7 Inner Habits of Remarkably Happy People

habits of happy peopleYour life is precious.

You yearn to make the most of it.

Yet on some days, you wake up dreading the day ahead.

You find yourself asking, ‘What’s wrong?  Why do I feel so flat?’

You’re not alone, most of us experience times like these.

What sets happy people apart, is their way of being in the world – even in difficult times.

Remarkably happy people bounce back from whatever life throws their way.

For them, happiness is a habit.

The good news is we can all learn how to make happiness a habit.

Here are seven ways remarkably happy people approach life (and you can too).

1. Tackle tough situations directly

Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese proverb

Perhaps problems with your boss, a financial crisis or health issue are bringing you down. Maybe you feel stuck in the drama, or try to bottle up your feelings?

Happy people take a different approach

Rather than spend time telling themselves, ‘All is well’ –  while sweeping their problems under the rug,  they allow themselves to experience sadness, disappointment and anger at what’s happened.

Their energy continues to flow; their hearts and minds remain open.

Simply being with what is, keeps you honest and open about what’s going on –  as well as receptive to suggestions for handling the situation.

If you remain present and open, you can quickly let go of the part that’s not within your control.  And you can access creative problem-solving abilities to address the part that is within your control.

2. Master the art of having fun

Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game. – Michael Jordan

Recently, I saw a commercial where a father is watching his young son play baseball.  The son misses every catch.  The game ends.  A look of concern comes over the father’s face.  He approaches his son and asks him how he’s doing.  A huge smile spreads across the boy’s face.  He responds “I was awesome!”

When was the last time you felt like that?

Like children, the most happy amongst us master the art of having fun.

How can you master this art?

Do what brings you joy and connect with that joy, instead of judging yourself on your performance.

Put time and money aside to fund your fun. Do you need a new guitar, or some biking equipment?

Turn a jar into a “fun things account” and put your loose change in it each week.

3. Let go of goals if you outgrow them

 We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell

Back in your teens, what dreams did you have?

Perhaps you imagined a certain career, finding the love of your life, traveling the world, or making a lot of money?

The more you imagined it, the more you became attached to the outcome.  You set goals, invested time and energy into your dreams of the future.

But our journey through life often doesn’t turn out as we imagine.  And what we thought would make us happy, sometimes doesn’t.

The most happy among us leave themselves open to possibilities.  Instead of seeing life as something to control by rigidly sticking to plans, they see it as an adventure to be experienced.  They have goals, yet allow their life to unfold, tweaking plans or creating new ones when a better option appears.

Let’s take a look at how this could play out in your life.

If a goal no longer matters to you, don’t worry about what might happen if you change course.  You aren’t limited by other people’s opinions about what’s realistic.  Embrace your hunches and look for new options that appeal to you.

Step through your fear into a new future.

4. Protect your priorities

Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so that you can say ‘yes’ to the best. – John C. Maxwell

Ever said yes to something and then found yourself feeling resentful, or burned out from doing it?  In today’s busy world many demands are made on our time and most of us struggle with saying no.

When we try to be all things to all people and taking on too much is one of the ways we limit our happiness.

In contrast, happy people know each moment offers them a chance to spend their time, attention and love on what matters most.  They honor their gifts and value their priorities.  When no is the best answer, they not only say it gracefully, they feel okay doing so.

How can you phrase a graceful ‘no’ to protect your priorities ?

Next time you need to protect your own precious time, you could say something like, ‘I’m really honored you asked me, but I just don’t have the time to take you up on your offer.  Thanks so much for thinking of me, though.’

To be able to say yes to what brings them happiness and fulfilment, you also need to say no to protect your priorities.

5. Dedicate your life to something bigger than yourself

The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Happy people dedicate their lives to something bigger than themselves, something challenging and meaningful.  They spend years honing their skills, stretching just beyond their comfort zones.

When you become deeply involved in this way, you forget yourself and experience a heightened awareness of each moment.  Much like what occurs during meditation, you can reach a state of harmony, flow and ease.

These activities give your live meaning and make you happy in a deeper, long-lasting way.

