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Ten Habits of Happy People

Updated on June 12, 2015

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

Denis Waitley

We all have, I am sure, that one person in our lives who even amidst the most awful of life's trials is always happy. It not that they don't feel, it that they don't let it weigh them down.

I had a police detective friend like that who had seen the worst side of life, but I still remember her looking at me and saying with a smile on her face, "I am ready to go now Shelley."

She was ready to leave this earth, leave her two young boys, leave the husband who only at the end faced up to the fact she was dying. She left us admiring her courage, her acceptance and the remembrance of the smile which was never far away.

Her secret? She appreciated life, was grateful for each day, eager to learn and interested in everything she came across.

A case in point, toward the end she had a colostomy bag, and on my arrival at hospital, she hauled herself up and excitedly shared with me the fascination she had in this bag! Her strength gave me the strength to smile and, learn more than I ever wanted to know about the insides of a colostomy bag!

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.

Gerard Way

Scientifically Proven Points to Help you be Happy

The List

1. Appreciate Life

Don't take anything for granted, and focus on the beauty of every living thing around you. Never forget to count your blessings.

2. Seek Positive People

Connect with positive people who share your values and ethics. Choosing the optimistic thoughts will make you feel better and builds your resilience to life's challenges.
Optimistic people are more resourceful, creative and more resilient.

3. Don't Stop Learning

Be up to date on the latest news, do work that stimulates you, and try new things that spark your interest and energise you.

4. Be Considerate

Touch others who cross your path with a kind and generous spirit, help if you are able and smile at those you come into contact with. Let it go or let it be.

5. Spirituality

Having a sense of a bigger or higher purpose is a great source of happiness and strength.

6. Positive about Health

Happiness is about how you view your health, and the acceptance and gratitude for what it is today. So someone who is chronically ill can be happier than someone in perfect health.

7. Be Persistent and Proactive.

Focus on what you want, plan to succeed and take action. Accept what cannot be changed and your limitations as a person.

8. Keep your Sense of Humour

You can find humour in a lot of situations, and it's important to laugh. Don't be so serious, and don't sweat the small stuff - you know what, it's all small stuff in the grander scheme.

9. Forgive and Let go of Negativity

Forgive yourself and others for your own serenity. If make a mistakes, apologise and move on. If negative thoughts creep in, change them for the positive one and make an effort to see the upside of a situation.

10. Invest in Relationships

Ensure your loved ones know you love them, nurture your relationships, be supportive, spend time with your friends, and always be honest.

Some people are born with a happy disposition, others have to learn to be optimistic.

Take heart though, as leading brain researcher Richard Davidson, PhD, says,

" Based on what we know about the plasticity of the brain, we can think of happiness as a skill no different from learning to play a musical instrument - it is possible to train our minds to be happy."

Practice Mindfulness.

It is all about learning how to focus on the present and remove clutter from the brain enabling clarity to enter, by using breathing skills practiced in yoga or meditation.

Perhaps we can simplify happiness in life by saying it is about:

  • Feeling - Look for opportunities for enjoyable activities and positive emotions, and count the small joys.
  • Doing - Live your life in tune with your true values
  • Creating - Contribute to the less fortunate in the world or leave a legacy whatever that may mean to you.

Happy people know they are responsible for their own lives, their moods, attitude, thoughts, words, feelings and actions are all under their control.

As all your happy memories were each created in a moment, you only have this present moment to be happy,

Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.

Rose Lane


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    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      7 years ago

      Suhail and my dog, Thank you for stopping by, glad it helped with the mindset. Just read your Wolf story - which has me working on my mindset.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I read this informative and an awesome hub in time for I was just turning unhappy from a very happy mindset during last few days, thanks to someone at workplace.

      Your list is the one that I shouldn't let go of, ever.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      7 years ago

      AliciaC . Thank you for stopping by.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love your suggestions for achieving happiness. They are great things to think about and try!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome practical tips. I'm always amazed at people who are positive no matter what. They are much better than I! I need to keep trying to be more positive and surround myself with positive people. Great hub!

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      8 years ago

      Vespawoolf, Thank you for commenting. My husband too is a very positive person and keeps me in check.

      vandynegl, what a marvellous comment, and love the fact you getting better at happy.

      moonlake, keeping away from people who pull you down is hard at times. 'Don't sweating the small stuff and it's all small stuff' is one of my husband's favourite sayings.

      kawikachan, So glad you dropped by. Loved what you said "without letting circumstances channel me into what 'it' wants me to feel." Aloha.

