Happiness may mean something different to everyone, but I believe happiness is at the core of who we are. I also believe that you’ll find something in this list that you can begin practicing today to increase your happiness every day. There are so many ways to be happy…
“If you want other to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
Some of these happiness practices are derived from Positive Psychology. Some are science-based. Some are life lessons learned by yours truly. Some seem like common sense, but common knowledge is not always common practice.
The bottom line is that there are so many ways to be happy and so many reasons to make happiness a daily practice in our lives.
It’s when we realize that happiness is our responsibility that we’re more likely to choose happiness in our daily thoughts, decisions, and actions. Figure out what works for you, and prioritize the answer, and it’ll be easier to maintain a sense of inner peace regardless of what’s going on around you.
Let this list serve as a gentle reminder and a guide on your path to greater happiness, peace, love, compassion, hope, forgiveness, gratitude, grace, and all good things.
Perhaps not everything will speak to you, and that is quite alright. Notice what does speak to you, choose one or two at a time, and practice it with an open mind and an open heart.
For your convenience and reading pleasure, I’ve linked some of the practices below to other helpful posts on that particular topic.
Enjoy this “happy do” list, which is in no particular order…
101 Simple Ways to Be Happy and Lighten up
- Smile about everything.
- Smile for no reason at all.
- Contemplate the miracle that is Life.
- Savor the present moment.
- Seek out a support system.
- Surround yourself with positive energy and positive people.
- Distance yourself from negativity.
- Help someone.
- Volunteer your time.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Say, “Thank you” for what you have now.
- Forgive others.
- Forgive yourself.
- Let go of judgment.
- Know that you are enough.
- Laugh, because it’s good for the soul.
- Be willing to change your mind.
- Say, “I love you.”
- Be willing to love and accept yourself.
- Be kind to others.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Realize you have the power to create happiness.
- Listen to your inner voice.
- Trust the process of life.
- Go somewhere you’ve never been.
- Do something you’ve never done.
- Expect miracles.
- Believe good things are in the works.
- Say, “I am sorry.”
- Give without expecting anything in return.
- Let go of past hurts.
- See everything as an act of love or a call for love.
- Get enough sleep.
- Read a good book.
- Learn something new every day.
- Take a digital vacation.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Go outside and look at the sky.
- Choose love whenever possible.
- Be honest.
- Meditate for 5 minutes.
- Close your eyes, be quiet, and breathe.
- Clear the clutter that no longer serves you.
- Clean your desk at the end of the workday.
- Never leave the house upset.
- Never go to bed angry.
- Meet new people.
- Take breaks often.
- Take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths and use your strengths daily.
- Drink enough water.
- Look in the mirror and say, “I love you.”
- Move in ways that make you feel good.
- Write down your blessings.
- Repeat positive affirmations daily.
- Nurture your creative side.
- Speak your mind and speak kind.
- Listen without planning a response.
- Practice patience.
- Make something for someone else.
- Entertain different ideas with an open mind.
- Soak up 10 minutes of sunshine a day.
- Stop making excuses.
- Know that you are loved.
- Ask yourself how you can help yourself today.
- Seek the hidden lesson in every challenge.
- Seek the hidden gift in every moment.
- Base your successes on your internal landscape.
- Make happiness, peace, and love itself your goal.
- Try to make someone else’s day easier.
- Read your gratitude journal on tough days.
- Write a gratitude letter to someone you have not properly thanked; have them read it in front of you.
- Enjoy the journey (you are the destination).
- Develop a morning and evening routine.
- Respect and appreciate your body.
- Do something every day to follow your dreams.
- Express compassion.
- Know that you don’t know it all.
- Spend time with loved ones.
- Focus on one task at a time.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Find the good and praise it.
- Base your worth on your inner world, not on others or things.
- Contemplate the idea that we are all under the same sky.
- Create a safe space to come home to, even if it’s just a yoga mat.
- Listen to the subtle whispers of your body.
- Cultivate awareness.
- Learn to enjoy your own company.
- Develop an abundance mindset (there is enough for everyone).
- Write a manifesto.
- Give what you want to receive.
- Give up complaining for one day.
- Say, “Everything is going to be okay.”
- Write down your thoughts, dreams, and good deeds.
- Say, “No” to what causes you stress.
- See negative events as temporary.
- See positive events as permanent.
- Recognize and dispute negative thoughts.
- What gives you a sense that time has stopped? Do that.
- Have faith in the good.
- Find meaning in something greater than you.
You may also enjoy this daily to-do list for a happier day.
- Is there anything you would add to this list?
- What practices, beliefs, thoughts, or habits help you to be happy?
- What are you doing today to expand upon your peace and happiness?
Share any of your own favorite ways to be happy, positive thoughts, daily practices that bring you peace, and any inspiring stories of change with me in the comments.
Share this list with someone who may need a lift, or something new to consider.
Keep choosing happiness, and happiness will keep choosing you back.