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Start Living Happy: 26 Little Things You Can Do To Make Yourself Happier

Feeling down? Got the blues? Here are 26 small things you can do to make yourself happier.

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#1 Making yourself happier is as much about the preventive as the reactive

To do so, I’ve employed the following tips and tricks with great success, in addition to coaching clients to do the same.

First and foremost, when bad stuff happens, it is good to remember that:

Life, like today day, does not last forever. In life, no one gets out alive. We all have an expiration date; we just don’t know when it is. Make the most of every moment.

To preventively manage happiness, I have adopted a simple three principle rule by which to live.

The Three Principals Rule is:

  1. In what you do, do you what you love
  2. If unable to do what you love, find something to love about what you do
  3. If unable to do either, then love yourself enough to be able to do #1 or #2

This approach can be powerful and preventive in helping to prevent being overcome by situations that make us unhappy or at least help us keep our emotions in check. Being able to refer back to generally loving your job or at least something about it can bring about a reboot from an otherwise anomaly or momentary hiccup. In other words, it helps us to remember why we should be happier.

Contributor: Nate Battle


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#2 Create your love list

Sit down and label a sheet of paper from 1 to 30. And now start to fill in each space with an item that makes you happy or brings you joy. It can be anything! Perhaps it’s a glass of wine with a girlfriend. Maybe it’s staying up late to look at the stars or getting up early to watch the sunrise. It can be something big like a trip to Europe or something small like taking a bubble bath. The point of the exercise is to make a HUGE list of items that you know fill your love list. From there, your assignment is to schedule in at least ONE item on your schedule for the next 30 days. Make it a non-negotiable.

Contributor: Emyrald Sinclaire


#3 Say no to stuff you hate

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? But as a woman, I can tell you how hard it is to say ‘no’ to someone's face when they are asking for your support or time or money or a favor or your first born child. Ya know? As a woman, we are built to nurture and provide. But you’ve got to learn to say no to sh*t you don’t really wanna do if you hope to be happier in your life.

Contributor: Emyrald Sinclaire


#4 Say YES to what you love

On the flip side, it’s time to start honoring the “HEAVENS YES” of your heart and fill your life with the people, places and experiences that are a certain and definite YES for you. No more saying ‘No, thank you,’ when what you really mean to say is “Yes, thank you, more please.” I give you permission to say yes to the desires of your heart, my dear.

Contributor: Emyrald Sinclaire


#5 Give yourself compliments

Start talking to yourself and make sure what you have to say is super sweet. Next time you walk by the mirror, instead of finding 101 things you DON’T like about yourself, say something like “Hello Gorgeous!” instead. Put this into practice every time you walk by a mirror and I promise you that your happiness meter will rise! 

Making your (already) fabulous self-happier is a constant practice. yes, you will have good days and bad days but if you follow the steps above, I promise you that your life will be filled with more happiness and good tidings! 

Contributor: Emyrald Sinclaire


#8 Create a healthy happiness environment

Create a healthy happiness environment in all components of your whole being; your body with taking good care of it, your mind with practicing good feeling thoughts, your soul with feeling everything that touches your heart, your consciousness with being aware of all that is going right for you - right NOW.

Contributor: Jacqueline Pirtle


#9 Track the words you are thinking and speaking

Notice how many words are optimistic and positive and how many words are pessimistic and negative. Pinch yourself each time you use a depressing word. Change it into an encouraging one. Write several happy words on pieces of paper and place them in different parts of your house and office. Marvelous, miraculous, spectacular, splendid, fabulous, breathtaking, remarkable, luminous. Later, you will accidentally find them and smile. The words you are thinking and speaking create your life.

Contributor: Milana Perepyolkina 


#11 Eat Well

When we eat better and give our bodies quality nutritious food, we tend to be happier. Especially combined with exercise, you begin to just feel healthier overall - it’s just one more positive aspect of your life to be happy about!

Contributor: Andrew Schutt


#12 Improvement

When we work at something and get better at it, it naturally makes us feel proud and accomplished. It could be something like eating better and exercising to improve your health, or it could be improving your skills at playing guitar, drawing, or whatever hobby you have. The point is just to do something, get better at it, and feel accomplished about it!

Contributor: Andrew Schutt


#13 Meditate

We tend to lose focus easily as human beings, especially with so many screens in our lives on a daily basis. Just like the one you’re reading this on now! We’re surrounded by distractions all day every day, and then all of the sudden the whole day is over and you feel like you weren’t mentally there for the whole thing. 

Meditation is a fantastic way to relax and let yourself feel present and in the moment. Then over time as you practice meditation, you train your brain (in a way) to be more mindful, and it translates more and more into your daily life. Just 5 minutes a day in the morning is all it takes to get started!

