Ten Habits That Lead to Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy but it's often difficult to achieve. Here are ten habits to adopt that lead to happiness.
Ten Habits That Lead to Happiness
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Written by Yamila Papa

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Being happy is a matter of attitude, rather than possessing or getting things. Furthermore, everyone finds happiness in different ways, as it’s an extremely personal process. However, cultivating the right kind of attitude will always bring you positive things.

A survey conducted by a group of psychologists from the University of Hertfordshire (UK) with five thousand participants revealed what daily habits make people happier. They compiled a list of the top ten habits that lead to happiness.

1. Giving

Giving without expecting anything in return brings you happiness. This means that you should do things for the simple fact of helping, just to make someone happy or see them smile.

The act of giving can range from making a plate of food for a friend to greeting someone on the street. From helping an old lady cross the road to playing with your children or calling your parents if you don’t do it often enough.

2. Relating to others

Thanks to social media, cell phones, and technology, this is something that’s been lost in recent times. While it’s true that these devices allow distances to be shortened between you and your loved ones, it’s now increasingly less common to get together with them in a bar or restaurant.

Teddy bears cuddling on top of a suitcase

Interacting face to face with a loved one connects you with them and their opinions, feelings, ideas, and beliefs. It allows you to get to know each other better and enjoy good times together.

3. Exercising

Maybe you don’t like going to the gym. However, if this is the case, it’s probably because you haven’t yet found the kind of exercise you really enjoy. Consequently, you see that hour out of your day as just one more chore to be endured.

However, practicing sports not only improves your figure, reduces kilos, and improves your heart and respiratory health, but it also positively influences your mood and quality of life in general.

4. Appreciating the details

Nowadays, increasingly fewer people enjoy the little things. For example, sunrises, sunsets, flowers, a child’s smile, etc. Not appreciating the small gifts that life has to offer you means missing out on a large part of life.

woman doing sport

Therefore, make sure you stop and look at the changing plants and trees when autumn arrives. Find pleasure in the smallest of things such as a home-cooked meal, a walk in the park, a movie, a book, the smell of a rose, etc.

5. Exploring

This doesn’t mean dressing up as Indiana Jones and going in search of the lost ark, nor does it mean signing up for an expedition to the Amazon. It’s simply about learning new things every day, which implies challenge and change.

This change in your attitude will make you much happier. In fact, it’ll keep your brain in shape (the mind is a muscle that needs to be exercised) and will prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

6. Having goals

It’s been proven that people with plans and dreams are the happiest. On the other hand, those who don’t have goals aren’t motivated by anything in life, so they’re more likely to feel depressed or that their existence is meaningless. Knowing where you’re going, what paths you must travel, and even the obstacles you need to overcome gives you happiness.

7. Being resilient

This means having the ability to overcome the difficulties that appear at different stages of your life. Being able to see the good in the bad (the glass half full), that mistakes are a lesson for the future, that what doesn’t make you sad today will strengthen you tomorrow, or that guilt is a useless feeling, allows you to be much happier and more satisfied, as well as grateful.

8. Enjoying emotions

How many times have you kept feelings to yourself that you don’t express or, when you do express them, you find it’s too late? Don’t allow yourself to get submerged in negative emotions and forget about the positive ones. In fact, you should do the opposite.


The happiest people are those who always focus on the good (as we mentioned earlier, the glass half-full), those who give thanks for another day of life, and who enjoy their emotions. People who aren’t afraid to express what they feel.

9. Accepting changes

Fortunately, your passage through life is full of change of all kinds. It’s not good to continually look back at the past. and you should look forward. This will make you feel good and at peace with the decisions you made yesterday. Don’t forget that change means learning.

10. Surrendering

Finally, the last secret to being happy is being part of something greater than yourself. In other words, to have a vision similar to that of the rest of the people around you. This goal can be found in various places or groups. For instance, religion, career, family, work, or hobbies.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.