What is the secret to happiness? Throughout life, we all strive for the feeling of happiness and true contentment.
We chase dreams and work towards goals – perhaps a romantic relationship, job promotion, new car, improved family relations, or even a pay raise! If we can just reach our goal, surely then we will be happy. While some life events do make us happy, that feeling of deep satisfaction rarely lasts forever.
The fact is, event-based happiness is almost always fleeting! Happiness is something you have to create by way of a lifestyle choice – yes, you have to CHOOSE to be contented and happy.
The habits you create in your life directly impact the happiness you will experience in your life. Joyful and contented women have created the same habits in their lives, resulting in a life with a much higher level of contentment. Try out these 13 habits, and see what they do for you:
1.) They Choose Their Friends Wisely
The people you surround yourself with directly impact who you are and how you think!
Have you ever heard the saying, “You are who you hang out with”? Growing up, my Mom always reminded me that my reputation was directly impacted by the people I associated myself with. My goodness, was she ever accurate! Not only do your friends impact other’s perceptions of you, they also impact the way you see yourself and those around you.
Even if you are the strongest and most independent person around, you are always impressionable. If you have pessimistic, negative, and self-seeking friends, you need to take the steps to remove these toxic people from your life.
Toxic relationships have a way of sucking the joy out of your life! You must realize that your forgiveness, kindness, and long-suffering personality will not change who they are. In the end, the only person that you are hurting is yourself – over and over again.
Clear your life of toxic relationships and find ways to deepen the friendships you enjoy.
2.) They Address Their Anxieties
Let’s be honest! Most of us suffer from at least some form of anxiety or depression. Did you know that anxiety affects more than 40 million adults in the United States? And women are twice as likely to be affected as men!
Anxiety isn’t something to ignore or pretend you don’t have! It is a normal part of many people’s lives.Whether you have a mild or severe form of anxiety, living with this disorder is absolutely miserable! You need to find some successful ways to manage your anxiety.
When you to properly address your anxiety, you will discover a whole new side of yourself: your limits, your triggers, and your strengths.
3.) They Don’t Complain
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all!” Another brilliant one-liner from my Momma!
Think about the people in your life that are uplifting and enjoyable to be around? Are they complainers? The answer is, “No, they are not!”
Don’t be that person who can always find something to complain about. I’m not talking about having a frustrating day and needing to unload your frustrations on a friend! (We all need someone to complain to, right?)
I’m talking about always having something negative to say to your casual friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. If you are known as a chronic complainer, that isn’t OK! It is an annoying habit that most people would prefer to not be around. (And it may be one of the reasons that you are losing friends).
If you can identify a pattern of complaining in your life, work on focusing this habit in the opposite direction. There is always something to be positive about! Perhaps it’s the weather, your health, your steady job, your coworker’s new shoes. Find a way to be positive or don’t say anything at all.
Choosing to allow kind and uplifting things to come out of your mouth has a way of putting them into your mind and heart! Like I said before, happiness is something you have to choose. So, choose to be positive!
4.) They Spend Money On Other People
Have you ever opened a gift and felt an intense feeling of happiness and pleasure? Well, did you know that research shows that spending money on other people actually makes you happier than if you spent it on yourself?
I understand that money may be something you don’t have much of! We’ve all been there! Choose to give of your time and talents instead. Help a neighbor complete a project, make up care packages for the homeless, or volunteer in your church or a local charity. Lack of money is never an excuse for spreading kindness and love.
When you give of yourself to others, you often end up feeling more blessed and happy than the people you served!
5.) They Don’t Waste Time Worrying About What People Think Of Them
Easier said than done – I get it! Wondering what other’s perceptions of you are is completely normal. However, this habit can become an unhealthy obsession that will fill you will feelings of uncontrollable anxiety.
Stop overthinking things! It will ruin your happiness! (And yes, I speak from experience). You will over-analyze every comment, glance, and whisper. You will questions people’s intentions and mull over facts that may never have happened. Give yourself a break!
Your thoughts will either increase your insecurity or increase your confidence. Instead, focus on improving yourself and finding successful ways to be more confident. Trust yourself! You aren’t like anyone else and you do not need to try to meet other’s expectations.
6.) They Smile – Often
This doesn’t mean having a fake, Cheshire Cat smile!
Happy and confident people know the power of a warm, genuine smile. A smile signifies that you are a positive and happy individual. Positivity is contagious and people typically enjoy being around others who possess this character quality.
Have you ever talked to someone that had a warm, genuine smile? This personal quality helps people relax and warm up to you quicker.
Have you ever chosen to smile and laugh, even when your heart was aching? Choosing to be joyful (and showing it on your face) has a huge impact on how you feel internally. And often, by choosing to smile, you can impact others in a positive way!
7.) They Learn to Embrace Their Flaws
Perfection exists nowhere! If you spend your time and money pursuing a false sense of perfection, you are wasting your life!
There is nothing wrong with working hard to perfect a behavioral or physical flaw – like working out or trying to curb a tendancy to exaggerate facts. However, there is a problem with trying to change things that are characteristically and physically YOU!
I have always hated my thighs – I swear that if I eat a piece of pizza, I can’t zip my jeans the next morning! However, I have to choose to not think negatively about myself when I look in the mirror.
I am in control of what I eat and how much I work out. If I make the decision to eat pizza and not work out for a few months, then I have to STOP beating myself up about it! Sometimes, life gets busy!
