8 habits of people who are genuinely happy

Graeme Richards by Graeme Richards | March 24, 2024, 7:53 am

Happiness, it’s something we all strive for, but not everyone attains.

What separates genuinely happy people from the rest? It all boils down to habits.

Happy people have certain routines and behaviors that set them apart. They choose to do things differently, which leads them to live a more fulfilled life.

So, what are these habits? Well, that’s what I’m here to share with you.

Here’s a sneak peek into the lives of genuinely happy people and the 8 habits they swear by. Let’s dive in!

1) They practice gratitude

One core habit of folks who seem to be perpetually happy is their practice of gratitude.

Gratitude is about more than just saying “thank you.” It’s about recognizing the good in your life and appreciating it, regardless of its size or significance.

Genuinely happy people often keep a gratitude journal or take a few moments each day to reflect on what they’re thankful for. This isn’t just a random habit; research has shown a strong link between gratitude and increased happiness.

It’s not that happy people don’t face challenges or have bad days. They do. But their habit of practicing gratitude helps them keep a positive perspective, focusing on what’s going well rather than dwelling on what’s not.

So, if you’re looking to cultivate happiness, start by being grateful. And remember, it’s not about comparing your life to others but appreciating your own journey. A little gratitude goes a long way to boost happiness.

2) They stay physically active

Physical activity is another habit that genuinely happy people tend to embrace. And I can personally vouch for this one.

I remember a time in my life when I was feeling down and out. Things were tough, and it felt like there was a constant cloud of negativity hanging over me. Then, on a whim, I decided to start running.

At first, I could barely make it around the block. But I kept at it. Slowly but surely, I built up my endurance. And something amazing happened. As my physical health improved, so did my mental health.

The exercise wasn’t just making me physically stronger; it was lifting my spirits as well. Running became my therapy, my escape. It taught me that no matter how hard things get, I can keep going.

Now, I make sure to incorporate physical activity into my daily routine, whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a full-on workout. And I’ve noticed that on the days when I exercise, I feel happier and more energized.

So take it from me: staying physically active can be a game-changer for your happiness levels. You don’t have to run a marathon; just find an activity you enjoy and make it a regular part of your life.

3) They value experiences over possessions

Here’s something that stands out about genuinely happy people: they prioritize experiences over material possessions.

Instead of splurging on the latest gadgets or designer clothes, they’d rather invest in experiences like travel, concerts, or dining with friends and family. Why is this?

Well, a study from San Francisco State University found that people who spent money on experiences rather than material items were happier and felt the money was better spent. The joy of buying fades quickly, but the joy of experiences lasts a lifetime in the form of memories.

So next time you’re contemplating a purchase, consider trading that shopping cart for an experience that could bring you lasting happiness.

4) They cultivate positive relationships

The people we surround ourselves with can greatly influence our happiness levels. Truly happy people understand this and make it a habit to nurture positive relationships.

They invest time and energy in their relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. They are there for the people in their lives not just in good times, but also during tough times.

Happy people also know the importance of boundaries. They understand that it’s okay to distance themselves from people who bring negativity into their lives.

Fostering healthy relationships isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth it. After all, humans are social creatures, and the connections we make can be a significant source of joy and satisfaction.

5) They practice mindfulness

Another common habit among genuinely happy people is the practice of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all about living in the present, focusing on the here and now rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a moment to breathe and observe their surroundings, happy people often incorporate mindfulness into their daily routine.

This practice helps them to appreciate life as it unfolds, reducing stress and allowing them to enjoy each moment as it comes. It’s a simple habit, but its impact on happiness is immense.

6) They express kindness and compassion

This might seem like a given, but it’s worth emphasizing: genuinely happy people have a habit of expressing kindness and compassion, not only towards others but also towards themselves.

Kindness can be as simple as a warm smile, a gentle word, or a thoughtful gesture. It doesn’t have to cost a thing, yet its value is immeasurable.

Expressing compassion involves understanding and empathy. It’s about recognizing the suffering of others and taking action to help.

Happy people understand that kindness and compassion foster connection and mutual respect. They elevate our spirits, bring joy to others, and ultimately, make us happier individuals.

In a world where you can be anything, being kind is a rewarding choice that leads to genuine happiness.

7) They prioritize self-care

Self-care is an essential habit that leads to genuine happiness. It’s about taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

I learned the importance of self-care the hard way. I used to be the type who would push myself to the limit, always striving for perfection, always on the go. I thought this was the way to success and happiness.

But all it led to was burnout.

I realized that I was neglecting my own needs in my pursuit of other goals. I was ignoring my body’s signals for rest, eating poorly, and not setting aside time for relaxation or hobbies I enjoyed.

So I made a change. I started prioritizing self-care, carving out time in my schedule for activities that rejuvenate me – whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk in nature, or simply enjoying a cup of tea.

This shift has made a significant difference in my happiness levels. It has taught me the importance of taking care of myself first, so I can be my best for others.

Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary for your happiness and well-being.

8) They maintain a growth mindset

The final habit of genuinely happy people is that they maintain a growth mindset. This means they view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than obstacles that hold them back.

They understand that failure isn’t the end of the world but a chance to learn and improve. They see effort as the path to mastery, not as something to avoid.

Happy people are constantly seeking ways to grow and improve, whether it’s learning a new skill, taking on a challenging project, or seeking feedback for improvement.

A growth mindset empowers them to take risks, embrace challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks. It’s a powerful habit that fuels their happiness and success.

So remember, no matter where you are in life, there’s always room for growth. And that growth can lead to genuine happiness.

9) They choose happiness

At the end of the day, the most important habit of genuinely happy people is that they choose happiness. They understand that happiness is not a destination, but a journey, and it’s not about what happens to us, but how we react to what happens.

They choose to focus on the positive, to be grateful, to laugh, to love. They choose to be happy.

And that’s the most beautiful thing about happiness: it’s a choice that’s available to all of us, every day. You just have to make the decision to embrace it.

Final thought: Happiness is an inside job

As we delve into the complexities of human emotions, one truth stands out – happiness is an inside job.

Aristotle once said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” This profound statement reflects the essence of our discussion on the habits of genuinely happy people.

These habits – practicing gratitude, staying active, valuing experiences over possessions, cultivating positive relationships, practicing mindfulness, expressing kindness, prioritizing self-care, maintaining a growth mindset, and choosing happiness – are all actions driven from within.

They are not dependent on external circumstances or other people. They are choices we make daily, consciously or unconsciously, that shape our reality and our sense of happiness.

The beauty of this realization is that it places the power of happiness firmly in our hands. It’s not about waiting for happiness to find us, but about us finding happiness within ourselves.

So as we conclude, reflect on these habits. Which ones are part of your life? Which ones could you incorporate into your routine? Remember, your happiness is your responsibility. Choose it every day.