How to Be Happy Every Day


There are many benefits to being happy. You will feel less stress, more mental clarity, and you'll have an overall greater sense of joy. There are also many physical benefits of happiness, such as lower blood pressure and overall better physical fitness. Some people might seem to be naturally happier than others, but everyone can add some joy to their lives. Whether you are looking for a major change or just hoping to smile more, there are a lot of things to do to make sure that you are happy at some point during each day.

Part 1
Getting to Know Yourself

Getting to Know Yourself on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Being happy every day does not mean that you will be happy every moment. That is impossible and unrealistic. Instead, aim to become a person who is well-rounded emotionally. Once you are comfortable feeling a range of emotions, you will be better able to get in touch with how to be happy.[1] Self-validation is the process of acknowledging your feelings and reactions. It is healthy to understand that everyone has a range of emotions, and it is normal to express them. Don't put pressure on yourself to feel happy all the time. Instead, if you are feeling down about missing out on a big promotion, acknowledge that that is a normal reaction. Give yourself permission to feel. Then you can move on.

Getting to Know Yourself on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Sometimes the things that make you happy are pretty obvious. For example, you probably know that you enjoy having a day off from work. But you'll have to dig a little deeper to get beyond the surface of what makes you happy. Spend some time reflecting on what truly brings you joy.[2] One way to go about this is to think about your purpose. People who are fulfilled often report being happier. Ask yourself questions such as, "What excites me? What am I passionate about? How would I like to be remembered?"When asked, “How can you behappier every day?”Adam Dorsay, Psy.D.Adam Dorsay, a licensedpsychologist, responded: “Thegreatest source of happiness inits most sustainable form ispursuing a meaningful life. Youcan do this by engaging yourvalues and signature strengths.This will make you happier thanmerely engaging in pleasurableactivities such as going fromvacation to vacation, retailshopping, and eating deliciousthings."When asked, “How can you be happierevery day?”Adam Dorsay, Psy.D.Adam Dorsay, a licensed psychologist,responded: “The greatest source ofhappiness in its most sustainable formis pursuing a meaningful life. You cando this by engaging your values andsignature strengths. This will makeyou happier than merely engaging inpleasurable activities such as goingfrom vacation to vacation, retailshopping, and eating deliciousthings."When asked, “How can you be happier everyday?”Adam Dorsay, Psy.D.Adam Dorsay, a licensed psychologist,responded: “The greatest source ofhappiness in its most sustainable form ispursuing a meaningful life. You can do thisby engaging your values and signaturestrengths. This will make you happier thanmerely engaging in pleasurable activitiessuch as going from vacation to vacation,retail shopping, and eating deliciousthings."When asked, “How can you be happier every day?”Adam Dorsay, Psy.D.Adam Dorsay, a licensed psychologist, responded: “The greatest sourceof happiness in its most sustainable form is pursuing a meaningful life.You can do this by engaging your values and signature strengths. Thiswill make you happier than merely engaging in pleasurable activitiessuch as going from vacation to vacation, retail shopping, and eatingdelicious things."When asked, “How can you be happier every day?”Adam Dorsay, Psy.D.Adam Dorsay, a licensed psychologist, responded: “The greatest source ofhappiness in its most sustainable form is pursuing a meaningful life. You cando this by engaging your values and signature strengths. This will make youhappier than merely engaging in pleasurable activities such as going fromvacation to vacation, retail shopping, and eating delicious things."

Getting to Know Yourself on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Similarly, the process of getting to know yourself better should include spending some time thinking about things that do not make you happy. Again, some might be simple and obvious. For instance, no one likes being stuck in traffic. But take time to reflect on pieces of your life that might be significantly impacting your happiness.[3] Make a list of the stressful components of your life. Often, putting things in writing can help us get a more clear view of the situation. Is your job stressing you out? Write down some specifics, such as "I feel stressed because my boss does not seem to value me."

Getting to Know Yourself on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Journaling is one of the most effective ways to get to know yourself better and become more in touch with your emotions. Try writing in a journal each day. You can record not only your activities, but also your thoughts and feelings.[4] Once a week, take time to read through your journal entries and reflect. You can begin to see patterns in the things that are making you feel happier. Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. This alone can lead to more happiness each day.

Getting to Know Yourself on How to Be Happy Every Day

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It can be easy to focus on all of the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis, rather than focusing on yourself and your feelings. Try taking multiple short breaks throughout the day. Taking a break from work will give you time to check in with yourself and see how you're feeling.[5] Every hour, give yourself a break of about 5 minutes. You can go get a drink of water, stretch, or just zone out for a few minutes. Taking a break is good for your mind and body. While you stretch, daydream about something fun you would like to do after work. This is an excellent mood boost.

Getting to Know Yourself on How to Be Happy Every Day

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One of the keys to being happy to is to practice self-acceptance. While we all have changes we would like to make, it's important to remember to also appreciate ourselves for who we are. [6] Recognize that acceptance is not the same as resignation. You can learn to accept the things you cannot change without giving up on your goals. Make it a point to appreciate something about yourself each day. You could devote part of your daily journal entry to writing down one good thing about yourself, such as your work ethic.

