

You had a good breakfast, you have a job, or you enjoyed reading the newspaper this morning. Absorb that feeling of gratitude for a few moments. Lingering on a positive experience helps embed it in your brain.

3. Take time to appreciate something that didn’t happen during your day.

No one in your family got sick, you didn’t have car trouble, and you didn’t fight with anyone. Remember to keep things in perspective.

4. Smile.

Many people think of happiness as something that comes from the inside out, or from your mind to your behavior. But happiness can also come from the outside in, or from your actions to your mind. The deliberate decision to smile, for example, actually activates happiness-inducing chemicals, as described here.

5. Slap a label on your negative feelings.

Angry. Helpless. Sad. Anxious. Just labeling your emotions can ease your suffering. Attaching a label shifts activity from the emotional part of your brain to the thinking part, making you hurt less and feel more in control. (Learn more here.)

6. Sit up straight.

Poor posture can actually cause negative emotional states. Studies show that people who slouch experience more bad moods, lower self-esteem, and poorer confidence than those with upright posture. Sitting up straight can cause positive emotional states—a sense of confidence, assertiveness, and a happier mood. Good posture also helps your physical well-being and prevents many types of neck, shoulder, and back problems. So to lift your mood, pull your body upward. You’ll feel happier.

7. Notice the small pleasures in life and appreciate them.

Author and Psychology Today blogger Rick Hanson writes about the health and happiness benefits of “taking in the good” in his groundbreaking book, Hardwiring Happiness. He recommends appreciating the little things, noting, “Most opportunities for a good experience arrive with little fanfare. You finished an email, the telephone works, you have a friend.” For the best results, bring pleasant objects, thoughts, and people to the foreground of your awareness. Linger for five seconds or more on a good experience to allow it to sink into you. Your happiness level will steadily increase.

8. Appreciate yourself.

Think of one thing you’ve already accomplished or handled well today or focus on a good quality you’ve demonstrated—a start to a project, a phone call, or even an honest talk with a colleague that ended well. Drawing your attention to your strengths will lift your spirits.

9. Find positive meaning in negative events.

If you experience a setback, can you find a rapid way to turn it into lemonade? Start by thinking about the setback as a challenge rather than a failure. That should take five seconds or less. In the remaining 25, begin to think about how to move forward.

10. Use a desktop photo to remind you of the purposes and pleasures of your life.

A photo of your family, your travels, or a favorite saying can be restorative and promote moments of happiness. Taking a “micro-break” and enjoying a photo of a natural scene can promote good health by lowering stress and blood pressure—as well as happiness. To keep from getting used to a particular photo, periodically change it up.

Why Practice Happiness Habits?

The benefits may seem obvious; after all, feeling happy feels good! But the value of happiness habits goes even deeper. In Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson points out that negativity is hardwired into our brains. We are predisposed to pay more attention to bad things than good things. This negativity bias has helped us survive by making us aware of possible threats, problems, and stressors in our environment. However, if we are ruled only by our negativity, we miss opportunities for pleasure, joy, good relationships, and humor. Happiness activities help balance out the negativity bias so that we see and experience the positive aspects of life.

Experiencing and absorbing moments of happiness has long-term brain benefits. Happy experiences and thoughts can actually grow new neural circuits in your brain. These neural structures provide you with inner strengths such as resilience, gratitude, enthusiasm, and happiness.

So try these small steps. You’ll find not only that your Happiness Quotient rises with every micro-moment of happiness, but also that making yourself happy becomes easier as you practice.

NOTE: If you suffer from mental health issues like depression or you are going through a catastrophic life event, these activities may not help enough. Consider seeing a therapist.

For more on happiness, health, and habits, see my book, Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success (Routledge, 2009), or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn by scrolling down to my photo and clicking on the appropriate icon.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

While some factors that affect happiness are out of our control, (yes, genetics does play a role as do current life circumstances), there are always actions we can take to amp up our good vibes. Consider trying a few of these — or all of them! — and you’re guaranteed to give your day a little boost.

