How To Be Happy: 50+ Tips for a Happier, Healthier Life

The pursuit of happiness is so engrained in American culture that our Founding Fathers wrote it as a fundamental right in our Constitution.

Happiness is within reach, though it’s probably not what you thought. Here’s the truth on how to be happy, but the good news is it’s within reach for everyone. 

How To Be Happy

The first step to happiness is identifying what it means to you. Dr. Nancy Irwin, a clinical psychologist, says, “Happiness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.” She reminds us that everyone’s definition of happiness is different.

It’s also vital to understand happiness as a state of being rather than a fleeting feeling. Many people pursue happiness by collecting things, and although those items may make us happy at the moment, they don’t lead to lasting contentment.

Dr. Ashley Smith, a clinical psychologist and founder of Peak Mind: The Center for Psychological Strength, says studies suggest that only 10% of our overall happiness is influenced by external events. In comparison, close to 40% is due to mindset. The remaining 50% may come from factors beyond our control, like genetics.

How To Cultivate Happiness

The two factors make cultivating happiness more challenging than expected. However, that doesn’t make it impossible.

The first factor makes the pursuit of happiness a lot more fun because you get to try a bunch of different things, and the second makes it more attainable for everyone. Happiness isn’t limited to people with vast swaths of wealth; anyone can be happy if they put in the time to find it.

With that in mind, here are 50+ ideas for how to be happy.

Meet Your Basic Needs

Finding happiness is tough when you’re struggling to put food on the table or aren’t sure if you’ll have a safe place to stay.

Although money doesn’t buy happiness, it buys the things you need to feel secure, which are the cornerstone of happiness.

You must focus on meeting your basic needs before pursuing happiness.

Once you feel secure in your life, you can move on to cultivating healthy habits that will increase your happiness.

Be Happier by Developing Healthy Habits

The second step to happiness is taking care of your body and mind. You’ll have more energy, a better outlook, and more time for joy if you cultivate these healthy lifestyle habits.

Dr. Hilary Stokes, cofounder of Authenticity Associates, explains that happiness results from practical habits and healthy choices. “It results from dedication to a holistic mind, body, and spirit approach,” she says.

Although there’s far more to happiness than healthy habits, developing them is the first place to start.

Work Out

Ehab Youssef, licensed clinical psychologist and mental health researcher at Mentalyc, says physical activity can stimulate endorphin release, contributing to a sense of well-being. “These natural chemicals act as pain relievers and mood elevators,” he says.

But that’s not the only happiness boost working out offers.

Exercise will make you healthier overall, giving you more time and energy to pursue what makes you happy. It also gives you that “good tired” feeling, which leads to more restful sleep.

Take Time for Self-Care

To be happy, you must take the time to show your body and mind that you care about them. Pamper yourself with the things that you love. Nourish your soul with relaxing baths, deep massage, or time out.

Self-care forces you to focus on yourself, if just for a few minutes a day. These fleeting moments of selfishness reinforce the idea that we matter too and are just as deserving of happiness as everyone else.

Give Yourself Grace

We often hinder our own happiness by being too hard on ourselves. Try giving yourself grace instead.

Everyone makes mistakes, so give yourself grace rather than beat yourself up. Allow yourself flaws and imperfections. Learn that it’s okay to be human.

Dr. Daniel Glazer, Clinical Psychologist and founder of US Therapy Rooms says we have a lot of control over how we talk to ourselves and the lenses we use to see life. “Consistent practices here like noting appreciation, self-soothing instead of self-criticism, facing stress with compassion – these rewire our mindset over time, setting the stage for more joy,” he explains.

Dr. Glazer stresses that people who want to be happier must focus on changing how they talk to themselves and care for themselves.  “By learning to gently confront our own critical inner voices, we start to change our relationship with ourselves and thus our experience of the world around us,” he adds. 

Budgeting

Money still doesn’t buy happiness, but budgeting will lead to far more happiness than senseless spending. Control over your finances will help you focus on what makes you happy rather than aimlessly spending on this and that throughout the month.

No one enjoys budgeting, but most people will benefit from the security it brings in having complete control over your finances.

Meditate

Dr. Stokes stresses meditation’s vital role in finding happiness. “Your degree of happiness can be found in the degree to which you can focus your mind,” she says, adding that meditation is one of the most effective tools for achieving this focus.

