Happiness isn’t a destination you arrive at or something that comes from achievement. It’s a practice you can cultivate from within you. While some factors are out of your control, happiness is a part of your human nature that you carry with you everywhere you go. Whether you’ve been feeling blue for a while or want to feel more at peace, consider these daily habits to make you happier. Yes, it is possible.
16 Daily Habits To Make You Happier
1. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude can do wonders for your daily mood and overall wellbeing. When you focus on the small things you’re appreciative of, you’ll notice you’ll have more hope and strength to persevere even during the bad days. Start by acknowledging one thing you’re thankful for while drinking your morning coffee, brushing your teeth, or even folding laundry. It’s a simple habit to practice that will increase your happiness levels over time.
Meditation doesn’t always involve making silly shapes with your hands. You can practice it while walking, breathing, or sitting quietly for five minutes while you repeat a positive affirmation. Start with five minutes a day and increase as you progress. Over time, you’ll notice several benefits that aid your overall wellbeing.
3. Connect to nature
There is something calming and uplifting when you connect to nature. The greenery, blue skies, and natural world can make your darkest days seem a bit lighter. You also receive the added benefit of vitamin D, which research shows can combat symptoms of depression. So, when you can, get outside, explore a new area of your neighborhood, or simply sprawl out on the grass and watch the clouds go by.
4. Move your body
Exercise provides a multitude of benefits that aren’t just for your body. When you move your body or break a sweat, you naturally release feel-good chemicals called endorphins. But if you’re low on time, instead of stressing to squeeze a gym day in, which can provide the reverse effect, go for a walk, complete a yoga video at home, or start your day with a quick run.
5. Get enough sleep
Ever feel grumpy or irritable after not receiving enough sleep? Unfortunately, insufficient sleep can worsen several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, prioritize at least 8 hours of sleep per night to feel happier throughout the day. If you’re struggling with sleep deprivation, take a bath before bed, keep your bedroom dark, and stay away from scrolling or television one hour before you doze off.
6. Eat nourishing foods
It’s challenging to feel happy when you’re sick or your energy levels are depleted. Therefore, focusing on the quality of foods you eat can boost your mood and your overall health. Foods enriched with antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and nutrients that nourish your body are one of the best daily habits to make you happier.
7. Laugh with your whole body
Ever heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine?” It’s true. When you laugh, you’re not focused on the past or future, you’re living in the present moment. It also lowers your stress levels, improves your mood, and strengthens your immune system. The next time you feel blue, call a friend, share a laugh, or watch a feel-good comedy.
8. Find time to relax
Stress doesn’t serve your body or your mental health. While it’s not always easy, reflect on the areas where you can decrease your stress levels. Perhaps it’s learning how to set boundaries, taking a holiday, prioritizing your self-care, or unplugging from electronics once a week.
9. Connect with your loved ones
Spending quality time with your loved ones is a significant mood enhancer. Indeed, when you limit distractions and focus on laughing, loving, and connecting with your family, spouse, partner, friends, or kids, you’ll feel happier and more fulfilled.
10. Help others
Taking the time to help others can create a surge of happiness. In fact, acts of kindness release oxytocin, the love hormone. You can make a habit of spreading love more freely by donating, helping a friend or stranger in need, or even giving a compliment.
11. Check your internal dialogue
Words hold a lot of power, and this couldn’t be more true than the words we say to ourselves. How you speak to yourself can affect your behaviors and drive down your mood and decision-making. But our thoughts aren’t always true, even if they appear to be. You can learn how to challenge your thinking and speak kinder to yourself. Start by observing your self-talk, repeating positive affirmations, and practicing self-forgiveness.
12. Smile ear-to-ear
Ever heard that expression “Fake it until you make it?” While smiling is a natural byproduct of happiness, it can also serve as a mood uplifter when you’re down. In fact, smiling increases our production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and motivation. So, the next time you’re feeling down, practice smiling to see if you feel a bit happier.
13. Journal your stress
Journaling is a great habit to release stress, achieve your goals, track your progress, and organize your thoughts. Start by journaling in the morning or at night to unleash any anxiety. When you’re writing, let go of any judgment and allow your pen to jot down any concerns you might have.
14. Focus on the present moment
Mindfulness is a wonderful habit you can practice anywhere. It involves focusing your attention on how you feel, your body, or a sense. Perhaps you notice the leaves while walking, how delicious your meal tastes, or your breath when you take a moment to slow down from your busy schedule. Overall, when practiced regularly, you learn to observe your thoughts without judgment and feel happier.
15. Release control
Life is full of stressors that we can’t always change or control. But you can control how you respond and your subsequent actions. For example, if you’re upset about the news, control how much you scroll and take a break. You have more power than you realize, and you can focus on changing small things in your life rather than stressing about the things you can’t.
16. Breathe slowly and deeply
When we’re tense or stressed, we tend to match our breathing to how we feel. Our breathing becomes shallow and quick, which only increases our anxiety levels. So, the next time you find yourself on the verge of panic, close your eyes, focus your attention on your breath, and take long inhales and exhales.
If some of these daily habits to make you happier don’t fit your style, drop the ones you don’t like and practice the ones you do. And above all, prioritize things in your life that bring you joy – you deserve to feel happy.
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