Part 2
Making Lifestyle Changes

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Do you feel like you've been in a funk? Or maybe everything is going ok, but you wish your mood was a little better each day? You might just need to make some small changes. If you change your surroundings, your mood can change, too. Change doesn't always have to be scary.[7] Some environmental changes can be significant. For example, if you and your partner are constantly fighting about closet space, a bigger apartment might be the key to a more positive outlook. Changing your environment can also be small. Try picking up some fresh flowers for your living room each week. Glancing at them daily might give you the small lift you've been looking for.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Studies indicate that well over half of working Americans eat lunch at their desks. Or worse, some people skip the mid-day meal altogether. Working through lunch can actually lead to higher levels of stress and lower productivity. So get away from your desk and grab some food.[8] You don't have to go to a restaurant or cafeteria to go "out" to eat. You just need to change your location. Try eating in a break room. If it's a nice day, take your sack lunch outside. Do something you enjoy. Your lunch break should actually be a break. If you're eating with coworkers, try to avoid talking about work. Instead, talk about your weekend plans. Or flip through a magazine.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Good moods can be contagious. Likewise, so can negativity. If you want to feel happier, try spending more time with people who seem content. Look for family members, friends, or coworkers with a smile, and choose to try to spend more time with those people.[9] Spend time with people who are encouraging, positive, and who enrich your life. For example, if you have a friend who regularly encourages you to try something new, try to spend more time with her. Try to add these types of people to your daily routine. For example, if there are two coffee shops near your office, frequent the one that has the friendlier barista.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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For many people, work takes up a significant percentage of your time. And many people admit that they aren't happy with their jobs. Sometimes, you might feel like your job is boring, or stressful, or just tiring. If it is feasible, consider a career change if you feel like your job is impeding your happiness.[10] Make a list of your priorities. What is most important to you in a career? Is it salary? Flexible hours? A positive team environment? Spend some time figuring out what you would like to do. Then formulate an action plan. Feeling like you are taking control of this part of your life can go a long way towards making you feel happy every day. Try not to quit before you have a formal offer from another employer. If you have a significant amount of savings you may want to quit before you find a new job, though it is usually easier to get another job if you are already employed.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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It's possible that you are unhappy because you are in a bit of a rut. When people are bored, they typically are not feeling very upbeat. If you regularly try new things, you can alleviate boredom and increase your happiness. Trying new things also gives you the opportunity to find something new to enjoy.[11] Have you always wanted to learn to play tennis? Sign up for lessons. Not only will you be trying a new activity, but you'll also be learning something new. Studies show learning can lead to increased happiness. If you love to read, try joining a book club. You'll likely read a book you wouldn't have chosen and you'll get to meet people with similar interests.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Your physical health is directly connected to your mental health. In order to increase your happiness, you should consider adding some healthy habits to your lifestyle. For example, exercise can be a great mood booster. [12] Exercise releases endorphins, which elevate your mood. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. You can break exercise into blocks. Even 10 minutes of physical activity can make you feel great. Try taking a brisk walk around the block at lunchtime. Get plenty of rest. Many people feel cranky or sluggish if they are missing out on sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Good news! Chocolate can elevate your mood. Research shows that there are multiple chemical compounds in chocolate that activate your brain's pleasure centers. For example, the phenylethylamine in chocolate is also known as the "love drug" because it produces the same effect as being around someone who you love.[13] Try eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day. An ounce is an appropriate serving. Eat clams. Clams have a high amount of vitamin B12, which fights depression. Other foods high in B12 are salmon and beef.[14] Eat walnuts. These nuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, which helps fight depression. Add walnuts to your oatmeal, or try making your own nut butter.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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There is an important relationship between touch and mood. The more you touch (or are touched) by others, the more content and safe you will likely feel. If you are in a relationship, hug your partner more. Aim for 10 hugs a day. You will both feel happier.[15] Have more sex. Sex, like other physical activities, releases endorphins. It will also help increase your bond with your partner. If you are not in an intimate relationship, you can still add more physical contact to your life. Make it a point to shake hands when you meet new people, or when you congratulate a co-worker on a project well done.

Making Lifestyle Changes on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Having a dog or cat as a companion can help you feel happy. Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Having an animal also causes you to exhibit more playfulness and laughter.[16] Choose an animal that works with your lifestyle. For example, if you live in a small apartment, consider getting a cat or a small dog. Adopt an animal from a rescue society. You'll feel good knowing that you are helping a creature in need.

Part 3
Having a Positive Attitude

Having a Positive Attitude on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Self-care essentially means doing something in service of yourself. It can be giving yourself a break, physically, or taking a mental time-out. Self-care has proven to make people feel better, have less stress, and function at a more productive level.[17] Take a few minutes for self-care each day. Take some time to take a relaxing bubble bath, or treat yourself to reading a chapter of a great book. Check in with yourself. Ask, "Am I taking on too much? Do I need to take a break?" If the answer is yes, allow yourself to take a guilt-free timeout.

Having a Positive Attitude on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Self-criticism is normal. When your brain is at rest (or stressed) you automatically start thinking about problems you need to solve or tasks you need to finish. If you can learn to silence your inner critic, you will likely find increased happiness.[18] Practice positive affirmations. Take a moment each day to look at yourself in the mirror and say something positive. Try, "Smile today. You have a great smile, and it's contagious." Make a list of your positive attributes. When you're feeling down, look at this list for a mood boost.

Having a Positive Attitude on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Make your personal relationships a priority. Your relationships are key to your emotional well-being. Take care to spend time with your friends and family and to have open communication with the people you love.[19] Schedule time for friends and family the same way that you schedule other appointments. This will ensure that you are making your relationships a priority and that you have time to enjoy your life.

Having a Positive Attitude on How to Be Happy Every Day

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Take some time each day to appreciate the good things in your life. It does not need to be the same thing each day. You can choose something significant, or relatively minor. But adding more appreciation to your life it a key to happiness.[20] Try choosing one big thing and one small thing to be thankful for each day. You could say, "I'm grateful that my children are healthy." Later, you could say, "I'm grateful that I treated myself to some ice cream today."