“Meditation is the practice of quieting your mind and calming your body,” she explains. “It’s the process of decluttering your mind from all that is not relevant or important. Through regular practice, you slow down the mind chatter, declutter the nonsense, and increase the space between your thoughts. This allows you to consciously choose where to place your attention and what attitude you want to assume in any given situation.”

Eat a Healthy Diet

Bad food may taste good at the moment, but it wreaks havoc on your overall health and wellness.

Dr. Shawn Talbot, a Nutritional Psychologist spearheading the field of psychonutrition, studies the intersectionality of nutrition and well-being. “When our microbiome is out of balance, we feel tired, stressed, sad, irritable, anxious, and generally blah,” he says, but healthy eating can restore the balance and help us feel better.

Dr. Talbot says it works “because our gut is actually the source of the majority of neurotransmitters in our body – including more than 90% of our serotonin (for happiness), 70% of our dopamine (for motivation), and about half of our GABA (the body’s primary relaxing neurotransmitter that helps us calm down when we’re stressed).” He adds that the presence of all these neurotransmitters is why we can think of the gut as our “second brain” and why eating well is essential for happiness. 

Cut Back on Alcohol

Alcohol seems like a good idea at the time, but overconsumption leads to a host of health problems that can hinder your quest for happiness.

Alcohol consumption has several consequences for your long-term health. It’s been linked to digestive and heart issues in addition to mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression. In the short term, drinking causes headaches, sluggishness, and a general feeling of being unwell. 

Limiting your alcohol intake will make you feel better and give you more energy to pursue the things that make you happy.

Drink More Water

Replace that alcohol with water for a greater chance at happiness.

According to the CDC, American adults drink about five cups of water daily. That’s less than half the Mayo Clinic’s recommended amount. Adults should drink between 11 and 16 cups of water per day, depending on factors related to their gender and activity level.

This chronic dehydration makes us tired, irritable, and unhealthy, conditions that significantly limit our happiness.

Prioritize Sleep

Sleep, like water, is an essential yet oft-overlooked ingredient for happiness.

According to the Sleep Foundation, less than 2/3 of adults get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. 

Sleep is vital to our brain performance, energy levels, and overall moods, while lack of sleep leads to a host of medical conditions, like heart disease, obesity, and dementia.

Read

Reading is a workout for your mind. It improves cognitive function, enhances memory, and reduces stress. These health benefits are only the tip of the iceberg.

Reading opens your mind to new perspectives and ideas you may never have considered. It fosters empathy and understanding while helping us through life’s challenges. It teaches about the world, the universe, and ourselves. As an added benefit, reading before bed can help improve your sleep.

Although reading isn’t the secret key to happiness, it’s a brain booster that can help you discover what happiness means.

Show Kindness

Do you remember how good it feels to do something nice for them and have them show genuine appreciation? The nice act could be simple, like holding a door open or giving up a seat.

Those random acts of kindness took no effort, but they had a massive impact on someone else’s life. Find ways to incorporate that type of kindness into everything you do.

Plan Ahead

Stress is a massive barrier to happiness. A simple solution to reducing that stress is planning ahead.

Many of life’s stressors have warning signs. We can predict them. Therefore, we should always be planning for them.  Create an emergency savings account to prevent those surprise bills from impacting your finances. Start a Christmas account in January to plan for the season. Get a yearly planner to map out everything you need to accomplish.

Planning also enhances our well-being by giving us something to look forward to. Planning a trip is almost as much fun as taking it. Marking significant events on the calendar fills us with anticipation. These small things can boost our happiness at any given moment.

Practice Gratitude

Dr. Stokes calls gratitude one of the most potent psychological contributors to happiness and overall well-being. She pointed to research Rober Emmons’s work on the nexus between gratitude and happiness, which showed that grateful people tend to experience more positive emotions like joy and enthusiasm than people who don’t practice gratitude.

Youssef agrees with practicing gratitude as a cornerstone of happiness. “Reflecting on and appreciating positive aspects of life can shift focus away from negativity,” he says.  

Journal

Journaling has numerous positive impacts on your mental wellbeing. It helps you work out your complex emotions, gain a different perspective, monitor your emotions, and reduce stress.

It’s also an excellent tool for initiating some of the other happiness habits on this list. You can journal for self-care or gratitude, but you can also start a bullet journal to help you plan your life. It’s a fantastic habit that can simplify your life and train your brain to be happy.

