13 habits of people who are always happy and content

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How do some people thread through life so happy and content while others look and behave like they just fell out of a washing machine? 

Have happy people stumbled upon some ancient secret by accident? Or are they part of a bigger plan? 

The answer is usually much simpler and down-to-earth. So, let’s see what it is. 

1) They have a purpose in life

Unsurprisingly, the people that are the happiest and most content with their lives have found their purpose and place in life. 

They align their actions with their values and passions. Engaging in activities that resonate with their core beliefs gives them a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment in their lives.

My mind jumps straight to Japan and their concept of Ikigai. Ever since I read a book about it, I fell in love with it. 

Many Japanese people do what they love, what they’re good at, and what is good for the world. 

This lifestyle means they’re happier, healthier, and live longer than anyone else in the world. 

2) They’re surrounded by friends and family

Another important thing for lifelong happiness is having good friends and/or family around you. 

Happy and content people invest time and effort in nurturing relationships that uplift and support them. 

By surrounding themselves with people who share their values and bring positivity into their lives, they create a strong social support network that contributes to their overall happiness.

They also have someone who can help them out when the going gets tough and who, in turn, they help too. 

3) They’re grateful

Last year, I made it a habit to regularly acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects of my life. 

This practice shifts my focus from what I lack to what I have, boosting a deep sense of contentment and fulfillment.

It’s an easy fix if your mindset constantly looks for the next thing. The truth is, the next thing may or may not improve your happiness. 

And if that thing is of material nature, it most definitely won’t help you regain or improve happiness. 

Unlike the following habits. 

4) They maintain healthy habits

The people that are the happiest often understand the symbiotic relationship between physical and mental health

By prioritizing sufficient sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise, they create a strong foundation for overall well-being and happiness.

They recognize the power of exercise not only for their physical health but also for their mental well-being. 

Engaging in regular physical activity is healthy no matter how young or old you are. It releases endorphins, natural mood boosters that leave you feeling more joyful and content.

It’s a shame many people stop being active as soon as they reach adulthood. Time constraints, family, and a bad work-life balance are the biggest culprits, aren’t they?

5) They prioritize self-care

Continuing in the same tone. People who understand the importance of taking care of their own needs, whether it’s indulging in a favorite hobby, practicing mindfulness, or simply taking time to relax, prioritize activities that rejuvenate their mind, body, and spirit.

It’s such an easy fix if you’re feeling down. Go out. Walk or, even better, run in nature. Any local park will do. Touch the grass with your bare feet, or make a snow angel in wintertime. 

But sometimes, the first and best step is to simply put down your phone. 

6) They’re mindful

Not being constantly on the phone scrolling social media or reading news is one of the most common habits all happy and content people share

They immerse themselves fully in the present moment

This practice helps them manage stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts, creating a mental environment supporting their enjoyment.

It’s also one of the most difficult things you can do nowadays. For many people, the ship has left the harbor, and they’re addicted to technology, leaving them unable to be present in the moment. 

7) They find joy in small things

Another habit I started practicing during the pandemic was finding joy in small things.

Like most people, I had to stay home all the time. Without long commutes to and from work, I started enjoying life and its finer details again. 

I found delight in life’s simple pleasures, whether it was a beautiful sunset, a heartfelt conversation with my wife, or the aroma of my morning coffee. 

These moments of appreciation added richness to my daily experiences, and I never looked back since.

8) They focus on the positive

The world seems to be at a tipping point again with a savage war, climate change, and the recent pandemic. 

It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and fearful for your future and the future of your family and friends. 

But many happy and content people are endlessly positive. They have a proactive approach to problem-solving, focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on challenges. 

They find solace in people like Bojan Slat, who is cleaning up the world’s oceans. He and his non-profit, The Ocean Cleanup, are doing what the governments should be doing. 

Ultimately, optimistic people look for and emphasize the positive aspects of situations. They focus on people changing the world for the better, giving them comfort and a greater sense of control over their lives.

9) They set realistic goals

I wouldn’t say Bojan set a realistic goal for himself. On the contrary, what he’s accomplishing is a gargantuan project. 

But nevertheless, I found that happy and content people set achievable goals. Goals that provide direction and purpose in their lives. 

Working towards these goals gives them a sense of accomplishment and progress. In return, it boosts their self-esteem and overall happiness.

For example, dedicating time to volunteer regularly for causes that resonate with them, allowing them to positively impact their community.

Or setting financial goals such as paying off debts, building an emergency fund, and investing for their future to reduce financial stress.

10) They practice kindness

Acts of kindness are another important part of the daily lives of many happy and content people.

It’s a well-known fact that helping others makes us happier

These acts trigger the release of oxytocin and other positive chemicals, deepening the sense of happiness.

It doesn’t take research to prove to you how beneficial it is. Just remember how you felt the last time you helped someone. 

Coupled with the fact that your generosity might also trigger the person to help others, we realize how important being kind and compassionate is. 

11) They don’t compare themselves with others

When you compare yourself to others, you magnify your imperfections. You start being envious and dwell on your shortcomings. 

Most happy people recognize that constant comparison to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy. 

Instead, they focus on their own journey of growth and improvement, promoting a sense of self-worth.

However, it’s also true that comparing to others can motivate you to be better, or even be grateful for what you already have. 

12) They’re resilient

Life is full of ups and downs. We’ve all experienced them and know how important it is to be resilient. 

Content people are smart. They view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Their ability to bounce back from setbacks not only improves their skills and their mindset but also contributes to their enduring happiness.

They’re the epitome of when life throws you lemons; make a lemonade. 

13) They forgive

The last important habit of happy people is their ability to let go. They understand that holding onto grudges and negative emotions only weighs them down. 

By practicing forgiveness, both towards themselves and others, they free themselves from emotional burdens and develop inner peace and contentment.

That’s so much different from many people I know that broke up their friendships over stupid and minor things. 

They still hold grudges after 20 or more years. 

Final thoughts

Ultimately, whether you will be happy or not comes down to what you do for a living. Because we spend so much time at work, it dictates how we feel even when we come home. 

The other issues are long commute times and low pay. When you add and subtract it all, you realize that happiness is as “easy” as finding a meaningful and well-paid job. 

When you feel happy and content with what you do, it’s easier to find someone to spend your life with, too. 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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