Accept your personality and embrace it! Are you quiet, nerdy, boisterous, serious, or super goofy? EMBRACE IT! Don’t let society or someone’s opinion change who you are! There is nothing more disheartening than choosing to change who you are, simply because you perceive that you are not good enough.
If you are in a romantic relationship, don’t let the guy change you! (This article shows the key signs that someone is trying to change you.)
Embrace who you are! When you can accept yourself for who you are, you will find a depth of contentment that nothing can replace. You are not like anyone else in the world – you are unique, flaws and all!
8.) They Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the most overlooked necessities of life. Did you know that you can only live about 11 days without sleep? Lack of sleep causes chronic fatigue, headaches, weight gain, confusion, heart problems, and depression.
Sleep is essential for a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. If you aren’t doing well mentally and physically, chances are that you are suffering in the happiness department!
Before meeting my husband, I was a total night owl! I would stay up until early in the morning and thought that I was easily surviving on less than 6 hours of sleep. FALSE! When I started getting a solid 8 hours of sleep per night, it did WONDERS for my health and happiness.
Change up your evening schedule and make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Anything less should be considered a short-term necessity.
9.) They Carve Out some “Me Time”
Every happy woman needs some time for themselves – away from the people they see every day. It is one of the essential ways to relieve stress.
If you prefer to be alone, perhaps you can go shopping, get a mani-pedi, snuggle up with a book, or catch a few episodes of your favorite show! If you are a social butterfly like me, perhaps you would prefer to hang out with some fun and uplifting friends!
Did you know that laughter actually releases endorphins into your brain, also known as the “feel-good hormone”? Find a way to create the time to do something that you thoroughly enjoy! It is an essential part of a happy life!
10.) They Learn To Say “No!”
Are you a chronic “Yes, Woman”? Do you ever find it difficult to turn people down or confront someone who is putting too much stress on you?
The only person who knows how much you can handle is YOU. Learn to say “No” to things that will increase your stress levels and destroy your happiness. Be selective with the things you take on and let other know when your workload capacity is maxed out. Otherwise, you risk suffering from work burnout.
Sometimes, you have to practice turning people down! I was at the grocery store checkout the other day and was asked to donate some money to a charity the store supported. (I regularly donate to charities that I support and am familiar with, so I prefer not to donate to random charity’s – even at the store checkout.)
So, since I wasn’t familiar with the charity, I said, “No, I won’t be donating today.” SIMPLE AS THAT! If you struggle with saying “No”, start in small places like that! The cashier won’t think you are a horrible person because you didn’t donate $1!
Trust yourself and do what you know is best! Learning to decline an offer or a request is a freeing experience! It will help you to see your limits and not to push yourself to the point of unhappy exhaustion. Say, “Nope!” and be happy!
11.) They Treat Others With Respect And Kindness
There is no excuse for being a nasty person! You can’t blame your hateful and mean spirit on anyone but yourself! (I know way too many people who have had tragic life experiences, and yet are wonderful human beings.)
Kindness is contagious! It brings people together, it breaks down barriers, and it can change your own outlook on life!
With social media being such a large part of our lives, I think it is valuable to share my personal social media policy: I am not a social justice warrior! If someone states an opinion that is opposite of my own, I do not need to retaliate and try to change their mind or crush them! Do you know why? Because there is a 99.9% chance that my response will not change them one bit! It will only make them retaliate with more negativity! Don’t insert yourselves into arguments that have nothing to do with you; and certainly don’t waste your time fighting with people in the social media comments section. All this will do is fill your life with unnecessary negativity and unhappiness.
If you absolutely must respond to someone’s remarks, do so in a cordial manner. As my Dad would say, “Save your harsh words for those threatening your family.” Otherwise, choose respect and kindness!
Make a conscious effort every day to remain humble and kind! This choice alone has the ability to change your whole life!
12.) They Take Responsibility For Their Mistakes
There is something very freeing about being willing to accept when you are wrong.
Choose to say, “I apologize, that was an oversight on my part. I will work on correcting it immediately” or “I am sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me for *insert problem here*.”
Take responsibility! Don’t blame your mistakes on other people! This is a sign of insecurity and selfishness. People who blame-shift lose the respect of those around them and built an environment of distrust and resentment. The sign of a good teammate, spouse, parent, and leader is taking responsibility for a mistake and taking immediate action to remedy it.
Being honest with yourself and others is a freeing experience! No-one is perfect! The sooner you learn that and accept that you can make mistakes, the happier you will be.
13.) They Have a Set Daily Routine
We all love to “wing it” sometimes, right!? However, having a set daily routine is a healthy habit to form!
Life gets busy and it can become incredibly overwhelming! Finding a routine that works for you is key! It helps you address the things that are important to you and create time to complete important projects that would otherwise go unnoticed!
What is important to you? Sleep? A healthy breakfast? Exercise? Organization? Punctuality? Your work projects? Your family? Create a routine around what is important to you and stick to it!
- 10 Lifestyle Choices That are Ruining Your Happiness
- Sunday Hacks: 9 Successful Habits for a Productive Work Week
- 11 Easy Changes That Will Improve Your Health
Looking to create a happier and healthier life? Start implementing some of the habits listed above into your life. No, habits aren’t created overnight, but you absolutely must start somewhere!
Remember, happiness is a choice! Making the mental decision to be happy and contented is a lifelong battle because we all have our ups and downs. But, the effort you put in will always be worth it!
If you have any questions about this article, just let us know in the comment section below! We’d be happy to help you out!