8 habits of people who are genuinely happy in life, according to psychology

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If you’ve ever wondered what makes some people genuinely happy in life, you’re not alone. The habits of happy individuals can sometimes feel like a mystery.

Happiness, as we know, isn’t simply a product of luck or genetics. It’s a state of mind that can be cultivated through certain behaviors and attitudes.

Many of us might think that happiness comes from external factors, but according to psychology, this isn’t entirely true. Happiness is more of an inside job.

In a world where we’re constantly chasing after success and material possessions, the happiest people often practice some simple yet powerful habits.

Understanding these habits might just help you discover your own path to genuine happiness.

1) Practicing gratitude

Ever noticed how genuinely happy people seem to have an abundance of positivity in their lives? This isn’t just a coincidence.

One of the most common habits of these individuals is the practice of gratitude.

Gratitude, according to psychology, is a powerful emotion that can greatly impact our overall happiness. It involves acknowledging the good things in life, no matter how small or mundane they may appear.

Happy people tend to make a conscious effort to appreciate what they have, rather than fixating on what they lack. They celebrate their achievements, cherish their relationships, and find joy in simple everyday experiences.

However, this doesn’t mean they are always in a state of bliss. They too face challenges and disappointments. The key difference is their ability to shift focus from negative circumstances and instead highlight the positive aspects of their life.

This habit of practicing gratitude not only promotes a positive mindset but also contributes to emotional resilience. It’s a simple yet effective way of fostering happiness from within.

2) Embracing failure

While it might seem odd, genuinely happy individuals have a unique relationship with failure. For them, setbacks and disappointments aren’t the end of the world – they’re just part of the journey.

Rather than viewing failure as a negative experience, happy people see it as an opportunity for growth and learning. They understand that making mistakes is a natural part of life and an essential aspect of personal development.

Instead of dwelling on their failures, they analyze what went wrong, identify lessons learned, and use this knowledge to improve their future endeavors. This allows them to bounce back from adversity with even more determination.

By embracing failure in this way, they cultivate resilience and perseverance, two key qualities linked with lasting happiness. It’s a powerful habit that shifts the perspective of failure from being a source of fear to a tool for growth.

3) Building strong social connections

It’s no secret that human beings are social creatures. We thrive on interaction and connection with others. Despite the rise of digital communication, nothing can replace the value of face-to-face interaction.

People who are genuinely happy understand the importance of nurturing their relationships. They invest time and effort into building strong bonds with family, friends, and even acquaintances.

These individuals often prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to their social circle. They prefer having a few close relationships that provide support, encouragement, and joy, rather than a large network of superficial connections.

Research has found that strong social connections can increase our life span, boost our immune system, and lower levels of anxiety and depression. So, it’s not surprising that those who maintain healthy relationships tend to be happier overall.

This habit not only enriches their lives but also contributes significantly to their overall happiness.

4) Offering help to others

One of the most rewarding experiences in life is lending a hand to those in need. People who are genuinely happy often find joy in helping others, whether it’s a significant act of kindness or a small, thoughtful gesture.

This habit goes beyond the occasional good deed. Happy people make a conscious effort to uplift others. They might volunteer in their local community, offer support to a friend going through a tough time, or simply lend an ear when someone needs to talk.

The act of giving not only benefits the recipient but also creates a sense of fulfillment in the giver. It reaffirms our sense of purpose and adds meaning to our lives.

These positive feelings contribute significantly to our overall happiness, creating a cycle of positivity that both giver and receiver can bask in.

5) Prioritizing self-care

We all lead busy lives, juggling work, family, and countless other responsibilities. But amidst all the hustle and bustle, people who are genuinely happy make it a point to prioritize self-care.

Self-care isn’t just about spa days or indulgent treats. It’s about taking time to cater to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This might mean going for a run, meditating for a few minutes each day, or simply curling up with a good book.

Happy people understand that they can’t pour from an empty cup. They recognize the importance of recharging their batteries and ensuring that their needs are met.

This habit not only helps them maintain balance in their lives but also fosters a sense of inner peace and happiness.

In essence, self-care is about treating yourself with the same kindness and respect you’d show to others. It’s a vital component of a happy life.

6) Pursuing passions

Have you ever watched someone completely absorbed in an activity they love? Their eyes light up, and they seem to radiate joy.

This is a common trait among people who are genuinely happy – they dedicate time to pursue their passions.

Take the case of a friend who loves painting. Despite her demanding job, she always manages to find time to create art. It could be a quick sketch in her notebook or a full-fledged canvas painting over the weekend.

She once shared how this creative outlet provides her with a sense of fulfillment and joy that few other things can match.

People who are truly happy often have hobbies or interests that they’re passionate about.

These pursuits provide them with a sense of purpose and contribute significantly to their overall happiness.

Whether it’s gardening, reading, hiking, or any other passion, these activities enrich their lives and bring them immense joy.

7) Embracing imperfections

Let’s face it; nobody is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, virtues and vices.

Trying to be perfect is an exercise in futility and often leads to unnecessary stress and dissatisfaction.

People who are genuinely happy understand this reality. They accept their flaws and shortcomings as part of who they are. This isn’t about condoning negative behavior or ignoring areas for improvement. It’s about acknowledging that it’s okay to be a work in progress.

They don’t beat themselves up over every little mistake or compare themselves unfavorably to others. Instead, they focus on their growth, celebrate their progress, and strive to be the best version of themselves.

Remember, being happy doesn’t mean being perfect. It means accepting yourself as you are, while still striving for growth and betterment. It’s about embracing the beautifully imperfect journey that is life.

8) Cultivating a positive mindset

Above all, the most defining habit of people who are genuinely happy is their ability to maintain a positive mindset.

Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies; it’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns. Yet, it’s the attitude we adopt towards these experiences that shapes our overall happiness.

Happy individuals don’t deny or ignore life’s challenges. Instead, they choose to face them with optimism and resilience. They believe in their ability to overcome obstacles and view difficulties as temporary hurdles, not insurmountable barriers.

Having a positive mindset isn’t about ignoring reality or pretending everything is fine when it’s not. It’s about choosing to focus on the good, even when times are tough. It’s about believing in better days ahead and trusting in your ability to navigate life’s storms.

Remember, happiness is not a destination but a journey. It’s not something that happens to you; it’s something you create for yourself.

Cultivating a positive mindset is one of the most powerful habits you can adopt on your journey to genuine happiness.


Being genuinely happy in life is not about achieving perfection or living a problem-free life. It’s about embracing the highs and lows, finding joy in the little things, and nurturing a positive outlook.

This article has laid out eight key habits of people who are truly happy, according to psychology. But ultimately, the journey to genuine happiness is unique to each individual.

It’s about discovering what brings you joy and fulfillment, and integrating those elements into your daily life.

Remember, time spent cultivating happiness is never wasted.

Being genuinely happy means being brave enough to define your own version of happiness, regardless of societal pressures or expectations.

Here’s to embarking on your journey towards a more joyful, contented life. May these habits guide you towards your personal path to genuine happiness!

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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