  1. Crank the tunes. Try NOT smiling while blasting your fave feel good song (or 5).
  2. Write it down. Did you know that taking the time to write down 3 positive things each day will make you more optimistic and less stressed? And yes, we have an app for that 🙂
  3. Get outside. Just a few minutes of fresh air can give you a fresh perspective.
  4. Walk it out. A 20-minute brisk walk gets the heart pumping and will decrease stress.
  5. Make a statement. With your accessories. A bold statement necklace, your too-cool- for-school shades or your favorite kicks can be all you need to turn a ‘blah’ day around.
  6. Give yourself a boost. Of healthy nutrients! We’re talking fruit, veggies and protein. When your body feels good your brain will follow.
  7. Leave a note. Make someone’s day by leaving a “you’re beautiful” note on the bathroom mirror.
  8. Do something. Whether it’s sending an email or clearing the clutter off your dining room table, just getting one tiny little thing off your to-do list and onto the ‘it’s done’ list will give you a huge mental sigh of relief.
  9. Say “thank you.” Even this small act of gratitude will boost your positivity.
  10. Learn something new. Whether it’s reading a wiki about a topic that interests you or watching a quick Youtube tutorial, the digital world is full of ways to learn things fast and on the go. Yes, even happiness courses! 🙂
  11. Be a good listener. Seeking out meaningful conversation is proven to improve your sense of well-being.
  12. Let it go. You can boost your happiness by detaching from past negativity.
  13. Straighten up! Our posture dictates how we feel, so straighten up and walk like a boss!
  14. Try something new. Break out of your routine and mix things up! It can be as simple as walking down a different street — anything to just get off of autopilot and be present where you are.
  15. Spend money. The trick is you have to spend it on someone else to get the ‘feel good’ perks, according to Harvard professor Mike Norton.
  16. Text a friend. Reaching out to a pal and letting them know how awesome they are will make you feel awesome, too.
  17. Make plans. Having something to look forward to, even something small like making plans to grab a cup of coffee with a friend, makes you happier. Anticipation is like a secret weapon of happiness.
  18. Help someone. Feeling down? One of the quickest ways to pick yourself back up is to do something kind for someone else. Bonus feel good points when it’s random and not expected of you.
  19. Stop comparing yourself. Chances are you always pick those at the very top to compare yourself to. No wonder you feel like you’ve come up short! Focusing on the things you’ve accomplished is a lot more productive.
  20. Smile. In one research study subjects who smiled after a stressful activity decreased their heart rate more quickly than those who didn’t. It even works if you fake smile!
  21. Power color. While we’re partial to orange of course, whatever your favorite color is, embrace it. Bonus: when you’re feeling down, treat yourself to a flower in your fave color. It will brighten the room and your outlook.
  22. Treat yourself. Sometimes a tiny little luxury in our day is all we need to break out of a rut.
  23. Read something. Be it your favorite guilty-pleasure celeb gossip mag or nerding out on your favorite blog, taking a few moments to indulge in something you truly enjoy will give you a burst of positive energy. Plus you might learn something (refer to #10).
  24. Cute overload. Seeing something cute makes us smile which in turn makes us happier. The Cute Emergency twitter feed will rescue a bad day as quickly as you can say “Golden Retriever puppy.”
  25. Think positive. No matter how bad things may seem, be grateful. Warm water on a cold day? Amazing! Cold water on a warm day? Incredible! You really are very lucky when you get right down to it.

Don’t miss your happier boost!

Subscribe to our weekly email to get practical tips and inspiration to help you feel more joyful and resilient.

From your posture to your breathing to the images on your laptop.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

Feeling down? Got the blahs? This post provides 10 easy ways to feel happier in 30 seconds or less—and every technique is based on the best research available.

Of all of the definitions of happiness, my favorite is from psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, who defines it as “the overall experience of pleasure and meaning.” I find it true that neither “pleasure” nor “meaning” alone quite describe happiness. You need meaning to give you a sense of purpose in life, and you need pleasure to give you a sense of joy or well-being in the present moment.

If you want to be happier, just add pleasure or meaning to your life (assuming your pleasures or purposes do not harm you or another person). You’ll discover that you’ll not only be happier in the moment, you’ll also increase your ability to be happier in the future.

