How To Be Happy: Habits That Boost Your Mental Health

Key Points

  • All humans want to know how to be happy.

  • Happiness is a positive attitude that results from certain aspects of life.

  • Knowing how to be happy starts with cherishing the blessings you have right now and nourishing your mind, body, and soul.

Is life making you feel alone, stressed out, discouraged, or depressed? Are you underperforming at work or struggling to enjoy activities you used to love? If so, you may have temporarily lost sight of how to be happy

Happiness is not a permanently carefree state of euphoria, but rather an underlying optimism that carries you through hard seasons. Regardless of your relationship status, professional success, or present circumstances, learn how to be happy by changing your habits, protecting your peace, and doing things that bring you joy.

What Is Happiness?

Happiness is a positive emotional state characterized by elation, contentment, and life satisfaction. Since it’s highly subjective, the true meaning of happiness looks different from one person to the next.

Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle split happiness into two categories: hedonia and eudaimonia. Hedonia focuses on the pleasure stemming from indulging your desires, receiving immediate gratification, and practicing self-care. Eudaimonia explores virtue and the meaning of life. It involves setting long-term goals, making the world a better place, being responsible, and living morally.

What Are The 7 Ways To Be Happy?

Actively nourishing your mind, body, and soul is essential to being happy. 

Here are seven strategies to promote energy, health, and happiness: 

Eat A Nutritious Diet

The concept “a healthy life is a happy life” applies to your diet. Nutritious foods adequately fuel your body and your emotions. If you struggle with sadness, changing your eating habits may be the key.

Downing an entire tub of ice cream or binging on your favorite junk food feels extremely good in the moment – especially after a rough day. Hours later, all you’re left with is regret and a stomachache. Thankfully, there’s a guilt-free solution.

If you need to treat yourself to food, go with dark chocolate, vanilla greek yogurt, or low-sodium popcorn. These alternatives boost your serotonin and reduce inflammation, which are two biological secrets to fighting depression.

Exercise Regularly

Consistent exercise floods your system with endorphins and dopamine and suppresses hormones that trigger stress and anxiety. When you’re feeling down, movement is gloriously uplifting. 

Working out doesn’t just heal you physically; it mends you emotionally. Conquering hard challenges during a workout allows you to turn around and conquer hard challenges in the real world!

To reap these benefits, try running, indoor cycling, swimming, weight lifting, or yoga.

Get Quality Sleep

Poor sleep ravages your health and happiness. From weight gain, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, low performance, and impaired judgment, the difficulties seem to be never-ending.

When you sleep well, you feel good. When you feel good, you pour more energy and enthusiasm into everything you do. Doesn’t that sound incredible? It’s also achievable if you get enough shuteye at night.

Pursue Meaningful Relationships

Human beings are created for relationships. Without them, you don’t have access to the kind of love that fosters strength, resilience, and happiness. This is why grief has such a powerful hold on people. 

Meaningful relationships bring safety to your world. They offer empathy, comfort, and support when life hits hard. Knowing that someone is there for you changes everything. 

Whether it’s a family member, friend, or romantic partner, relationships also motivate you to be the best version of yourself. Prioritizing the good people in your corner lifts your spirits and equips you to handle whatever life throws your way.

Chase Your Dreams

Do you dream of starting a business, getting married, moving to another country, or becoming an award-winning artist? Uncertainty is scary, but it’s even more exciting.

Dreams are what make life worth living! By pursuing what sets your heart on fire, exciting rewards and experiences are just around the corner. In the process, you express yourself, evolve, and turn your dreams into reality.

Choose Gratitude

Acknowledging your gratitude shouldn’t just happen on Thanksgiving Day.

Gratitude is powerful. It magically shifts your perspective, enhances your generosity, and inspires you to be kinder to yourself and others. Maybe it’s someone you love, a job that feels like a dream, or the fact that you have clean water and a roof over your head. Ponder your blessings often. 

Gratitude isn’t just about counting your blessings and calling it a day. It’s about allowing your blessings to speak louder than your battles. Sometimes gratitude even lets you use your blessings to fight your battles. 

When sorrow threatens to consume you, confront it with gratitude. Remind your sorrow of every good thing you have going for you. When you focus on the good, the good gets better. 


News overload and countless hours spent scrolling on social media are severely draining. These habits penetrate your peace of mind and taint your perception of the world. Not only do you lose sight of the goodness around you, but you also start to question everything

How can you get prettier or skinnier like that influencer? Why haven’t you found a life partner yet? Are you making the right life choices? Why does the world feel completely hopeless right now?

You’re not alone in asking these questions. The internet is a breeding place for fear, confusion, and dissatisfaction. It’s a boredom crutch that lures you into the comparison trap. No matter what you do or how hard you try, you never feel good enough. 

Unplugging is crucial for your mental health. It allows you to relax, recharge, and soak up the beauty of your life. When you feel the urge to open that dangerous app on your phone, try playing a fun video game, reading a novel, watching a funny movie, exercising, or spending time with loved ones instead.

How Do You Enjoy Life?

Enjoying life involves adjusting your behaviors, surroundings, and relationships to complement your mental health. 

Feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities? Devote at least one full day per week to rest and recovery. This seems counterintuitive at first, but it lets you mentally recharge and manage stress more productively. It also ensures a smoother return to reality.

Resist people-pleasing. Caring too much about what others think of you is emotionally exhausting and ultimately not worth it. Why? Their opinions aren't based on truth. At best, they witness a tiny shred of who you are but have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.

Beware of unsolicited advice. People usually mean well, but not everyone knows what’s best for you. You’re the only person who has to live with your choices. You suffer the consequences or obtain the rewards, not them. By releasing the weight of others’ expectations, you gain the freedom to live life your way. 

Why Is Life So Hard?

Maybe you’re too hard on yourself or constantly feel inferior to others. Perhaps you give up on things too fast or allow your fear to keep you from chasing your dreams. Maybe you mentally obsess over the past or future and neglect to live in the present. Whatever reason rings true, these unhealthy habits leave you unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled.

Further, there are two fundamental reasons why life is hard:

  1. The world is a scary and unpredictable place.

  2. You’re human

You have complex emotions, specific desires and needs, and fears that influence your outlook on life and your ability to interact with others. To top it all off, your body — along with everyone else’s — is prone to sickness, injury, and, eventually, death. 

The realities of life are hard to swallow at times and can be even more so when you’re facing unique challenges. Your deepest fears might come true. At some point, you encounter the painful disappointment of unmet expectations. The result? You spiral downwards into a state of despair. The hope? You don’t have to stay there. 

People are going to disappoint you. Even the kindest people with the best intentions disappoint because everyone is imperfect. Some people do things that leave a trail of negative consequences for you to deal with. It’s frustrating when it’s not your fault and often completely out of your control.

However, there’s a bright side. Once you accept this truth as a part of your story you can begin the work of letting go. 

You don’t have to be perfect; great things take time; nothing is worth compromising your mental health for; people let you down; and you don’t live on anyone’s timeline but your own. 

How Do You Fix Not Being Happy?

If you get through this difficult situation, achieve your dreams, or marry the love of your life, then you'll finally be happy.

Are you sure about that?

The “grass is always greener” is a dangerous mentality because it fools you into believing that your happiness has to be put on hold until life is perfect. 

Happiness is not a waiting game. When you live like this, you’re wasting precious time. There is so much joy, beauty, and strength to find in the waiting. Often, waiting is necessary. It refines and prepares you for experiences better than your wildest dreams. Waiting also teaches you to appreciate future experiences that much more. 

Without the bad, you’re unable to fully recognize the good. If it wasn’t for the bad job with the mean boss, how could you appreciate the good job with the kind boss? You have nothing to compare it to and you unknowingly take it for granted.

If it wasn’t for the lover who did you wrong and broke your heart, how could you cherish the person who treats you like royalty and treasures you? 

Pain is inevitable, but it has a profound purpose. It brings you power, clarity, and perspective. Pain lets you reflect on how far you’ve come and gives you the wisdom needed to help others through similar hardships. It’s often rewarding because there’s a natural joy that comes from connecting with people this way. 

If you’re unhappy and desperately seeking a solution, begin here. Acknowledge that pain has meaning, happiness comes in waves, and it’s okay not to be happy all the time. 

Next, identify why you’re unhappy. Compare your current situation to your former circumstances. Distress and depression commonly result from the following:

  • A breakup or major relationship conflict

  • A big life event

  • Loss of a loved one

  • Feeling like a failure

  • Personal appearance

  • Health concerns

  • Work problems

  • Loneliness

After confirming the cause, determine what solutions to the problem are within your control. Start small if needed and do things that fill your cup.  

Don't dwell on your misery. Rather, be compassionate with yourself, reach out to people you trust, and remember that a bad day, week, month, or year does not mean a bad life.

Most importantly, internalize the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a momentary feeling, while joy is a lasting mindset.

Happiness derives from how you feel about yourself and your life. It’s conditional and ultimately unreliable because your emotions and circumstances are constantly fluctuating. 

Joy, on the other hand, flows from your inherent worth as a human being. It’s much more permanent and sustainable. When happiness fades, turn to joy. 

How Can You Get Happy Fast?

To lift your mood, engage in activities that replenish your mental, emotional, and physical energy. 

Belt out your favorite song on repeat, list the qualities you love about yourself, or hit the gym for fast endorphins. Think about the people who make your heart smile and give them a call or make plans to see them. Get outside, watch the sunset, and bask in the beautiful swirl of colors. 

For an immediate sense of accomplishment, do something you enjoy and that you’re undeniably good at. Eat the foods you love most for comfort. Dark chocolate is perfect because it’s a natural mood booster.

If coffee brightens your day, drive to your local coffee shop and order that caramel macchiato. That first sip is as delightful as the energy buzz that follows.

Life Is a Gift: Choose Happiness

Alfred D’Souza, an Australian writer and philosopher, says “Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. There is no better time than right now to be happy.”

Being happy means consciously adding healthy habits to your routine, nurturing your mind, body, and soul, and finding solace in the blessings you have right now.

Goals and desires are a good thing, but your happiness doesn’t have to be delayed while you wait for them. The journey, however short or long, makes the arrival that much sweeter.

Was this article helpful?

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Top 3 Stories