Get Into a Routine

Routines sound boring, but they can have massive impacts on your health and wellness. Many of us struggle to find time to build the healthy habits discussed here, but creating a routine can help.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day gets your body into an excellent rhythm for getting enough sleep. A routine makes healthy habits second nature. It takes a while to get into the correct rhythm, but it’s worth the effort.

Prioritize Happiness

If you want to be happy, you have to make happiness a habit.

Ryan Hetrick, CEO of Epiphany Wellness, advises us to “make a conscious effort to do more of what makes you happy, whether it’s a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or practicing self-care. By prioritizing your own happiness,” he adds, “you’ll be able to find more fulfillment in life.”

Mindset Changes for a Happy Life

Many of the professionals we talked to about happiness stressed that it’s a state of mind rather than a fleeting feeling.

When learning how to be happy, mindset matters.

As Dr. Ketan Parmar, MD, psychiatrist and mental health expert at ClinicSpots, explains, “The concept of “mindset” refers to the set of attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that a person holds, and mindset greatly influences an individual’s perception of happiness.”

Lachlan Brown, a behavioral psychologist and the founder of Hack Spirit says,Happiness is a complex interplay of both external and internal factors. Externally, societal expectations and material possessions play a role — they provide temporary satisfaction and a sense of belonging. However, true and lasting happiness comes from internal sources – it’s about mindset, self-awareness, and emotional resilience.”

Here are mindset changes you need to cultivate for a happier life.

Embrace Growth

Keisha Blair, international best-selling author and “mother of holistic wealth,” stresses the critical role a growth mindset plays in happiness.

“A growth mindset sees abilities as malleable, fostering resilience, a willingness to learn, and a greater sense of fulfillment. Cultivating a growth mindset can enhance overall well-being by promoting adaptability and a positive outlook on life,” she says.

The good news is you can train your brain to cultivate growth. Develop a growth mindset, and you’ll be on your way to happiness.

Positivity

Are you a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full person?

Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days, says optimism and positivity are essential to happiness. Although it’s normal to encounter adverse life events, understanding that they don’t define you is critical to maintaining a positive outlook.

“Do your best to find the silver lining and counter negative thoughts with positive ones,” he says. “Change the way you think by nixing your negative thinking and seeing problems as challenges and opportunities to learn something new. Think what’s possible, not what’s impossible,” he adds.

Dr. Parmar adds that numerous studies suggest a positive mindset can enhance well-being, saying it “stems from appreciating life’s small pleasures, maintaining positive relationships, and successfully handling adversity.”

A World of Plenty

The scarcity/abundance mindset dichotomy also relates to happiness.

People with a scarcity mindset view the world as limited. They must hoard scarce resources for fear that there’s not enough to go around. An abundance mindset believes the world holds immeasurable bounties and there’s more than enough.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is one of the secret hacks to happiness.  Hetrick says mindfulness means “being fully present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment.” He adds that mindfulness helps you appreciate life’s little pleasures and find joy in everyday moments.

Dr. Nick Bach, a psychologist with Grace Psychological Services, agrees, saying mindfulness is about savoring experiences and appreciating the little things in life. “By staying engaged in the present and finding joy in everyday moments, you can enhance your overall happiness,” he explains.

Mindfulness takes a massive mindset shift. We’re all so busy thinking about all the tasks we need to accomplish that we struggle to appreciate the here and now. Make an effort to enjoy each moment as it comes.

Control

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr

The serenity prayer helps us focus on the things we can control, and as it turns out, it’s an essential ingredient for happiness.

Alpert says anxiety over things outside their control is one of the most common struggles he sees in patients. “This exhaustive thinking saps people of any energy to be positive and happy,” he says. “Next time you catch yourself thinking this way, turn it around and think about what you can control. Take action rather than being a victim of circumstance and your own negative thinking.”

You’ll be much happier if you focus your energy on the things within your control.

Acceptance

The acceptance vs perfection mindset is rarely discussed, but it is vital to understanding happiness. 

Far too many of us hinder our own opportunities for happiness because we can’t let go of perfection. Our society thrusts the idea that we must be perfect in our face daily. We fear making tiny mistakes because they represent failure.

Moving from a perfection to an acceptance mindset will make you happier in the long run. Let go of the need for everything to be perfect. Try stuff because you want to get better, and don’t worry if you’re not good at it now. Let yourself enjoy things without worrying about whether it’s perfect.