The following happiness enhancers will increase your immediate sense of pleasure or your sense of your life’s meaning, or both—in the blink of an eye. You don’t need another person to help you, and you can practice the techniques almost anywhere—at work, at home, outside, in your car. Only your willing mind is required.

How to Become Happy in 30 Seconds or Less

1. Take one deep breath.

Just one deep breath can turn down your “fight-or-flight” instinct and activate your “rest-and-restore” mode. Got 15 seconds more? Take another deep breath. You’ll feel even more content.

2. Find something in your day that triggers a feeling of gratitude.

You had a good breakfast, you have a job, or you enjoyed reading the newspaper this morning. Absorb that feeling of gratitude for a few moments. Lingering on a positive experience helps embed it in your brain.

3. Take time to appreciate something that didn’t happen during your day.

No one in your family got sick, you didn’t have car trouble, and you didn’t fight with anyone. Remember to keep things in perspective.

4. Smile.

Many people think of happiness as something that comes from the inside out, or from your mind to your behavior. But happiness can also come from the outside in, or from your actions to your mind. The deliberate decision to smile, for example, actually activates happiness-inducing chemicals, as described here.

5. Slap a label on your negative feelings.

Angry. Helpless. Sad. Anxious. Just labeling your emotions can ease your suffering. Attaching a label shifts activity from the emotional part of your brain to the thinking part, making you hurt less and feel more in control. (Learn more here.)

6. Sit up straight.

Poor posture can actually cause negative emotional states. Studies show that people who slouch experience more bad moods, lower self-esteem, and poorer confidence than those with upright posture. Sitting up straight can cause positive emotional states—a sense of confidence, assertiveness, and a happier mood. Good posture also helps your physical well-being and prevents many types of neck, shoulder, and back problems. So to lift your mood, pull your body upward. You’ll feel happier.

7. Notice the small pleasures in life and appreciate them.

Author and Psychology Today blogger Rick Hanson writes about the health and happiness benefits of “taking in the good” in his groundbreaking book, Hardwiring Happiness. He recommends appreciating the little things, noting, “Most opportunities for a good experience arrive with little fanfare. You finished an email, the telephone works, you have a friend.” For the best results, bring pleasant objects, thoughts, and people to the foreground of your awareness. Linger for five seconds or more on a good experience to allow it to sink into you. Your happiness level will steadily increase.

8. Appreciate yourself.

Think of one thing you’ve already accomplished or handled well today or focus on a good quality you’ve demonstrated—a start to a project, a phone call, or even an honest talk with a colleague that ended well. Drawing your attention to your strengths will lift your spirits.

9. Find positive meaning in negative events.

If you experience a setback, can you find a rapid way to turn it into lemonade? Start by thinking about the setback as a challenge rather than a failure. That should take five seconds or less. In the remaining 25, begin to think about how to move forward.

10. Use a desktop photo to remind you of the purposes and pleasures of your life.

A photo of your family, your travels, or a favorite saying can be restorative and promote moments of happiness. Taking a “micro-break” and enjoying a photo of a natural scene can promote good health by lowering stress and blood pressure—as well as happiness. To keep from getting used to a particular photo, periodically change it up.

Why Practice Happiness Habits?

The benefits may seem obvious; after all, feeling happy feels good! But the value of happiness habits goes even deeper. In Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson points out that negativity is hardwired into our brains. We are predisposed to pay more attention to bad things than good things. This negativity bias has helped us survive by making us aware of possible threats, problems, and stressors in our environment. However, if we are ruled only by our negativity, we miss opportunities for pleasure, joy, good relationships, and humor. Happiness activities help balance out the negativity bias so that we see and experience the positive aspects of life.

Experiencing and absorbing moments of happiness has long-term brain benefits. Happy experiences and thoughts can actually grow new neural circuits in your brain. These neural structures provide you with inner strengths such as resilience, gratitude, enthusiasm, and happiness.

So try these small steps. You’ll find not only that your Happiness Quotient rises with every micro-moment of happiness, but also that making yourself happy becomes easier as you practice.