6. Speak out for positive change

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. – Margaret Mead

It’s natural to want to fit in.  We are all influenced by others.

And it can be a good thing.

If you’re trying to lose weight, being around someone committed to the same goal can truly help.  Want to improve your skills at work?  Finding a mentor makes the process a lot easier.

Fitting in this way increases our happiness.

But then, there are those other times.  Someone at work tells an off-color joke, or your new boyfriend’s brother hides a put-down in an amusing story about another person.

Suddenly, fitting in feels awkward.

And while saying nothing and letting the moment pass may feel like the safest route to take, it won’t increase your happiness.  In fact, it will lower it.

Happy folks tend to speak out if they feel uncomfortable about a situation. If you want to be happier,  stay true to who you are and honor your values and beliefs, even if it means not fitting in.

7. Make mistakes

Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”– Adventure Time (the cartoon)

Think about the engaging, magnetic people you’ve met in your life.  Maybe they had a talent you really admired, an air of confidence about them, or they did things you could only dream of.

Odds are, they made some huge, slap-your-forehead mistakes along the way.  Yet they weren’t afraid to admit their blunders; they may have even turned them into funny stories.

The most joyous amongst us know that lasting happiness isn’t about playing it safe.  They’re curious and adventurous by nature.

Here’s how you can do it…

Be willing to take risks, explore and grow, even if it means forgoing comfort or momentary happiness.

Even if it means failing.

Because the most awesome things in life reside just outside what’s comfortable and familiar.

Are You Ready to Create Some Happy Habits of Your Own?

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. – Ralph Marston

The world has too many people who are just going through the motions.  People who do what society tells them to.

What the world needs are more remarkably happy people.  People who light up their corner of the world and lift up others.

Because happiness is an energy that enhances the lives of those around us.

If you want to live a remarkably happy life, one that leaves the world a better place for you having been in it, you can’t just read about remarkably happy people.

Being happy isn’t a philosophy to be analyzed or debated, it’s a way of life.

You have to live it.

That means accepting what’s outside of your control, instead of breaking yourself against it.

It means budgeting your time and money for things that make your life more meaningful.  And saying no to things that don’t –  even when it’s uncomfortable.

It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  Scheduling time to dedicate your talents and strengths to something bigger than yourself.

You have to realize you’re in charge of your happiness.  And, by taking steps to become happier, you will brighten up so much more than just your own life.

These seven habits of remarkably happy people are your steps toward a happier life.

So, take that first step.

The world is waiting.

What do you think about these habits? Please share in the comments.

 About the Author

Catherine Smith is a physical therapist and wellness coach who helps women age well and joyfully.  If you’d like to learn more about ageing well, subscribe to my health magazine today.

Image: rido / 123RF Stock Photo

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  1. […] 7 Inner Habits of Remarkably Happy People […]

  2. Catherine,

    I especially like your first habit, in particular: allowing feelings to rise and dissipate without getting overly involved with them. So much of our suffering comes from taking our thoughts and feelings so seriously. But they’re just like clouds passing in the sky so why not focus on the big sun that’s shining behind it all.

    I appreciate these reminders to sharpen our happiness habits!
    Sandra Pawula´s last blog post ..A Holiday Joy Challenge

    • Rob says:


      Agree with your comments. I too like the analogy of our thoughts being like clouds. Used that one recently.

      -Rob (bookofhaiku.blogspot.com)

  3. Catherine Smith says:

    I find when we allow our feelings to just be they seem to just flow on through and feel so much less intense. For myself meditation and tapping have been really helpful for doing this.

  4. Mary Jaksch says:

    Very lovely post! I especially liked the habit about making mistakes. So often we don’t something because we’re nervous of failing or making mistakes…
    Mary Jaksch´s last blog post ..7 Inner Habits of Remarkably Happy People

  5. lynne says:

    Hi, this is really great. True indeed that being happy isn’t a philosophy to be analyzed or debated, it means accepting what’s outside of your control, by taking steps to become happier, you will brighten up so much more than just your own life. I love your post. Thanks for sharing.
    lynne´s last blog post ..How to Face Your Fears, Hawaii Style (Part 2 of 2)

  6. Catherine says:

    Hi Lynne,
    Glad you enjoyed the post.
    Catherine´s last blog post ..Mature Women’s Health Magazine. Feel Great, Look Younger, Live Longer.