Meaning Makes You Happy

Engaging in activities you care about is one of the most crucial steps to happiness.

Dr. Stokes shared research showing that doing something you enjoy or feel passionate about is one of the most critical factors for health and longevity. “The study was conducted with 25,000 people over the course of 25 years as a lifespan review, and this single factor, amazingly, surpassed all other lifestyle factors—even diet, exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption.” She explained.  “The conclusion: discover your strengths and passions and engage in them daily, and you will live a long, healthy life.”

Zita Chriszto, a licensed clinical psychologist working in Dubai, also discussed engaging in meaningful activities for a happier life.

“Aligning with one’s values and interests can create a fulfilling sense of purpose, a concept supported by both happiness research and positive psychology,” Chriszto says.

Our busy lives make it hard to engage in meaningful activities. Think outside the box and consider how these pursuits can inject that purpose into your life.

Take a Class

Learning about the things you love is more accessible than ever before. Online courses offer a plethora of resources, allowing you to dig deep into your favorite subjects. Take an online class on photography, astronomy, or literature for an easy way to engage with your interests.

You can also check your local community college for in-person courses related to your favorite topics. Allowing yourself to learn for the sake of it rather than for a specific career goal can increase your happiness.

Learn a Language

Sometimes, it’s not about the topic but the sense of accomplishment. Even those who aren’t passionate about language can find great pleasure in learning to say new things in a different language.

Platforms like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone make it easier than ever to learn a new language.

Sign up for a Fitness Challenge

Have you ever run a 5k? Completed a triathlon?

Do something so physically exhausting that you can’t believe you did it. Upon completing such a strenuous goal, you’ll burst with happiness and look back with pride on that shining moment of accomplishment.  

Write a Novel

Millions of people dream of writing the next great American novel. The problem is they never sit down to write.

Turn your dream into a reality by carving out time every day to work on your novel. Start with something small, like ten minutes, and see how it goes.

It’s not just about the book. Many people have something they’d “love to do” but never actually do it. If you want to be happy, you need to do it.

Try a New Hobby

A lot of times, we don’t know what we’re passionate about. We need to try a bunch of things and see what we like and don’t like.

Allow yourself to explore the abundance of opportunities by trying a new hobby. Pick up a paintbrush, try scrapbooking, and fly a kite. You won’t know whether it’s your passion until you try it.

Start a Business

Starting a business is a stressful endeavor, but it’s also enriching. People who build businesses aligned with their passions feel like they’ve won life’s lottery: they get to do what they love and make money.

You don’t need to quit your job right away. Take it slow by building your business on the side, and don’t quit until you know you can earn a full-time income.

Volunteer for a New Project

Not everyone has the entrepreneurial spirit, and that’s okay. You can find more happiness at work by volunteering for new projects outside your main functional area.

Join your company’s wellness, diversity, or hiring committee—volunteer for special projects and task forces. Find ways to make your work life more fulfilling.

Volunteer Work

Licensed psychologist Lauren Napolitano says volunteering for something you care about can increase your happiness. Get involved with an organization that aligns with your values. You can volunteer at animal rescues, food banks, homeless shelters, or even canvas for political organizations.

“You will feel more purpose in your life, and you might also meet new friends,” says Napolitano, outlining how volunteering can lead to happiness.

Focus on Experiences

Far too many people collect material things, thinking they’ll be happy if they only have the fastest car, nicest purse, or more fashionable shoes.

Alpert helps us see how backward this thinking is. “Do you remember material items you had years ago or things you experienced?” he asks, guessing that most of us remember experiences over things.

“It’s these experiences that have a lasting place in our memories, not material items. Value them because they’re much more likely to lead to happiness than possessions ever could. Go out there and experience many things: trips, activities, people, classes, learning, food, culture, and whatever adventures you can create,” he advises.

Travel

Travel opens our minds to new ideas, cultures, and perspectives. The enlightening experience shows us how massive the world is and helps us understand our tiny place in it.

Traveling can make you happier as it teaches you about the world and yourself.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Stepping outside of your comfort zone doesn’t make you happy in the moment. It’s terrifying!

However, stepping outside your comfort zone is the best way to learn and grow. Do something you aren’t sure how to do. As you navigate the tricky situation, you’ll develop more confidence and realize you can do what you fear. Stepping outside once makes it easier to step out again and again and leads to a fuller, richer life.

