14 Habits That Help Build Happiness

Happiness can be broken down into the pursuit of three things: pleasure, engagement and meaning. It turns out the pursuit of pleasure contributes the least to happiness. Most of our happiness comes from engagement with people and activities, and from personal and spiritual growth that provide meaning. Here are some ways to add engagement and meaning to your life.

  1. Surround yourself with happy people rather than pessimistic, critical people.
  2. If you smile, mean it. Faking a smile can worsen your mood.
  3. Learn how to bounce back. The opposite of depression isn’t happiness, it’s resilience.
  4. Notice all the tiny things that go right in your day and be grateful for them.
  5. Give your time to help those in need. This makes you feel good too!
  6. Instead of small talk, seek out deep conversation on personal, meaningful topics.
  7. Pay attention to everything around you so you don’t miss tiny delights, like the first blossom of spring.
  8. Listen more, talk less. This demonstrates confidence and respect, and can deepen relationships.
  9. Spend less time on social media and more time face-to-face.
  10. Frequently unplug from screens and work, and do some deep breathing or meditation.
  11. Exercise regularly. This generates endorphins which help you feel happy.
  12. Go outside and enjoy some fresh air.
  13. Work at improving your sleep.
  14. Don’t just smile or chuckle, laugh out loud!

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