The key to happiness: 10 habits of highly content people

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Are you trying to be a happier person? 

If so, this article is for you! You see, being happy isn’t something that we simply discover from one day to the next.

It’s actually something we have to work towards, something highly content people have mastered through adopting certain habits and outlooks on life. 

So, get ready to take some notes, here are 10 habits of highly content people that will help you unlock the key to happiness!

First up:

Habit #1: They have a positive outlook on life 

The first and most important habit of highly content people is that they maintain a positive outlook despite any negative circumstances. 

Obviously, this is easier said than done, but the minute you even attempt to see the positive side of a not-so-positive situation, you’re on your way to living a happier and more content life


Well, we’ve all got reasons to view the world negatively – just turn on the news! But we have to make the active choice to look at the good side of things. 

If not, we’ll all drown in sadness. Content people understand this and they tend to opt for a positive outlook rather than wallowing in despair every time something goes wrong!

They tend to look for the silver lining

“I just lost my job, but you know what? It’s an opportunity for me to try something new!”

“My marriage is rocky, so we attend therapy. It’s tough but it’s helping me to connect and understand my partner better. I’m learning something new every day!”

So you see, we can all look for the positives no matter how hard a situation seems, and it’s this outlook that gets us closer to being happy!

And a key part of that comes from living in the moment and not worrying so much about the past or future…

Habit #2: They focus on the present

Another way to stay positive and content is to focus on the present. It can be easy to get caught up in the past and become overwhelmed with regret. 

On the other hand, it can also be tempting to worry about the future and try to predict what’s going to happen.

The truth is, highly content people recognize that the past is gone and the future is yet to come. They focus on the present and make the most of every moment.

This is something I’ve struggled with in the past – I’m quite a worrier when I want to be! 

So, when I start spiraling, I practice breathwork, take a time out and hang out with my cats, or 

I do some light meditation. 

These are all things you could try if you also want to be more present in the moment! From my experience so far, I can vouch for it being a great technique if you want to find the key to happiness. 

But there is another way to ground yourself in the moment::

Habit #3: They practice gratitude daily

Highly content people recognize the importance of gratitude and they practice it daily. Like this, it becomes a habit that gradually leads to increased feelings of happiness!

One way to practice gratitude is to take time to appreciate the small things in life. This could be a beautiful sunset, a kind gesture from a stranger, or a delicious meal. 

Something I find useful is keeping a gratitude diary – this allows me to record all the good things that I appreciate. I’m looking forward to December 2023 when I’ll look back on what a blessed year I have had! 

Habit #4: They celebrate (all) their achievements 

Next up on our list of habits of highly content people is celebrating their achievements. 

No matter how small or big, a win is a win.

You see, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well, whether that be in our careers, relationships, or raising kids. 

But this pressure, which often surrounds unrealistic and unattainable goals, only makes us more miserable when we don’t succeed according to the expectations we’ve built up!

That’s why highly content people celebrate even the smallest of achievements….

You finally got around to fixing your car? Good for you!

Completed your first 1000-word jigsaw puzzle? You’re unstoppable! 

The truth is, this goes back to the first habit I mentioned: Having a positive mindset

When you have this, you don’t have to wait to become CEO of the company before you celebrate. Live in the moment and celebrate the small stuff! 

Habit #5: They keep strong relationships with family and friends 

Now, if you’re doing all that celebrating, you need people to celebrate with, right?

Another habit of highly content people is maintaining strong relationships with others. So, why do they do this?

Well, studies have shown that those who have strong social ties with others tend to be happier in life, not to mention healthier too!

And it makes sense – on the flip side of that coin, lonely people are likely to experience more health problems and even potentially premature death

So, if you want one of the keys to happiness, make an effort with those you love. Surround yourself with good people who bring value and joy to your life. 

But watch out for the energy vampires and toxic “friends” out there, as they’ll only make this next point harder to execute: 

Habit #6: They value stress management 

Ah, stress. Once you reach a certain age, you understand why they tell you to enjoy your youth while you can! Stress is something all adults have to deal with, from the poor to the wealthy. 

That’s why highly content people make it a core habit to have great stress management, whether it’s through:

  • Leading a healthy lifestyle; eating and sleeping well and exercising regularly
  • Taking time out to enjoy hobbies or passions 
  • Spending time with loved ones 
  • Reading or getting creative through art or music 
  • Connecting with nature (going for walks, picnics, etc)

So, could the key to happiness really be managing our stress levels?

It’s certainly one of the ways to ensure that you keep a good balance in life, not to mention, prioritizing your mental and physical well-being!

Habit #7: They connect with nature 

In the last point, I mentioned that connecting with nature is one way that highly content people manage their stress levels. 

But honestly, there are so many more benefits to connecting with nature.

For one, you’re reminded that there’s a whole world out there, bigger than you or any problems you’re facing right now. It can be incredibly grounding (and a great way to stay in the present moment rather than worrying about the future or past).

Secondly, when you connect with nature, it’s easier to connect with yourself.

Content people know that developing a healthy inner connection is just as important as our external relationships. They take this time to check in with their mind and body and give gratitude for all they have. 

So, what are you waiting for? Hit the beach, go for a long walk in your nearest forest, or even just get out into the backyard and enjoy some sunshine! 

Habit #8: They give back 

Another habit of highly content people is giving back. 

Whether that’s to their local community, a friend who helped them in the past, or even a complete stranger who just needs change to buy essential food. 

So, why does this increase their happiness levels?

Here are just a few reasons:

  • It gives you a sense of belonging to something bigger; a reminder that we’re all connected in this universe 
  • It can boost your self-esteem to know you’re helping others and doing good in the world 
  • It can remind you to be grateful for what you have, especially when you see those who are struggling in life

Now, it can be hard to know where to start. My advice is to check out what’s going on in your local community, or head on down to the nearest charity shop. They always need more hands on deck!

Habit #9: They have a healthy work-life balance 

Be honest, how good is your work-life balance?

I’m not going to judge, I think it’s something most of us struggle with!

But that’s where highly content people get it right:

They make it a priority to keep a good balance between the two!

You see, it’s really hard to find happiness if you’re constantly working, tired, and stressed out.

Equally, it’s hard to enjoy life if you never have time to enjoy your hobbies or passions!

So, how can you make it a habit to have a good work-life balance?

  • Set boundaries – get clear on how many hours you are required to work, and get comfortable saying no if you’re continuously asked to do overtime
  • Learn to leave work at work. Once you sign off, don’t allow yourself to worry about outstanding tasks, they’ll still be there in the morning when you go back!
  • Carve out time on your calendar to do the things you enjoy, and stick to these timings

The truth is, not many people have the “perfect” balance between work and life. But we can all try to get as close as possible, and in doing so, increase our happiness levels!

Habit #10: They have a sense of purpose 

And finally, highly content people are in the habit of always having a sense of purpose.

This can mean different things to different people; to some, their purpose is to work hard and achieve their goals. 

To others, it might mean raising their kids in a happy, secure environment, or advocating for social change in the world.

My advice to you is to find your purpose – happiness will soon follow.


Mainly, because it gives you a sense of direction, a meaning for being here on this crazy planet with eight billion other people.

But it also gives you connectivity; you’ll meet other like-minded people and if you’re lucky enough, join a community of individuals all working towards the same goals.

And finally, it can contribute to your sense of identity. As you explore who you are as a person, you’re more likely to find contentment as your values and goals start to align.

A combination of all these factors is why a sense of purpose is essential if you want to be happier in life!

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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