NOTE: If you suffer from mental health issues like depression or you are going through a catastrophic life event, these activities may not help enough. Consider seeing a therapist.

For more on happiness, health, and habits, see my book, Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success (Routledge, 2009), or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn by scrolling down to my photo and clicking on the appropriate icon.

Annabel is the founder of Get In the Hot Spot, a blog that helps women in aged 40+ be more adventurous and feel fabulous. Read full profile

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

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How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

Do you want to feel happy — or even happier — on a daily basis?

The simple solution is dipping into these 101 quick, easy and free ways to make you feel happy right now. They’ll help you get the big picture on how you can actively seek happiness and start to feel happier every day.

Once you’ve got started you can add more ideas of your own to make sure you get your daily dose of happiness. Life’s too short to be miserable and there are infinite ways to feel happy, it’s just a case of finding out what makes you feel instantly happy and taking a moment to enjoy those things every day.

I’ve read enough self-help and personal development books to fill a couple of tea chests, and I’ve traveled all over the world in search of happiness and fulfillment so you don’t have to.

In the long term living a life which is in tune with your values, doing work you’re passionate about and surrounding yourself with inspiring people will help increase your happiness.

But in the short term it’s about doing small things to please yourself, choosing activities that raise your happiness levels slowly but surely then keeping them there by repeating the process regularly.

Here’s the most important stuff you need to do to live in the moment and feel happier every day in one quick list:

  1. Smile.
  2. Connect with nature.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people in person or online.
  4. Do something you’ve always enjoyed.
  5. Do something you’ve never done before but have always wanted to try.
  6. Learn something new.
  7. Smell something that makes you happy: a mandarin, your lover’s perfume, chocolate, you decide.
  8. Reward yourself for your good habits.
  9. Eat something that makes you happy, but not too much if it’s fattening.
  10. Spend time with a good friend.
  11. Touch something that makes you happy: a cat, velvet, the bark of a tree? Take time to notice.
  12. Don’t worry now, worry later.
  13. Say, or sing, something that makes you happy.
  14. Challenge yourself, I dare you.
  15. Look at something that makes you happy.
  16. Stopprocrastinating, do something.
  17. Take a small step towards your goal.
  18. Congratulate yourself.
  19. Tell someone you love them.
  20. Do a good deed.
  21. Faceyour fears.
  22. Read a book you love.
  23. Get outside.
  24. Spend time with inspiring people or read about someone who inspires you.
  25. Clear out your junk, literally.
  26. Let go of negative memories.
  27. Dwell on positive things from your past.
  28. Be creative.
  29. Dare yourself to do something.
  30. Give someone an unexpected gift.
  31. Change your habits just this once, do something unexpected.
  32. Watch the sunset.
  33. Get up for sunrise.
  34. Open a savings account.
  35. Be active.
  36. Plan for success.
  37. Eat something healthy.
  38. Trust your instincts.
  39. Follow your passion.
  40. Throw a party, or plan to soon.
  41. Avoid drama queens and energy suckers, you know who they are.
  42. Write stuff down, keep a diary.
  43. Set a goal.
  44. Clean your house, bit by bit.
  45. Say “no”.
  46. Spend a day alone.
  47. Devote a day to family.
  48. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
  49. Wear your favourite outfit.
  50. Be present.
  51. Go for a bike ride.
  52. Do something you loved as a kid that you haven’t done foryears.
  53. Forgive someone, especially yourself.
  54. Go slow.
  55. Have a meal somewhere different: try a picnic.
  56. Avoid advertisements.
  57. Pick a bunch of flowers and put them in your house.
  58. Ban all media for the day.
  59. Let something slide.
  60. Display a colorful fruit bowl and eat one or two pieces a day.
  61. Be romantic.
  62. Play a game: try Uno or Monopoly with the kids and chess or poker with your friends.
  63. Make a smoothie.
  64. Have a siesta.
  65. Do something you’ve been putting off.
  66. Dream big.
  67. Start small.
  68. Seek out supportive and like-minded people.
  69. Understand that all things come to an end.
  70. Feed the ducks.
  71. Persevere: pick up something you gave up on.
  72. Start a new habit, a good one.
  73. Look at yourself in the mirror, pick what you like best and flaunt it.
  74. Seek sensuous activities and enjoy them.
  75. Look around for funny things and have a laugh.
  76. Rest up.
  77. Change your routine.
  78. Take a photo, and look back at old ones.
  79. Stretch your body.
  80. Meditate.
  81. Write a mantra.
  82. Focus.
  83. Don’t buy something — and see if you miss it. Put the cash in a savings account instead.
  84. Notice what makes you happy and use it in sad times.
  85. Ignore people who annoy you, stop being with them.
  86. Play hide and seek with some kids.
  87. Put a picture of something you want on your wall.
  88. Tell someone your dreams.
  89. Love yourself.
  90. Be grateful.
  91. Visualise.
  92. Unblock.
  93. Use your brain: try a crossword or sudoku.
  94. Make a good choice.
  95. Acknowledge your feelings.
  96. Go on a journey, long or short.
  97. Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally connect with.
  98. Be grateful for life.
  99. Write a poem.
  100. Teach someone something you know well.
  101. Choose to be happy every day.