      Dreamhowl, So glad you stopped by and I agree life would be easier if we would all try to be happy.

      dolores monet, I certainly hope that you are no longer feeling down. I like to think that being happy is a habit which needs constant practice in order to perfect it.

      DDE, so glad to hear you have managed to be that happy person, Croatia obviously suits you.

      Rose the planner, so glad to meet a happy person and that you stopped by.

      toytasting, Thank you for visiting, your comments and for the generous share.

      careermommy, you are right we should review the road to happiness periodically, especially when things start going wrong. Thank you for commenting.

      tlbarabasz, Thank you for leaving such thought provoking comments. I appreciate your visit.

    • tlbarabasz profile image

      Tamara Barabasz 

      8 years ago from Durham, Nc

      I like the simplicity of feeling, doing, creating. It reminds me of a teaching methodology as a means back to inquiry into learning. I think these ideas go hand in hand, inquiry also bringing joy in ones surroundings to the learner.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      All items on your list are right on point! This is a list that should be reviewed over and over again. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 

      8 years ago from Mumbai

      CyberShelley, this was a beautiful read. I truly believe in making an effort to stay happy and positive. Thank you for sharing this.

      Voted up + Sharing. Cheers :)

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      According to your list, I guess that I must be a "happy" person. This was a great article! Thank you so much for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I am so glad that I stumbled onto this one. On a day of feeling pretty bad (for a good reason) you have reminded me that being happy isn't always easy. It takes a lot of work. But sure is worth it in the end.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      Kawika Chann 

      8 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      I like this! Thanks for a good read cybershelly. I try to stay happy as much as I can without letting circumstances channel me into what 'it' wants me to feel.

      Thanks. Upvoted/interesting/follow. Peace. Kawi.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Peri 

      8 years ago from United States

      This is an amazing hub with honest and valuable information. We should all strive to be happy this way. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome happiness is the key to a better life and agree with every point made here, also happiness is from within. A happy lifestyle makes one a healthier person, voted up, interesting, useful, and awesome.

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      When I decided not to get upset over small things I do much better. I'm a happy person most of the time and that has been hard for me because I came from parents that never seem to be happy. I have learned through the years to stay away from people that can pull you down.

      Voted up on your nice hub and shared.

    • vandynegl profile image


      8 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Beautiful! And so true! I've learned these past few years, that I must accept the things I cannot change in order to seek true happiness. It has been a struggle, but I get better each day! I like your outlook!

      Thank you for writing this!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      8 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a beautifully powerful read on positivity! My husband is a shining example in this regard. He almost always sees the positive in life and has helped me to become a more positive, happy person. I think it's really important to remove mental clutter, as you mention, and not take ourselves too seriously. What an amazing memory you have of your police detective friend. Voted up and shared.

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      8 years ago

      All of these tips are incredibly true and useful for one who is seeking happiness. Life is what we make of it. Beautiful hub CyberShelley. Voting up and rating interesting, useful, and beautiful :)

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for wonderful comments, they are very much appreciated. Those last two years I spent with Trish, taking her and sitting with her during chemo sessions, taught me so much and made me a better person for knowing her!

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 

      8 years ago

      The short narrative about your friend is inspiring and uplifting, God bless her! You are so very right about happiness and how we can achieve it. It is a choice. A beautiful hub, and once again, we all need to read it, reread it, and heed it! Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You are so right about these tips I am that happy person.

    • europewalker profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting hub and a great reminder on how to live a happy life. Voted up and awesome.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Cybershelley - Truly awesome words to live by. My Mom always reminds me that "Tomorrow is another day" when things get tough.

      Great write.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      8 years ago

      Good Day Bill, Thank you for stopping by and underwriting my points! It is great to have your comments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great list and I completely agree. The happy people I know all practice these suggestions.

    • Shiley profile image

      Karen Shiley 

      8 years ago from Washington

      I agree that making the effort to live life in a positive way is the best way to live life. I have never thought about it as being a skill, but I think you are right about that it really is a life skill. This was a nice hub to read this morning. It will remind me to practice my positive thinking today!

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      8 years ago

      Drdspervez, thank you so much for visiting and thank you for your comments - much appreciated.

    • drdspervez profile image


      8 years ago from Pakistan

      It's a nice hub, happiness lies with in you , If you are sad, remember the old happy days with your family and friends and believe me your mood will be change. :)

      Dr. Durreshahwar pervez


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