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101 Ways to Happiness: Mindsets to Live By For a Healthier and Happier Life

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happiness

For centuries, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and ordinary people everywhere have been asking these same questions:

What is happiness? Can happiness be learned, or is it a biological predisposition?

While the answer to the first question may vary from person to person, there is no doubt that happiness can indeed be learned!

But the real question is, HOW ?!?!

Here is my list of 101 ways to live by or mindsets to adopt for a healthier and happier life.

  1. Be content with what you have and be grateful. Instead of complaining about what you don’t have, be thankful for what you do have. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can! Be content with what you have but never be complacent with where you're at. Click To Tweet
  2. Help others. Volunteer! Offer your talents! Knowing that you have the power to make others happy will make YOU happy. Knowing that you have influence will empower you!
  3. Do what makes you happy, but don’t let that be your only source of joy.
  4. Take the focus off of yourself. You shouldn’t think less of yourself, but think about yourself less. Science proves that there is a strong correlation between self-absorption and depression.
  5. Go out more. Twenty minutes in the sun can boost up your mood!
  6. Compliment rather than gossip about someone. If you don’t have anything good to say about someone, don’t say anything!
  7. Look in the mirror and practice smiling.
  8. Tell yourself that everything is going to be OK (because it is)!
  9. Admit wrong, apologize, and move on.
  10. Never stop learning.
  11. Accumulate knowledge for its own sake, but apply it whenever possible.
  12. When debating whether or not to do something (granted that it’s nothing bad), do it.
  13. When debating whether or not to buy something, don’t.
  14. Be wise with your money.
  15. Lend generously and don’t expect anything back when you give.
  16. Journal your feelings or have an accountability partner/buddy to talk to about your frustrations and problems. 
  17. Remember and record moments of happiness. Remind yourself of those happy moments whenever you need a boost.
  18. Express your gratitude and show affection to your loved ones.
  19. Meditate, pray, or simply relax.
  20. LEARN how to relax. Stop checking email or Instagram every 5 minutes.
  21. Exercise! Play sports. Do yoga.
  22. Before you go to sleep each night, write down (or think about) 3 things you’re thankful for TODAY.
  23. Think of others as better than yourself.
  24. Say “thank you” to those who provided service for you today– that includes the bus driver who gave you a nasty look or the cashier who was having a bad day.
  25. Look up at the sky.
  26. Clean your room often. Rearrange furniture every once in a while. You will feel refreshed.
  27. Observe babies sleeping and listen to them breathing.
  28. Watch shows that actually make you LOL.
  29. Talk to old friends.
  30. Realize that people don’t care about you as much as you think they do.
  31. Surround yourself with happy people.
  32. Be productive, but don’t be over-productive. Don’t overwork or overload. You can only carry so much weight by yourself!
  33. Don’t change yourself for others, but do change yourself for the better.
  34. Know yourself.
  35. Accept yourself.
  36. Love yourself.
  37. The moment you realize that you’re complaining a lot, STOP.
  38. When someone wrongs you, don’t pay evil with evil. Be the bigger person.
  39. Forgive. Have mercy. Extend grace. You can’t be truly happy if you’re bitter about someone. Bitterness is poison.
  40. Cry every so often. Tears are good for you because they release stress hormones.
  41. The cost-benefit analysis doesn’t always work. If you want to be happy, you shouldn’t be asking the question “how is this [action] going to benefit me?”
  42. Instead, ask yourself this question: “how can I benefit others?”
  43. Don’t compare yourself with others. You are not them and they are not you. Their lives may seem more put together, but you don’t know their story. Also, there’s no guarantee that you will be happy in their position. Contentment begins where comparison ends. Click To Tweet
  44. Have faith in yourself and realize your potential.
  45. Take risks but don’t gamble.
  46. Seize all opportunities.
  47. But learn to let go of missed opportunities.
  48. Always ASK. Trade ego and pride for opportunities.
  49. Don’t lie. 
