30 habits and qualities of extra happy people

A group of happy peopleAre people happy because they have “happy genes” or do they do things that unhappy people don’t do? You might have heard the results of recent research into genes and happiness that claims that there is a connection between our genes and our level of happiness, but just because we might not have the “happy genes” doesn’t mean we are doomed to be unhappy our entire life. There are lots of things we can do, ways we can think and attitudes we can develop to boost our happiness.

Here are 30 habits and qualities of extra happy people.

  1. Have good quality friendships and relationships
    Studies have found that good friendships and relationships are important for happiness. This makes obvious sense – we are social beings, needing love and companionship.

  2. Treat others how we would like to be treated
    Everyone wants to be treated with respect, dignity and kindness. Put this into practice and watch the goodness that comes back to us – as we sow so shall we reap.

  3. Treat ourselves with respect
    By kindly looking after ourselves we are, in a way, saying that we are worthwhile and lovable, which, in turn, can boost our happiness.

  4. Look for the good in everyone and everything
    We can focus on what is wrong, negative and lacking, or we can focus on the positive aspects in people, situations and so on. Remember that what we focus on expands.

  5. Be loving, kind and compassionate
    These spread good energy, so attract good karma to us. Accept others as they are. You might not always like what your loved ones do, but you can still love them.

  6. Be generous
    When we give something to someone in need we are helping them become happier, more successful and so on, which can make us feel happier.

  7. Practice anger management
    Deal constructively, not destructively, with anger. Nastiness, cruelty, uncontrollable rage… can destroy relationships, trust, careers and lives.

  8. Banish jealousy, hatred and selfishness
    These are huge happiness hinderers.

  9. Avoid loneliness
    The strength of social isolation as a health risk is similar to obesity, lack of exercise and maybe even smoking, according to psychology professor John Cacioppo.

  10. Deal appropriately with stress and worry
    We all have stress and worries; how we deal with them affects how happy we are.

  11. Overcome fears
    Facing our fears and overcoming them helps us become happier, more peaceful and gives us extra energy to pursue our dreams.

  12. Practice forgiveness
    Forgive ourselves and others for past hurts. Let go of resentment and bitterness and move on. We’ll feel happier, more energetic and more peaceful.

  13. Think positive
    “If they can do it I can too”, “Things always work out for the best for me” and “Life’s obstacles are learning opportunities in disguise” are examples of positive thinking that boost our happiness.

  14. Avoid forming generalizations
    We can overgeneralize by thinking that one event reflects the way things will always be. During tough times we can think that nothing will improve. Things often change; what happens today will not happen forever.

  15. Have a purpose in life
    Without purpose we are just drifting aimlessly through life. Having a purpose enriches our life and gives it more meaning.

  16. Follow our dreams
    The happiest people do what they love to do. Discover and pursue our passions.

  17. Set and achieve goals
    Everyone wants to succeed at something. Achieving goals give us a feeling of accomplishment, which boosts happiness.

  18. Make time for fun, recreation and entertainment
    There’s far more to life than just working to earn money. For extra happiness, put regular time aside to enjoy ourselves outside of work.

  19. Aim for balance in life
    We can feel happier when there is balance in life, such as between work and recreation.

  20. Have good coping techniques for surviving tough times
    How we cope during tough times affects our health, happiness and success. Develop good coping strategies so we can come out stronger after difficult situations.

  21. Appreciate what we have
    The cliché “count your blessings” is vital for happiness. Make time to regularly think of all the good in our lives. This is especially important during tough times when we might think that everything is going wrong.

  22. Have good self esteem and self confidence
    We are, naturally, happier when we like who we are and are confident with ourselves. Remember that we all have positive qualities that can make the world a better place.

  23. Do regular physical activity
    For health and happiness we need regular physical activity as much as we need to eat, sleep and breathe. Our bodies were made to move regularly.

  24. Keep mentally active
    Learning new things throughout our lives helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and helps keep our mind sharp.

  25. Have healthy eating habits
    Our body’s cells are made from the food we eat. If we want a healthy and happy mind we need to feed it what it needs to function and think well. Put diesel in a petrol car and it won’t travel far. Eat lots of unhealthy foods and we can’t expect to think and feel well.

  26. Get enough good quality sleep
    Getting enough good quality sleep boosts concentration, memory, our immune system and more, which all affect our happiness.

  27. Let go of the past that we no longer need
    Dwelling on negative past events can hold us back from being happy and moving on in life.

  28. Live in the now
    The past is gone, the future hasn’t happened, so we should try our best to live in the moment. We can plan our future without constantly worrying about it.

  29. Surround ourselves with happy, positive people
    Happiness is contagious. It’s easier to be happy when we are with happy, rather than unhappy, people.

  30. Laugh often
    Laughter is great for health and happiness. Listen to funny jokes, watch good comedies, be around people who make us laugh and look for the funny side of a situation.

written by Nyomi Graef

Cacioppo, J, 2008, Loneliness undermines health as well as mental well-being, UChicagoNews,

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One Response to “30 habits and qualities of extra happy people”

  1. Jasha says:

    Great post! I printed it and have it hanging on my wall as a little reminder for myself.

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