If you haven’t already had your happy fix today, or if you want to feel even happier, try these 101 quick, simple ideas. But maybe not all on the same day.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

It doesn’t matter your age, how much money you have in your bank account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives. Of course, defining success is different for each us, but here are 16 proven ways that can make you more productive, happy and successful in life.

1. Be committed.

No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself. Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.

2. People care about you, not your success.

Let’s be honest. People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive. That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions. Instead, they care you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!

3. Be grateful everyday.

According to researchers Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, being grateful can result in feeling better about your life, more enthusiastism and more willingness to help others. Being grateful may even reduce coronary artery disease. Take the time to write down what you’re grateful each and every day.

4. Take action.

In an article in The Atlantic, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman share studies on the confidence gap between men and women. The researchers discovered that confidence is just as important as competence. It was concluded in the article that “[T]aking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed.”

5. Money can’t buy happiness.

As The Beatles famously proclaimed, (money), “can’t buy me love.” You know what else money can’t buy? Happiness. Just because you’re earning six figures doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily content. Sure, money is obviously needed, and it makes some things easier. But, you should be focusing on your passion and not how much your paycheck is.

6. Don’t take rejection personally.

At some point we all face rejection. Instead of taking it personally, use it as a learning experience. Why did a VC reject your proposal? Maybe there wasn’t a market for your product. Perhaps you didn’t have a convincing pitch. Maybe the VC’s partner just called and said he’d spent their extra cash. Accepting and learning from rejection is one way to guide you to success.

With my online invoicing startup I get rejected daily, literally. I talked to 100+ VC’s before I got one that believed in my product. Learn from rejection and use it as motivation to make things bettter!

7. Have a backup plan.

You never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but when it does happen, you’re surrounded by chaos. Being prepared for the worst case scenario can at least make things a whole lot less chaotic. When my last business crashed, had I not had some cash set aside (that my wife kept away from me), we would have been in financial ruin. Having a three-to-six month nest egg will make the difference. I’ve found that having 12-24 months of cash to pay all bills just sitting there has significantly helped my marriage be more positive as well!

8. Improve your social skill.

After analyzing data from between 1972 and 1992, University of California, Santa Barbara, economist Catherine Weinberger found that “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s workforce than similarly endowed workers in 1980.”

9. Travel.

As Yii-Huei Phang states on The Huffington Post, traveling is a great way to “develop a person’s character” and become more open-minded. Additionally, while traveling is a great way to get away from the daily grind, it also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.

10. Don’t multitask.

If you’re feeling constantly burnt out it’s probably because you’re doing too much at one time. Research has found that “when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 percent.” You’re also burning your reservoir of energy. Both of these issues decrease your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing tasks and goal.

