If you adopt these 8 habits, you’ll be happier every day

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Happiness may be fleeting, but chasing after it is a fun journey nonetheless.

And if you have the right tools at your disposal, that journey has a much better chance of being successful.

Here are 8 habits you should adopt ASAP if you want to be happier every day.

1) Stick to a morning routine

I’m a big fan of routines.

As a freelance writer working from home, my morning routine helps me have some resemblance of a schedule and brings discipline into my life.

This hasn’t always been the case. Early in my freelance days, I used to relish the freedom.

Sleep until noon. Linger in the morning. Start working whenever inspiration comes.

The result? I wasted the most productive hours of my day and sluggishly worked until late into the evening to catch up.

I made peace with the fact that I’ll never be a morning person, and I still like to sleep late more often than not.

Once I get out of bed, however, I’m diligent about doing the things I know will help me start the day on the right foot. These include:

  • Opening a window
  • Making the bed
  • Having my coffee while I journal
  • Eating a nutritious breakfast
  • Doing my skincare

As you can see, I don’t do anything extreme, like waking up at 5 AM or running a half-marathon before the sun is up.

What I do is try to make the most out of the first hour of my day.

You can build a rewarding morning routine by incorporating activities that appeal to you.

It won’t be long until you notice a difference in your happiness levels.

2) Cultivate gratitude

I already mentioned journaling, but I’m aware that the practice isn’t for everyone.

Maybe you don’t have time to write down your thoughts or find the process stressful rather than peaceful.

That said, I bet you can still find five spare minutes to reflect on all the things you’re grateful for.

Expressing gratitude comes with a wide variety of mental benefits that you’ll be reaping in no time.

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to always focus on the negative.

Cultivating gratitude encourages me to look for the good in each day and gives me a more positive outlook on life.

You can start by listing three things you’re grateful for in your notes app. A friend who sends you funny memes. A delicious bagel. A perfect episode of TV.

The more the list grows, the more content you’ll be.     

3) Move your body

Exercise used to have negative connotations for me.

I didn’t exercise to feel good. I did it to lose weight, to build a “summer body,” to compensate for eating too much pizza the previous way.

I forced myself to go to the gym. I did YouTube workouts. I tried jogging. Neither activity brought much satisfaction into my life.

Something shifted once I entered my thirties. I realized I no longer care about the scale or the calories burned.  

Even more intriguing, I discovered that moving your body can be… fun?

Fast-forward to now, and my preferred type of exercise is simply walking.

I put on an audiobook, head out, and I walk until I reach my step count.

On days when I feel like sweating, I roller skate or do a dance workout (by which I mean I put on a ‘90s dance playlist and jump around until I feel the need to take a shower).

The key to exercising regularly is to find a type of exercise you like to do.

If you love the gym, great! If running a 5k every day boosts your mood, excellent.

And if you’re a sloth like me, you can still find ways to move your body that don’t make you want to scream: boxing, hiking, jump rope, biking, Zumba, and so on.

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands,” a wise lawyer once said.

Word.  

4) 5-minute dance party

Speaking of movement, here’s a habit that considerably improved my life: the 5-minute dance party.

Full disclosure: I stole the idea from Grey’s Anatomy, a show that introduces me to the 30-second dance party. I take it one step further because I have no chill.

Whenever I feel stressed or sad, I blast a song and dance it out. The sadness, the anxiety, the dread.

It works more often than it doesn’t. And all you need is a happy tune and the willingness to flail your arms wildly.

It’s a great activity to do on your own, but if you invite a loved one, even better. That brings us to…

5) Foster connection

Humans are social beings.

As an introvert, I would very much prefer to ignore this well-known fact. Every time I do, though, I sense my happiness draining away.

I live alone. I work alone. Leaving the house isn’t in my top 10 favorite activities.

Yet, whenever I spend days without interacting with people, I become lethargic and irritable.

We’re hard-wired for connection and crave nourishing relationships. Unfortunately, social isolation has become more prevalent in recent years, especially as we age.

If you want to boost your happiness, make an effort to connect with others on a daily basis.

Have a quick chat with the person behind you as you wait in line. Call someone on your lunch break. Smile at the cashier and ask them how their day is going.

These are all little things. As for the big ones, hang out with friends and family you like as often as you can. If you have a partner, prioritize quality time. Get more involved in your local community.  

You’ll be surprised by how quickly your happiness will increase.    

6) Drink a smoothie

Making healthy food choices translates to a long-term investment in your future well-being, which makes you happier.

I was going to suggest you eat better, but let’s face it: you already know that you should.

Instead, I recommend adding a smoothie to your daily diet.

Smoothies are the easiest way to consume more fruits and vegetables without feeling like you’re doing so.

As long as you add a banana and some nut butter to the mix, it will taste sweet and satisfying.

I’m currently obsessed with this glow-green smoothie. It’s not only packed with good stuff but absolutely delicious.

7) Engage in a hobby

Hustle culture would have us convinced that we must constantly strive for more.

We should work harder. Have a side hustle. Monetize everything.  

The result? Our work-life balance suffers, and we feel guilty when we engage in unproductive activities.

But here’s the thing: hobbies bring us joy.

I love coloring. I’m also not very good at it. It doesn’t matter. When I sit down with a coloring book, I can feel my mind relax.

You don’t have to turn your hobby into a part-time gig. Simply enjoy it.

Bonus points if the hobby doesn’t involve you staring at a screen.

Crochet. Reading. Gardening. Calligraphy. Fishing.

Find something that helps you completely disconnect. Happiness will follow.    

8) Rest

Lack of rest can wreak havoc on your mood.

When you don’t get enough downtime, you become grumpy and easily annoyed. Additionally, your ability to focus decreases, causing frustration.

You see where this is going.

Get some sleep. Stop overbooking your weekends. Go on vacation every once in a while.

Life is short. 

Give yourself permission to slow down and savor it.

Bottom line

You don’t have to implement big changes to become happier.

Even a tiny shift in your day can have a snowball effect on your life.

And if you adopt all the 8 habits listed above?

You’ll be a ray of sunshine.

10 ways to protect yourself from gaslighting as a sensitive person

10 common traits of people who age gracefully