  50. When someone asks you for a favor, at least think about it.
  51. Challenge your beliefs as well as others’ beliefs.
  52. Don’t be so quick to judge others, even though that’s the natural human tendency. Get to know someone before you jump to conclusions.
  53. It’s okay to try and fail, but don’t fail to try. You are not your failures.             
  54. In fact, you are not what you do! So don’t try to find self worth in the things you have accomplished. You are more than your work.
  55. Reward yourself. Celebrate the small achievements.
  56. Dream big but take small steps.
  57. Be willing to do small things. Humble beginnings set the foundation for bigger things.
  58. Acknowledge that emotions are real, but deal with them before they get out of control.
  59. Sleep is NOT for the weak. Respect your body and give it the rest it needs. You can’t be happy when your body is not.
  60. Tell yourself every morning that it’s going to be a good day. Words have power.
  61. New beginnings are great, but finishing strong is more important.
  62. Be intentional with people. Relationships don’t grow unless you put in the effort.
  63. Engage in random acts of kindness— buy a homeless person a meal, share an umbrella with a stranger, pay for someone else’s bus fare. Seeing their smiles will probably make you happy.
  64. Talk about your insecurities openly and boldly. The moment they are exposed, they are no longer insecurities.
  65. Showcasing your strengths won’t make you stronger; working on your weaknesses will!
  66. Step out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Try new things.
  67. Empathize with others and listen to their stories.
  68. Your problems are real, but there are bigger problems out there.
  69. Keep yourself busy, but don’t rush yourself. Go at your own pace. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy looking for it.”
  70. Don’t live to impress others, but do live in such a way that others will be inspired.
  71. Play. Have fun! You are not a robot.
  72. If you fall, it’s okay to stay there for a while. But don’t stay there for too long.
  73. Set role models in your life and emulate them. But if they disappoint you, don’t be devastated. They are only people too.
  74. If the idea of losing something devastates you, then you should probably get rid of it. The sooner the better.  
  75. Plan ahead, but be flexible. Be open to changes and welcoming of challenges.
  76. Going with the flow isn’t a bad idea, but make sure you know the general direction of the flow!
  77. Realize that vulnerability is not a disability.
  78. Train your mind to quickly shift atmosphere, from sad to happy!
  79. Encourage yourself. Talk to yourself in third person if you have to!
  80. Find yourself a community that loves you and accepts you for who you are.
  81. Take pride in your work but be open to constructive criticism.
  82. Take a break.
  83. Realize that there will never be a time where circumstances will be perfect. You have to work with what you have.
  84. Think about ways to make others happy.
  85. Don’t forget that people will remember you for how you made them feel, NOT what you wore that day.
  86. “Courage is taking action when you feel afraid.” Courage, unused, diminishes. Keep your courage. 
  87. If you’re an introvert, don’t try to project artificial enthusiasm.
  88. If you’re an extrovert, enjoy some alone time.
  89. Take ownership of the responsibilities given to you.
  90. Nobody thinks exactly like you do. Offer your perspective and do so proudly.
  91. Voice your opinion but listen to others’ as well.
  92. Don’t get caught up in self-pity; get rid of the victim mentality! No one can help a person with the wrong attitude.
  93. Cultivate your creativity! You’ll be surprised to see just what you come up with!
  94. When spending time with someone, pay attention to THEM. Respect their time and they will respect yours too.
  95. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Today’s worries are enough for today.
  96. Be process-oriented rather than goal-oriented.
  97. Persevere through and endure hard times with faith that your character is being built.
  98. Don’t give up so easily, but don’t look back once the door is closed.
  99. Happiness is a habit.
  100. Don’t look for happiness but find happiness.
  101. Diet always starts tomorrow, but happiness starts today!

Will you choose joy today?

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Yoora is the Creative Director at The University Network. She likes to create content that communicates her core values and convictions. She also likes puns, alliterations, and parallelism.