11. Embrace a growth mindset.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck argues that we have two-mindsets; “fixed” and “growth.” A fixed mindset “assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static.” A “growth mindset,” however, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

12. Balance work and life.

When work interferes with life, it can result in employees getting burned out and decreases base morale in the office. While this may not be an option for employees, it proves that everyone needs time away from the office. If you’re able to spend less time in the office by working remotely or having flexible hours, you should be able to be productive in both your personal and professional life.

13. Don’t hold grudges.

There is really no need to hold onto a grudge. It can mentally wear you out and makes you miserable. And, doesn’t life seem to go a whole lot smoother when you’re not angry?

14. Stick it out.

After years of studying both children and adults, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that one of the characteristics of successful individuals is having grit. During her TED talk Duckworth stated, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

15. Live in the moment

You can’t change the past and you have no control of the future. Live in the moment and enjoy what’s in front of you right here, right now. When you’re busy making too many plans, you’re causing stress that prevents you from enjoying the present.

16. Take care of yourself, then help others.

According to Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”

Additionally, helping others is beneficial for our health. But, how can you help others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first? Take care of your needs first and then begin to help others.

Being happy brings success, not the other way around. (It’s scientifically proven!) No matter where you are in your life, these are 25 easy ways to locate the positive every day.

That’s the biggest key to happiness, according to Stanford engineering professor Bernard Roth and author of The Achievement Habit. For example, giving reasons for being chronically late to meetings or explaining your inability to spend more time with family as being too busy at work are indications that your priorities are out of whack, and realigning them will lead to greater happiness. “Reasons are often just excuses,” he writes. “We use them to hide our shortcomings from ourselves. When we stop using reasons to justify ourselves, we increase our chances of changing behavior, gaining a realistic self-image, and living a more satisfying and productive life.”

I should really work out tonight, I should really eat better, I should spend more time at home. The word implies reluctance and guilt. Start saying “want” instead of “should.” The positive language will help you clarify and prioritize what you really want to be doing at the moment — and it can help you see healthy behaviors you’re not psyched about (you really do want to be eating better) in a motivating way.

It’s simple, and it works. The next time you feel like shit, think of five things in your life you’re thankful for. It’ll turn around a dark moment and possibly your entire day.

Redefine what happiness means to you at the present moment — and realize you can be happy now. “Guys especially get the formula for happiness wrong. We think, “If I can work harder right now, I’ll be more successful, and then I’m going to be happier,” says Shawn Achor, author of the book The Happiness Advantage. “And it turns out, that’s not true—partly because every time we hit a goal, our brain changes what success looks like, so happiness is on the opposite side of a moving target, and we never get there. But if guys can create happiness in the present, they can actually dramatically improve their success rates long-term.”

For more ways you can talk yourself into being happier, check out these 10 Drug-Free Ways to Beat Depression!

Studies have shown that exercise can be just as effective against depression and anxiety than antidepressant medication. There’s a physical component (exerting yourself causes the brain to release dopamine) plus, “when you exercise, your brain records a victory. You’ve been successful. And it creates this cascade of success. So you start developing more positive habits,” says Achor. Have no time? Download this app for the Scientific 7-Minute Workout.

“Writing a two-minute positive email to somebody you know, praising them or thanking them for something, increases your social support dramatically,” says Achor. “And it makes you happier while you’re writing that note.”

Research-backed habits that will improve your outlook and positive attitude

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Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.

How to be happy in life 25 ways to make your life happier

Bonninstudio / Stocksy United

It’s easy to assume that things like money and a luxurious lifestyle lead to happiness, but research shows that it’s the more simple experiences—like practicing gratitude or spending time with friends—that promote a sunny outlook.

Whether you need to shift from negative thoughts or want to continue a streak of positivity, here are five ways to boost happiness every day.

Practice Daily Gratitude

Expressing gratitude has been shown to do more than improve your mood. People who write down a few positive things about their day are healthier, more energetic, less stressed and anxious, and get better sleep.  

The key is to make this a regular habit and to do it with intention. Think about creating a small gratitude ritual. For example, every morning when you have your coffee, try thinking of three things that you appreciate about the previous day. Or make it a habit to jot down three positive things about your day before you go to bed at night. Your three things can be seemingly small (a beautiful flower you saw during a walk) or big (the fact that you’re healthy). In fact, science shows that it’s the small everyday experiences that make us happier, compared to big life events.  