Challenge Yourself

Challenging yourself goes hand in hand with stepping outside of your comfort zone. Set challenging goals you know you’ll have to work hard to achieve. A sense of accomplishment will feel much better if you work hard for something.

Dr. Bach says setting meaningful goals can give your life a sense of purpose and direction. “These goals can provide structure, increase self-esteem, and give a sense of identity. Additionally, celebrate and appreciate the achievements, even the small ones, along the way,” he advises.

Cherishing the Small Things for Even More Happiness

Mindfulness stands as one of the most crucial aspects of happiness. Savoring the small things brings far more joy than you can ever imagine.

Here are some little things you need to appreciate more for a happy life.

Engage with Friends

We list engaging with friends as a “small” thing for happiness, but it’s one of the most essential items on this list.

“Social support is one of the top predictors of happiness,” says Dr. Stokes. “If an individual has a healthy support network, a person is more effective at coping with stress and challenges while maintaining optimism and hope. On the other hand, the absence of healthy social networks is the most talked about issue that we encounter.”

Dr. Stokes described a TIME magazine poll where 76 percent of participants reported friends and family as their primary sources of happiness, and 63 percent sought out friends and family to deal with stress.

Most of us take our friendships for granted. Lean into them, cherish them, and be present in the time you have with them to be happier.

Smell the Flowers

The adage “stop and smell the roses” resonates because it’s simple yet crucial to happiness. We’re so busy running from place to place that we don’t take a minute to enjoy the beauty of the world around us.

Stop and smell the flowers the next time you’re rushing to work or school. Enjoy the present, if just for a moment.

Take a Walk in Nature

Nature has a way of making everything okay. Our ultra-modern lives disconnect us from the natural world.

Get back into it.

Take a walk near a forest or prairie. Listen to the insects buzz around. Feel the breeze as the leaves flutter in the wind. Connect with the world living all around you.

Get Out of the House

Sometimes, simply engaging with the outside world is enough to increase our happiness.

Napolitano says something as simple as leaving the house can have massive impacts on our mental health. “When you are depressed, you tend to isolate, but that worsens depression. Even just walking around the block helps,” she says.

Watch the Clouds

Cloud gazing forces us to take a break from our lives and engage with the present. It also sparks our creativity.

As you discover the hidden shapes in the clouds floating across the horizon, you can’t help but appreciate the moment’s serenity.

Lay in the Grass

One of life’s simplest pleasures lies right outside your door. If you don’t have time for a hike, go outside barefoot and feel the blades of grass tickle your skin.

Laying in the grass helps ground us to nature. It connects us to the whole natural world surrounding us, letting us feel present in the moment. 

Watch the Sunset

Every day, the sun makes its final descent under the horizon in a spectacular burst of color, and every day, most of us ignore the dazzling display. 

Take a few moments to stand outside and watch the show. Wonder at the wide range of colors dancing across the sky, and let yourself be a part of it. 

Cuddle with your Cat

Our pets bring us immeasurable joy, and research suggests that owning a cat leads to increased happiness. 

The simple act of petting a cat can melt away the day’s stress. Give them your full attention for a few minutes to reap the benefits. 

Savor a Bedtime Tea

One of life’s greatest yet simplest pleasures is herbal tea before bed. The hot beverage soothes your insides while the delightful aroma sends relaxing signals to your brain, letting every nerve in your body know it’s time to relax. 

Unwind with a bedtime tea to sleep better and enjoy a quiet, relaxing moment before bed. 

Get Silly

Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes, we try too hard to be cool and stoic and don’t allow ourselves to enjoy the fun things about life. 

Sing, dance, run around, play! Swing at the park, play silly games with your friends, and stop caring about what other people think. Embrace your inner child and allow yourself the freedom to be silly. 

Indulge in your Favorite Dish

Food connects us to our cultures and memories. Although we must eat healthy food that nourishes our body, we can’t discount the joy we feel when savoring a favorite dish from childhood. 

Allow yourself to indulge in your favorites on occasion. Happiness is about finding the right balance between indulgence and nourishment. 

Draw

You don’t have to be an artist to reap the benefits of drawing. Drawing helps boost your creativity and gives you something fun to do when bored. 

Wouldn’t you rather open up a sketchbook and doodle than doomscroll on social media when bored? 

Play

Gaming has a bad reputation, but that’s mostly because people get addicted and let it take over their entire lives. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your favorite game in moderation. 

