The 15 Best Ways To Cultivate Incredible Happiness

While happiness differs from person to person, there are definitive ways to increase your general happiness or “well-being”. When it comes to happiness, inspiration and motivation are key. By cultivating these 15 simple habits, you too can be on your way to boosting your happiness! 

1. Think Of Others More Often

It was C.S. Lewis who once said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” In laymen’s terms? Stop thinking of yourself so much and think of others more.

Modern life often encourages us to be very self-centric. We get wrapped up in our day-to-day struggles and often forget to look outside or consider the struggles of others. By setting ourselves to the side sometimes (not too often…it’s a fine line) we can actually increase our general happiness. Giving air to others boost confidence and self-esteem. Which, in turn, increases our happiness.

The 15 Best Ways To Cultivate Incredible Happiness

2. It’s Okay To Be Busy…But Don’t Rush

When was the last time you rushed? Possibly just this morning? Research shows that having a “rushed” feeling substantially increases stress and unhappiness. These increased levels of stress, over time, can lead to debilitating physical health and mental problems later on down the road.

There is a difference in being busy and being rushed, however.

Being busy can give us a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. But, as you increase the pressures of your busy schedule, rushing comes into play and those feelings of fulfillment and accomplishment go out of the window.

It’s all about finding a balance.

Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things and don’t be afraid to delegate. If you are feeling the rush-squeeze come over you, reach out and ask for help from a friend or family member. Being busy and being productive are great for boosting your happiness, but don’t let yourself be overcome.

3. Remember The Rule Of 5

There are numerous studies out there that show that close relationships are key to happiness. One book, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement, even claims that the magic number of “close relationships” is 5.

“National surveys find that when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.”

Having a small group of close friends and confidants can keep you happy and help elongate your life. Including people in your life that you feel you can trust will help but you at ease and make you more resilient to the curve balls that life throws your way.

4. Be Proactive

Being proactive is a key foundation to happiness – especially when it comes to relationships.

Plenty of evidence suggests that relationships decline over time. It’s not always about an equal give and take. Sometimes you have to reach out to close friends and partners and let them know that you are still there. You have to let people know that their friendship and presence in your life is sought-after and appreciated.

If you let things go on autopilot, they’ll get stale and stagnate. No one likes to be stuck in a rut. So if you want to be happier, be more proactive in your relationships. Give someone special a call today.

5. Get Beyond The Small Talk

Who doesn’t love a little Eleanor Roosevelt? It was this great woman who once said:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

So get beyond the small talk.

According to certain studies, small talk can actually hinder your overall happiness. Sure, it’s great to get the conversation started, but continually operating in such a vapid space can make us feel bored and unhappy. Longer, more thoughtful conversations make us feel more connected to the people and places around us, leading to a boost in confidence, security and general happiness.

It’s probably safer to reserve our deepest conversations for close family and friends, but we can’t be afraid to have more meaningful conversations with new people too. These can foster new relationships, which in turn, can help us feel even more secure and happy.

6. Treat Yo’self

“Treat Yo’self” is no longer just a hilarious catch phrase – this is an actual must for happiness.

Research actually shows that getting small, unexpected “wins” actually bolster happiness. These studies actually showed that regular small pleasures had a bigger impact on happiness than a few large ones spaced out over a longer period of time.

And let’s face it? Who doesn’t love a little treat from time to time? It’s the surprise of it that makes it feel so good, not the expense or elaborateness. A little consistency of treats actually goes a long way for cultivating happiness and can help you plan for bigger goals in the future.

So take it from Donna Meagle and Tom “Puff Daddy” Haverford – treat yo’self.

7. Don’t Forget The Fun

Just like treats are good for happiness, so is fun.

It is so easy to get caught up in the stress and pressures of everyday life. Often, we get so caught up or bogged down in our schedules and requirements that we forget to have fun. But some studies show that even scheduled fun is good for the soul…and good for your happiness!

So pencil in some extra time this weekend for that hiking trip you’ve always wanted to take. Or maybe finally take the kids to that science museum you always pass on the way to work. It doesn’t matter what you do. Just remember to leave some time for the fun experiences in life. Your happiness will thank you for it.

8. Stay Focused

Don’t lose sight of your long term goals and strive constantly to achieve them.

While there’s always time for fun and treats, make sure everything that you do falls in line with the long term goals that you have set for your life. Staying focused on goals helps us stay motivated and resilient to stress. This, in turn, increases our happiness and helps us to see the positive side to any aspect of any life situation.

9. Be Grateful

There are numerous studies out there that prove gratitude and happiness go hand-in-hand. Showing gratitude for someone, even if they haven’t done something specifically for you, can boost happiness levels by as much as 25%.

