Written by : Sandra Bienkowski

Ultimate Happiness Hot List

Fifty percent of your happiness set point is genetically determined; the other half of your happiness is up to you! Use your actions and behavior to make your life happier with this roundup of happiness tips, quotes, insights, resources and gifts.

54 simple ideas to help you become happier today!

According to Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, 50 percent of your happiness set point is genetically determined. The other half of your happiness is in your hands. Use your actions and behavior to make your life happier with this roundup of happiness tips, quotes, insights, resources and gifts.

1. Wake Up Happy. “The main key to being happy is self-acceptance. It puts a smile on your face.” – Stacy Kaiser

2. Scale down and simplify. Downsizing can be liberating. Go through your possessions and make sure everything you keep has purpose or gives you joy.

3. Let go of perfection. Do you beat yourself up? Practice self-kindness especially when things don’t go the way you hoped.

4. Let your emotions happen. Allow yourself to experience a full-range of emotions, and don’t label happiness as good and sadness as bad. In the long run, you will be happier.

4. Forgive for you. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person who hurt you, or condoning of his or her action. What you’re looking for is a sense of peace and closure.

5. Invest in your health. Make vegetables the center of your meal.

6. “A key to happiness is strong, intimate bonds with other people.” – Gretchen Rubin

7. Take the couple’s quiz. Being happy in a relationship is crucial to your wellbeing.

8. Get adequate sleep. A lack of sleep can result in foggy thinking and can contribute to obesity, heart disease and a host of other health ailments.

9. Create Monday momentum. It’s the blank slate of your week. Set the tone right on Monday by accomplishing something big and enjoy a happier week.

10. Connect face-to-face. Research shows that positive social interaction makes a huge difference in our wellbeing. Swap out Facebook for a real conversation in person with someone you care about.

11. Get grit to succeed at work. Have a growth-mindset and believe that things can improve, failure is not permanent and there is reason to persist.

12. Hug and hold hands. The power of touch can lower stress-induced spikes in blood pressure and raise levels of oxytocin, the famous “love” hormone.

13. “When we broadcast a happier and positive mindset, it unlocks the brain’s higher potential.” – Michelle Gielan

14. Hone your skill. Take charge of your professional development at work and invest in yourself with a book, webinar or class.

15. Surround yourself with love. Who you are around impacts your mood and outlook. Choose people who give freely with their compliments.

16. Color yourself happy. Think about the hues that give you a good feeling and use them in your wardrobe, home and workspace.

17. Model positive education. Show your children how to master challenges and overcome frustrations with an optimistic and not a defeatist approach.

18. “An act of kindness is the fastest way out of a negative spiral.” – Dan Tomasulo

19. Take a walk outdoors. This simple activity can lift your mood and you can spread your positive mood with others.

20. Plan vacations carefully. Poorly planned vacations can result in stress and defeat the purpose of your getaway.

21. Make your life extraordinary. Movie director Ron Howard says, “Happiness is about love—loving what you do and loving who you do it with.”

22. “Journal about your intention for the day.” – Michelle McQuaid

23. Go for contentment. The good is better than the perfect. Strive for a state of inner calm.

24. Discover if your job is “the one.” If it doesn’t feel like work, you might be on to something.

25. Brighten your mood. Gratitude is fuel for the soul, and it’s the ultimate emotional tonic for sustained wellbeing. Make a list of your blessings.

26. Don’t take your sense of touch for granted. When we use our hands, we activate large parts of our brains. Cook or bake something and dive in fingertips first.

27. Share your goals to be accountable. Have a support system to cheer you on or lift you up as you work toward positive change.

28. “You ensure your happiness when you give to others.” – Bubba Paris

29. Let your child make mistakes. Learn to love the words “trial” and “error.”

30. Use money as a happiness tool. After a modest level of income is reached, more money doesn’t necessarily equate to more happiness. Use money to create a life you desire.

31. Find your purpose. Your purpose is the intersection between what you are good at and care about with value and need in the marketplace.

32. Spread your happiness. Get some Live Happy notes to leave around town.

33. Skip the brooding. Excessive thinking about what you should have done differently can negatively impact the present moment. Tell yourself: I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.

34. “Happiness is the belief that we can change.” – Shawn Achor

35. Fill your mind with happy. Follow Live Happy on Pinterest.

36. Replicate your success. Study the areas of your life that are going well, and see if you can recreate that success in other areas of your life.

37. Join a community group. Belonging to something bigger than yourself can boost your happiness.

38. Plan a friendship date. Have a Friends marathon, walk and talk, or have a game night.

39. “Let go of junk from your past. If you don’t forgive, it gets in the way of your happiness.” – Dr. Fred Luskin

40. Appreciate random acts of kindness. Share the love by creating a happy moment for someone else.

41. Reflect on happy memories. Any time we like, we can boost our mood by focusing on a happy memory. Make it better by engaging more of your senses.

42. Become a dynamic communicator. Care more about the long-term outcome than the immediate gratification of being heard, being louder, winning, getting that last word, or being right.

43. Be lighthearted. It could protect your health and prevent a heart attack.

44. Find your passion. Look at your actions. Where your flow goes, so goes your energy. If time flies by while you are doing it, you are in true flow and you will create magic.

45. Send an appreciative email. When you open your inbox each day, take two minutes to send an appreciative email to someone in your social support network (family member, friend, teacher, coach, or coworker) thanking that person.

46. “Get out of your head and into your life.” – Todd Kashdan

47. Get involved. People who join a spiritual or religious community and people who volunteer regularly are shown to live longer than those who don’t.

48. Try this To-Do List trick. Break overwhelming projects into smaller tasks until your list becomes a “gladly do” list.

49. Take your kids downtown. If you live in the suburbs, drive or take public transit downtown to the nearest big city to check out the amenities and culture.

50. Take a nap. A well-timed nap can boost productivity. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes max.

51. Live in the moment. And this is just one lesson your dog can teach you about joy.

52. Don’t surrender to adversity. Figure out what you have control over and what you don’t and come up with a plan.

53. Model optimism. Create a positive environment for your kids and shape their reality.

54. Give a happy gift. Find a great gift for a coworker, friend or love.


Sandra Bienkowski worked as the national columns editor for SUCCESS magazine for three years, and is widely published in print and on the web. See more about Sandra at The Media Concierge.

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