Schedule time to play the classics from your childhood for a nostalgia boost or experiment with newer options to see if you have what it takes to master new games. 

Listen to Nature

Nature provides a glorious soundtrack to our lives if we’d only pay more attention to it. Close your eyes during the next thunderstorm and listen to the pattering of rain on the pavement interrupted by epic bursts of thunder. 

On lovely days, listen to birds chirping and the quiet leaves rustling in the wind. Intentionally focusing on these sounds will help you appreciate the world around you. 

Check It Off

Nothing beats the satisfaction of crossing items off your to-do list. Sometimes, I add things to my list to check it off!

Embrace the joy of a to-do list. It will help you organize your day and provide a pleasurable boost with each item you check off. 

Happiness Killers

It’s not all about doing things that make you happy. An essential part of happiness is avoiding the things that wreak havoc on your mood.

Here are some things to avoid for a happier life.

Comparing Yourself to Others

Niloufar Esmaeilpour, MSc, RCC, SEP with Lotus Therapy & Counselling Centre, discusses social comparison theory as it relates to happiness. “The idea here is that happiness can be influenced or even determined by our circumstances and the external world around us. Social comparison theory, for instance, suggests that we derive our sense of satisfaction by comparing ourselves to others.”

Blair also mentions social comparison theory, saying it “suggests that individuals determine their own social and personal worth based on how they stack up against others.”

While historically, social comparison helped people obtain happiness, it’s a massive hindrance in our current age. In the past, people only had their social groups for comparison, but in today’s age, we can compare ourselves to everyone in the world, and it’s hard to stack up.

If you want to be happy, you must understand that humans have that innate desire to compare and compete, but you must rise above that desire and look at your journey as your own.

Social Media

Social media is relatively new, but research already suggests its use leads to unhappiness. A 2022 study in Tawain showed that increased Facebook use leads to increased negative emotions.  Another study from that year showed that taking a one-week break from social media improves overall well-being.

Blair explains why social media use decreases happiness: “In a world perpetually connected through social media, the constant barrage of curated success stories can fuel feelings of inadequacy and undermine one’s sense of accomplishment, ultimately impacting happiness.”

Napolitano says deleting these apps that make you feel bad about yourself can increase your happiness. She points to celebrity photos, fitness models, and rich people showing off their latest purchases as stealthy happiness thieves. However, Napolitano points out that you don’t have to delete the apps to be happier; just change how you use them. “Curate your feed to be inspirational,” she says.

Stress

Bad stress limits happiness. When constantly worrying about something, letting it go and embracing happiness is nearly impossible.

Finding ways to handle your stress appropriately will help improve your well-being and increase your happiness.

Toxic People

The harsh reality is that there are people out there who make your life worse. Sometimes, they’re toxic coworkers, but other times, they’re your own flesh and blood.

Set boundaries with the toxic people in your life, and stop letting them get under your skin. Cut contact if you have to. You may not realize how much they’re impacting your mental health until you let them go.

Forcing It

In an interesting twist, happiness is like coolness – you can’t force it, and when you stop caring, you’re more likely to get it.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Kirstie Wright of Creatives in Mind calls attention to the growing body of research that suggests striving to be happy all the time actually makes us feel worse. “We cannot be happy all the time,” she says. “This is not the natural human state.”

Rather than forcing happiness, Wright recommends living a life according to your values and accepting that it will bring negative emotions along with positive ones. “The negative emotions aren’t bad,” she says, “living a life according to your values will bring contentment.”

Will Achieving Your Goals Make You Happy?

Although challenging yourself to set and achieve meaningful goals contributes to happiness, it’s not the only factor.

The sense of accomplishment we feel when we achieve a goal does offer happiness, but many people find themselves lost after accomplishing their big goal.

They did it, so why aren’t they happy?

The Journey Matters

It turns out that accomplishing a goal is only part of the secret sauce to happiness. The quest matters just as much, if not more.

“Remember, finding happiness is a journey,” says Dr. Bach. He adds that it “may require some experimentation and self-reflection. He also recommends regularly reflecting on your journey to appreciate your progress and find happiness in your achievements. 

Happiness Awaits!

Happiness is out there, waiting for you to find it. But remember, it might not look like you expect. Open your mind to the idea that happiness comes from mindfulness and inner peace, and you’ll realize you don’t have to look far to be happy. 

 

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Bio:

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.