Surround Yourself With Positive People

Happiness is contagious. A landmark 2008 study found that living within a mile of a happy person boosts your own happiness by 25%.   If you’re feeling down, reach out to a friend who generally has a more positive attitude. Your brains have mirror neurons that will literally mimic what another person is expressing;   so when you need a bit of positive infusion, connect with those who share it.

Practice Regular Acts of Kindness

Research has shown that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves and doing small acts of kindness increases life satisfaction.   Even the smallest nice gesture can make someone’s day. Here are a few easy ways to show kindness:

  • Hold the door open for someone behind you.
  • Say thank you and mean it when you pick up your next cup of coffee.
  • Donate clothes to a local shelter.
  • Help an elderly neighbor with yard work.
  • Bake a dessert to share with your coworkers.

Spend More Time With Family and Friends

Friendships can be one of the keys to longevity. In fact, one study found that low social interaction—and in turn, loneliness—can be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is twice as bad for your health as obesity.  

Even if you’re busy you can find ways to connect with people you care about.

Use your lunch break as an opportunity to call a friend or, if possible, take a walk together. If you’re busy during the week, consider inviting your friend to do some errands together on the weekend.

Invest in Experiences, Not Objects

Research shows people report feeling happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than objects.   We remember experiences for a longer period of time and our brains can re-live them, making our positive emotions last longer. So instead of that new pair of jeans consider trying a new yoga class or inviting a friend to the movies with you.

A Word From Verywell

While these ways to increase happiness may come easily to some people, if you’re coping with depression, chronic stress, or other psychological illnesses, it can be difficult to see the bright side. Remember that every day is different and that these are practices to work on daily. If you continue to have difficulty coping, consider talking to a friend or family member for support, or contact your doctor for advice on next steps.

Being happy brings success, not the other way around. (It’s scientifically proven!) No matter where you are in your life, these are 25 easy ways to locate the positive every day.

That’s the biggest key to happiness, according to Stanford engineering professor Bernard Roth and author of The Achievement Habit. For example, giving reasons for being chronically late to meetings or explaining your inability to spend more time with family as being too busy at work are indications that your priorities are out of whack, and realigning them will lead to greater happiness. “Reasons are often just excuses,” he writes. “We use them to hide our shortcomings from ourselves. When we stop using reasons to justify ourselves, we increase our chances of changing behavior, gaining a realistic self-image, and living a more satisfying and productive life.”

I should really work out tonight, I should really eat better, I should spend more time at home. The word implies reluctance and guilt. Start saying “want” instead of “should.” The positive language will help you clarify and prioritize what you really want to be doing at the moment — and it can help you see healthy behaviors you’re not psyched about (you really do want to be eating better) in a motivating way.

It’s simple, and it works. The next time you feel like shit, think of five things in your life you’re thankful for. It’ll turn around a dark moment and possibly your entire day.

Redefine what happiness means to you at the present moment — and realize you can be happy now. “Guys especially get the formula for happiness wrong. We think, “If I can work harder right now, I’ll be more successful, and then I’m going to be happier,” says Shawn Achor, author of the book The Happiness Advantage. “And it turns out, that’s not true—partly because every time we hit a goal, our brain changes what success looks like, so happiness is on the opposite side of a moving target, and we never get there. But if guys can create happiness in the present, they can actually dramatically improve their success rates long-term.”

For more ways you can talk yourself into being happier, check out these 10 Drug-Free Ways to Beat Depression!

Studies have shown that exercise can be just as effective against depression and anxiety than antidepressant medication. There’s a physical component (exerting yourself causes the brain to release dopamine) plus, “when you exercise, your brain records a victory. You’ve been successful. And it creates this cascade of success. So you start developing more positive habits,” says Achor. Have no time? Download this app for the Scientific 7-Minute Workout.

“Writing a two-minute positive email to somebody you know, praising them or thanking them for something, increases your social support dramatically,” says Achor. “And it makes you happier while you’re writing that note.”