  7. […] 7 Habits of Healthy People- Great habits to aspire to have! […]

  8. Marian Azu says:

    That’s awesome! great lesson learnt!

  9. Cherine says:

    Thanks Catherine for your great article. I particularly like Sandra’s post and her shining comment : ‘So why not focus on the big sun that’s shining behind it all ?’.. I want to tell you Sandra that it must take a great work to find this sun firstly and then feel the fact that it is shining behind it all.. whatever happens. This is really optimistic and positive. I love you Sandra.
    Cherine´s last blog post ..دعاء

  10. Erin says:


    I love this article! Happiness is what everyone aims for and you give readers such good advice to achieve this. I love when you said “Happiness is an energy that enhances the lives of those around us”- that statement is extremely enlightening and your take on happiness is truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    Erin´s last blog post ..What they never taught you..

  11. Catherine says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and were inspired by it Erin.

  12. Ian Zafra says:

    Catherine this really enthused me to live a happier life with positive mindset. I liked number 5 the most. — “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi” Pushing myself to the limit, nearing a goal and perhaps surpassing it is my idea of victory which happens when I’m all out and about pursuing my goal.

  13. Luke says:

    Thanks for the great article! All great points, I especially like the part about making mistakes! Life is not supposed to be perfect, we should all get out there & fail repeatedly until things work, it’s the only way to move forward! 🙂
    Luke´s last blog post ..20 Things You Will Lose From Meditation Part 3

  14. Great post!!

    When it comes to happy people, they hold a positive mindset and with that, they are able to take control of their destiny. Our decisions in life are often based on how we’re feeling and how we react to situations. It gives us the motivation to work towards our goals and the fulfillment we sometimes search for because of the results of self improvement.
    Michael Gregory II´s last blog post ..A Self Development Tip for Success

  15. KW Stout says:

    I have to say protecting my priorities has been one of the biggest improvements in my overall happiness in the last couple of years. I struggled my whole life saying no to friends and family, until finally I decided enough was enough. I haven’t looked back since. Great post!
    KW Stout´s last blog post ..Happiness is a Choice

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  17. Very nice post…
    Thank you for sharing..

    Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

  18. Catherine says:

    Thanks Hemangi,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. You summerized it well in one sentence.
    Catherine´s last blog post ..Mature Women’s Health Magazine. Feel Great, Look Younger, Live Longer.

  19. Very Nice Post…Thank you for sharing useful information…..
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  20. loved the post!!! totally agreeee

  21. FelixClouse says:

    Amazing article i must say, very informative!! Please keep us updated. Thanks!!!

  22. Having a big mission that you are on and staying focused on achieving it, letting go of the things that can distract you. Great read and insight!
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  23. nice Article…Thanks a lot for sharing this tips…Waiting for new interesting article..
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  24. yes, definitely , every person must have good habit which is mentioned above by you..
    especially whose person who can do something new

  25. Sherill says:

    Great words to live by to become a more happy person! Loved your post!
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  26. preetam says:

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  29. Ashley N. says:

    One of the underlying and ever-present dangers of trying to fit in is that we live in a society where fitting in is valued so highly that it’s impossible. The same voices that tell us “stick with what you know” and “don’t rock the boat” also tell us “listen to your heart” and “be true to yourself.” The truth is, you can’t do both, and on some level I think we realize that, but at the same time we get to feeling like no one wants to hear who we really are unless were just like them. But that isn’t true either because people are attracted to people who allow themselves to be real. Great post – thanks for sharing!
    Ashley N.´s last blog post ..A 10-Days-Into-the-New-Year Thought (Especially for Moms)

  30. Mary,

    Thanks so much for this; Being happy is the ultimate goal of all of us.
    Naveen Kulkarni´s last blog post ..Take the First Step – Because that’s the Hardest

  31. Catarina says:

    I love this article, And, yes, here’s to huge, slap-your-forehead mistakes!
    Catarina´s last blog post ..Plans, Burnout & Creating White Space

  32. Hey, great article written. 🙂
    I am new to this blog and some of your posts really impressed me.
    Keep up the good work. 😀

  33. Ian Zafra says:

    Thanks for the great points Cath! Make mistake was a bit odd, but you’re right. When I looked at the life of my inspirations, they themselves experienced failures. I believe the moment of difficulties just keep you closer and closer to your goals!