Just writing thank you notes, or giving someone a pat on the back, is enough to show your appreciation. Being grateful doesn’t require a big show of money or flash. Showing this gratitude will make the person on the receiving end feel happier and it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside as well. Which, let’s face it, isn’t a bad thing in this day and age.

So take a few minutes to tell someone thank you today. Keeping focused on the things in your life that are good will instantly boost your happiness levels and help you transform your life.

The 15 Best Ways To Cultivate Incredible Happiness

10. Look For Happiness In Others

Now this one isn’t one we usually think of when we think of cultivating our own happiness.

Our modern culture encourages us to view ourselves as individual snowflakes, unique and precious in every single way. But sometimes, looking without at what brings joy to others is what can actually increase the joy and happiness in our own lives.

There is certain research that suggests that the best way to predict what will make us happy is to look at what makes another large population happy. For instance, in one study, researchers found that women were able to predict how much fun they would have on “speed date” by reading the cards of other women.

Basically, by observing others, we gain clues on what could also make us happy.

Watch those around you. What brings them happiness? Is there a certain movie that seems to be making all of your friends laugh? Did your girlfriend just get hooked on an incredible new hot yoga class? Things make people happy for a reason. Why not discover why?

11. Gain A New Perspective

If you’re unhappy (or not where you want to be happiness-wise) a great way to get there is by changing your perspective.

Start by listing 3 good things that happen to you each day. I recommend putting them in your daily planner – if you have one – so that you are regularly forced to look back at them each day.

Keeping track of positive experiences in this manner helps reduce depressive symptoms and helps foster a greater sense of positivity and gratefulness in our own lives. This, in turn, increases our happiness and makes us more resilient to stress and depression.

We get caught up in the “bad stuff” so easily and often forget the good. Keeping track of the happy moments in our life will make us view life more positively. Step outside of yourself and see the views of others, consider how lucky you are to have the things that you have. Things which they may not have in their lives.

You can also change your perspective and your mindfulness is also to invest in a mindfulness journal, like the one from The DailyGreatness Journal.

The 15 Best Ways To Cultivate Incredible Happiness

12. Pick It And Stick With It

Regularly engaging in pursuits which we excel at is a great way to feel good about yourself and foster happiness. Find something that you excel in and do it on a regular basis.

It doesn’t matter what that thing is.

It might be reading, writing, drawing, painting, horseback riding. Any random talent that you really excel at will boost your confidence and self-esteem which will help you look at life with a brighter point of view. With all that self-confidence, who couldn’t be happy?

Don’t believe me? Find out why signature strengths are key to happiness.

13. Aim For The Stars

According to Manuel Bucells, in his book, Engineering Happiness:

“In his studies, the psychologist Jonathan Freedman claimed that people with the ability to set objectives for themselves — both short-term and long-term — are happier.”

The long and short of that? Goals add a sense of meaning, direction and focus to life that can go missing if we aren’t striving for something great.

Making positive progress on a goal doesn’t just make us feel all warm and gooey about ourselves, it also staves off negative emotions like fear, anxiety and depression. Setting ambitious goals makes us happier and makes us even more resilient to the stresses of life.

It goes hand in hand with staying focus. Life is all about the journey, not the destination, but you can’t go on a journey if you don’t have a destination. Otherwise, you’re just lost and wandering around aimlessly.

Set ambitious goals. Reach for the moon and the stars. Sure, you may not reach it. But why the hell not try? You just might.

14. Exercise

Ah-ha! You thought you were going to get out of this one, didn’t you? No such luck, pal.

There are a lot of us out there that hate exercise…and there are a lot of people out there that love it. The one thing we both have in common? We all need exercise to be more happy in life.

Research found that exercise is a proven strategy for not only increasing energy levels, but for reducing stress and tension as well. One study even showed that self-image also improved greatly with exercise, even if changes were not dramatic.

It doesn’t take a hardcore hour long work-out to make yourself happier. Start with something simple like this 7-minute exercise. The higher the intensity, the better, but you can get those endorphins up and that happiness flowing with a simple walk or job around the block as well.

15. Take Advantage Of The Time You Have

This may not be the most scientific way to boost your happiness, but I’ll be darned if it’s not one of the most important.

If you’re familiar with The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, you’ll know that the number one regret is always not taking the time to do things. We never mean for this to happen, but it’s so easy to get caught up in life’s drama.

If you want to be happy at the end of the day, take advantage of the time you have now. Be authentic, follow your dreams and take the time to do the things that make you happy. Don’t let that niggling dream get away. Snatch it up by the collar and pursue your destiny.

The 15 Best Ways To Cultivate Incredible Happiness


So there you have it, the 15 habits that can help you cultivate incredible habits in your life and your relationships. What are you waiting for? Get happy today!

 How do you stay happy? Let me know in the replies below, or on Facebook and Twitter!

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