Contributor: Andrew Schutt


#14 Keep a gratitude journal

What works for me is keeping a gratitude journal and writing in it every night before bed as I reflect. Also, doing my refrigerator every Sunday as a “positivity platform”. I bought magnetic “blackboards” and different neon markers and change it first thing every Sunday morning depending on an area I want to focus on in my life.

Contributor: Melissa Meade


#16 Take time for yourself

Self-care isn’t selfish. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the spa and get a massage every day. Find ways to care for yourself that fit into your daily life - maybe that means buying a new body scrub to make your morning shower more enjoyable. Hanging up new artwork in your home office. 

Contributor: Jenny Dempsey


#17 Appreciate simplicity

Stop and smell the roses on your evening walk. Sit down and give your dog a belly rub this evening. Hug your kids and wipe the chocolate off of their cheeks. Smile at a stranger. Breathe in the scent of freshly mowed grass in the air. These day to day, often overlooked simple actions make for happiness and gratitude in the bigger picture that life has to offer.

Contributor: Jenny Dempsey


#18 Taking regular vacations or making changes in one's environm

Taking regular vacations or making changes in one's environment is very important for maintaining a feeling of well-being. Sometimes when people get stuck in a routine they can begin to function on autopilot and may stop paying attention to anything outside of this routine. There are fewer opportunities to experience the joy that comes with seeing something novel, connecting with nature, and meeting new people.

Contributor: Nicoletta C. Skoufalos


#20 Serve others

When I'm not teaching fitness & nutrition, I teach reading & writing at a Title 1 school (more than half of the school is below the poverty level). I have an autistic student whose dad over-dosed and was dead in the home for 3 days before he had the wherewithal to call for help. 

Last year I had to report a 2nd-grade boy who disclosed obvious sexual and physical abuse. I've seen a 4th grade start school for the first time (for no other reason except neglect) who couldn't write his own name and knew 7 letters of the alphabet (did I mention that he was age appropriate for 4th grade?!) Seriously, if the poverty-stricken areas of America don't force you to appreciate what you have, then travel abroad.

Contributor: Jill McKay


#21 Attitude of gratitude

Look around you. The mere fact that you can see is a gift. Everything you have, your eyes, your ears, your hands, feet, arms and legs are gifts. 

If you have ever lost the use of any of these gifts for even an instant, you know how important they are! 

Be grateful you can see, walk, hear, and have your health. Anything can change in the blink of an eye, so being grateful for everything we have immediately makes you feel happier about your life. 

Suddenly, life is good! 

Contributor: Allison Constantino

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#23 Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral

If you are feeling down or stressed or anxious, take an absorbable form of magnesium such as a magnesium citrate powder mixed with water and lemon. Serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. A person who is going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a deficit that, if not corrected, can linger, causing depression, unhappiness, and further health problems. It's natural, non-addictive and has no negative side-effects. 

Contributor: Carolyn Dean, MD, ND


#24 Give Yourself Permission To Break the Rules (and write new ones!

At times, we are unhappy because we decided that our life doesn't look the way it should. The shoulds are rules we've adopted in our heads that are often made up of comparisons and negative judgments. When we decide that something should be a certain way because someone else said so, we inadvertently judge any part of our lives that doesn't quite measure up. 

TIP: Think about how the word should and how the thoughts that follow it influence how you feel about your life. Is it possible that the rule you've written in your head might not be right for you? Is there another rule that feels more free and happy? This process can be silly, but it is worth it to feel just a bit lighter.

Contributor: Jennifer McKay


#25 Get a cat! Why a cat? They're so soft and cuddly

They're independent! The new kitty litter is essentially odorless and so easy to clean up. Studies show that cat owners are less likely to have heart attacks and strokes than dog owners. The reasons for that are certainly multi-factorial, but some of those reasons are obvious. We have to really take care of dogs in a way that we don't have to take care of cats. We have to walk them, wash them, let them out to poop and pee. We can't leave them alone for very long. 

We have to train them or let them behave like bad toddlers for the rest of their lives. This is stressful! I have patients who injure themselves and their main concern is that they can't take care of their dog. Many of them start crying when they tell me this. I never hear the same fretting from a cat owner. 

Contributor: Barbara Bergin, M.D

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#26 Take 3 & breathe consciously

Your breath is your BFF. It can help you shift negativity, doubts, and fear. Just 3 minutes of conscious breathing can help you shift internal chemicals as well as mental patterns that could be making you feel unhappy. Remember to take 3 and just breathe as often as you can to feel good inside.

Contributor: Veronica Parker, RScP


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Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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