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  35. Paul says:

    Great article. We all need to accept the peaks and troughs as a fundamental part of life. I stumbled across your site by accident but will be sure to return. I recently started a blog on personal growth at http://www.lifes123s.com and its great to see so many like minded people. Ill be sure to return.

  36. pravin says:

    I believe the moment of difficulties just keep you closer and closer to your goals! thanks for grate point.

  37. I think happy people do something unexpected for yourself. If you’ve been neglecting yourself and your needs, it’s hard to stay motivated to do anything – especially if it concerns others. Focus on rewarding yourself.

  38. Luk. Zdravko says:

    Amazing article! Great tips that everyone should consider, and although I love it all in all, there’s just one point that’s bothering me and I can’t entirely agree upon…

    The point at number 3 is the one that makes disturbance in my Mind. I believe that we should never quit or give up on our goals no matter what.

    True, it can frustrate us for a while, it will definitely fight our inner peace and happiness, but the rewards that come afterwards are well worth the effort.

    Persistence always pays back! Anyway, that’s just my opinion, I guess for most people this point will make sense and even benefit them in a great way!

    Thanks for the good insights, amazing article!
    Luk. Zdravko´s last blog post ..How to Meditate Deeply & Effectively – A Step by Step Guide

  39. paolo says:

    Very nice post…
    Thank you for sharing..

  40. petezito says:

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  41. girish says:

    great tips for our life and out body thanks for sharing this.

  42. Chandigarh says:

    Magnetic people in your life are the best ones. You can learn so many things from them.

  43. Ashu says:

    Thanks for explaining your ideas with us! Its really helped.
    I am very thankful to have found your very helpful blog!
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  44. Thank you for this post. I am very much inspired by your post on living a healthy life.

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        Hi Amitoj,
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  45. Wonderfull post it change my attitude and improve my ethical values about life.Thank you for this great inspiration….Thankyou very much

  46. Medina says:

    Nice post. Thank you for such inspiring tips.
    Keep sharing.
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  47. Frank says:

    Hi Mary,

    I thought this was a really good article.

    I especially liked the points about making mistakes and legging go of your goals.

    Sometimes people are afraid to take risks and move out of their comfort zones. What is the worst that could happen is what I say to myself.

    You have to be flexible in life and be prepared to change you goals as life dictates.

    I always think three things are guaranteed in life which are:

    • Death
    • Taxes
    • Change

  48. Harry Singh says:

    Awesome blog. Was eager to read something that can correct my way of thinking.

    I am low motivated man and always self doubt my abilities. After reading this I am feeling a bit confident than before. I am know the direction I need to follow for some next years atleast confidently.

    Keep writing such blogs.

    Harry Singh´s last blog post ..Punjab Lotteries Government Rs-250 crore web lottery dream turns sour

  49. Thank you so much for a well written, easy to understand article on this. It can get really confusing when trying to explain it – but you did a great job. Thank you!
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  50. Pri says:

    Hi Catherine! Really enjoyed the article! You’re right, reading the article is the easy part, actually putting it all into practice sometimes proves to be a little difficult. I have been trying to actively put all these steps into practice each day, there are occasional slip ups here and there but I definitely see the difference! Thanks for sharing!
    Pri´s last blog post ..Happiness Is Always An Inside Job

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Pri,
      It’s great to hear you are taking action. Sounds like you’re doing really well with it.

  51. Harman says:

    Nice post.
    Thank you for such inspiring tips.
    Keep sharing.
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  52. Skurzo says:

    Good tips and good things to try. Thanks

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  57. Great words to live by to become a happy person. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

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