Being genuinely content with life shows in the way we act, speak, treat others, and (most importantly) care for ourselves.
Truly happy people are usually easy to spot by the habits they practice daily.
If you want to become more content with your life, the things you do every day make a big difference in how you feel and how others perceive you.
Let’s explore the 11 everyday habits of genuinely content people.
1) They appreciate the little things in life
Genuinely content people pay attention to the things around them and, quite literally, stop to smell the roses.
Have you ever been walking the streets with someone who pauses to take a picture of the flowers blossoming on the trees?
Or opens the window at work and breathes deeply when the wind blows?
Or even, once they’ve made their morning coffee in the office kitchen, brings their cup to their nose, and takes in the fresh coffee smell?
More often than not, genuinely content people are content because they appreciate the little things in life.
They romanticize life in their head and truly value the things around them.
2) They move their body daily
Happy people exercise, it’s just a fact.
Many studies have shown the positive impact exercise has on our overall happiness.
Because exercise releases dopamine (the feel-good hormone) and endorphins, it makes us feel happy, capable, and confident.
It also makes us feel less stressed and anxious.
Whether that’s jogging a 5K, going to the gym, or getting 10,000 steps in (or however many you can manage) within a day, any bodily movement counts.
3) They say thank you often
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude makes you happier. So it makes sense that happy people are grateful people.
People can express gratitude in so many ways.
It can be as little as saying thank you often. Whether that’s to the barista, the bus driver, or their partner for the little ways they help them.
Or it can show in the way they think and speak to themselves.
Like being grateful for their past, present, and the future.
4) They make time for hobbies and self-development
Genuinely content people don’t pour from an empty cup. They know to be their best selves, they have to look after themselves.
That means making time every day to do the things they love in life.
Like working on themselves or taking time for their hobbies.
This could mean going for a quick run, meditating for 10 minutes before bed, self-reflecting on their goals for tomorrow, or just reading a few pages of their book.
Happy people work on themselves every day, no matter how little time they have.
5) They connect with loved ones daily
Even if you’re an introvert, making time to connect with people you love at least once a day can work wonders for your internal happiness.
Whether that’s spending quality time with your partner or having a quick text conversation with a friend.
Genuinely content people care about the people around them.
Whether checking in comes from needing it themselves, or out of care for their loved ones, they make time to connect with others daily and show them how much they love them.
6) They look after themselves, even when others aren’t around
When we feel better, we’re more likely to look after ourselves.
Self-care is all the rage right now and for good reason. It makes us feel good about ourselves.
While it’s nice to have a lazy day on occasion, genuinely happy people always make time to look after number one.
They take pride in their appearance, even when no one else is around.
I remember a time I wasn’t quite as happy with my life as I could have been.
Because of how I was feeling, I stopped spending time on my skincare routines, doing my hair nice, wearing my fancy earrings, and even buying myself new clothes.
I made an effort when I was seeing people. I just didn’t extend that to when I was spending time with myself.
But genuinely content people look after themselves every day for themselves, too, not just for others.
7) They live in the moment
Remunerating on past troubles is a great way to make yourself feel bad about yourself and your life.
Many studies have found that people who live in the moment feel happier and experience more joy in life.
That doesn’t mean you don’t reflect on the past sometimes for self-development. Or reminisce on good times with family and friends.
But it means you aren’t living in the past.
It means you aren’t constantly dwelling on the bad things that have happened to you, laboring over life’s regrets, or always looking back on “the good old days”.
Instead, you’re living for the present and enjoying the here and now, not the joys (or woes) of yesteryear.
8) They happily spend time alone
Sometimes, unhappy people want to be around others all the time to escape the pain they’re feeling.
While socializing can make us feel better about ourselves, it’s important to have some alone time at least once a day.
Even if that’s just spending 30 minutes off your phone on your commute home from work. Or having a moment of quiet meditation every night before bed.
Being alone gives us time for self-reflection. And feeling afraid to spend time by yourself isn’t a good sign.
It can mean you don’t know how to validate yourself without the attention of others.
It can also mean your happiness comes from others, rather than from within.
9) They don’t need substances to have a good time
Genuinely content people can happily attend a party, work event, or family function without needing substances to enjoy themselves.
They don’t need to drink all the liquor they can get their hands on to enjoy Thanksgiving or have a good time with their partner’s friends.
They also don’t need to have a beer or a glass of wine every evening to feel like they’ve had a good day.
Instead, they know how to enjoy their days and evenings without substances.
10) They get enough sleep
This is an important one that we’ve probably all heard about.
But it’s true that happy people get a good night’s sleep every night.
They don’t stay up late obsessing over things in their past or playing games to distract themselves from the lives they lead.
Staying up late can be simply because you’re a night owl. But it can also be a sign that you’re dreading tomorrow coming.
They go to sleep at night ready to face the challenges of tomorrow and feel positive about it, rather than fearful.
11) They work on their relationships
In romantic relationships, happy people make time for their partner and show them love every single day, no matter what’s going on around them.
Not appreciating your partner can be because you’re in an unhappy relationship.
But it can also be because you’re not happy with your life in general.
Studies have shown that happy people work on their relationships, check in with their partners, and are proactive in making plans.
As the saying goes, we are a product of our daily habits.
Happy people do things that make them happy every day, without fail.
Whether it’s conscious habits and things they make sure they do to feel happier every day.
Like moving their body every day and making time to connect with the people they love.
Or things that simply come naturally to them.
Like saying thank you to their partners and taking pride in their appearance.
Either way, if you practice these daily habits, you’re likely a person who’s genuinely content with yourself and the life you lead.