Happiness seems to have become something untangible, that only certain people can have once they have all they need, live where they want and are happily in love.

But did you know that happiness is a habit? Most of our brains are filled with self destructive thoughts that are getting us nowhere.

What if there was another way? A way to live life to the full, laugh over our mistakes and

Happiness is a journey, not something you can make happen over night. You can decide to become a happier person from one day to another, but the time it takes to actually deeply integrate that notion takes a little more time and patience.

Luckily there is a way to tame those negative thoughts, and adopt some life-changing habits that I guarantee will make you overall so much happier.

1. Create a morning routine

If you haven’t already checked out this post on how to create a morning routine, now’s your chance.

Having a set few things you do every morning will lead you to be a more focused, intentional and ultimately happy person.

2. Drink water

It seems like this has been repeated over and over again in our lives – and for good reason.

Staying hydrated helps your bodily functions do their business, and makes your brain function better.

It’s a good idea to always have a bottle on-the-go as sometimes we don’t always have access to fresh water. I also like to have a glass in the morning, so as to set the tone for the day.

3. Eat smart

Eating healthily is just as important as any of the habits on this list to a happier life.

The right food will leave you feeling energized and refreshed, whereas too many carbs, sugary foods and saturated fats will have you bogged down.

  • Switch to wholegrain
  • Eat your 5 fruit and veggies a day
  • Get enough protein intake
  • Include nuts and seeds in your meals
  • Plan your meals ahead of time

Hopefully that has given you some ideas, I will have a post about nutrition coming soon.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Healthy lifestyle snack on table

4. Positive self talk

Self pep talk does not have to wait until you’re in the waiting room for an interview. You can do this exercise any time without limits.

So many times we get caught in the trap of telling ourselves we’re not enough, that we don’t realize our own greatness.

Think of it like this: you wouldn’t tell your best friend that she’s a freaking mess, so why would you do that to yourself?

5. Meet with friends

We all have busy lives, I get that. I’m the first to get really busy that I don’t realize a whole month has passed by since I last saw one of my friends.

That said, it’s super important to spend time with your friends, kick back and relax. Seriously, man was not made to live alone!

Unfortunately as a society we have become more and more isolated in our little families that life is not as it was. But we can still make time with friends a priority.

Something that life has taught me time and time again, is that life does not wait. So ring up yoru bestie, and arrange to see one friend at least fortnightly.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by ELEVATE

6. Walk daily

I think this is one of the biggest ones for me in the way it has really influenced how I live life. Something so small and seemingly insignificant has made me such a happier person.

Personally, I walk our two dogs at least twice a day, which forces me to get out the house – usually when I most need it too!

The trick is this: it doesn’t matter where you go, just let your legs take you and allow your mind to wander.

There’s something so liberating about allowing your thoughts to flow outside those four walls, you’ll feel regenerated I promise.

7. Start a thought diary

Does is feel like there’s a constant buzz in your head, and endless things to do?

One of the best ways to deal with your thoughts is to literally blurt them all out on a page, as you would do with a best friend. Only you save her ears.

Get a pen, a pretty notebook and scribble away.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and just write – you’ll be surprised as to what you read afterwards!

8. Listen to your favourite podcast

As a busy mom, a podcast is something I can pop on in the background while I’m cooking, cleaning and running after my baby/toddler.

Listening to a podcast is a great way of learning something you while you’ve got your hands busy. So if that’s you, look no further than these 7 Uplifiting and inspiring podcasts.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by Kaboompics.com

9) Workout regularly

I’m the guiltiest person here for falling back on the working out part, I’ll admit it. I have phases where I work out a lot, then slowly drop off…

Just to show you I’m not perfect 😉

However, it’s something I really want to improve on – I mainly do home workouts as I don’t fancy forking out for a gym membership, so I have all the equipment I need here.

I’ve got dumbells, kettle bells, elastic bands and a yoga mat. So there’s really no excuse!

I like a good HIIT workout that I can get done quickly, or an awesome belly dance workout that I follow.

‘Cause dance + workout = happiness.

10) Do your laundry daily

I’ve noticed that since I started putting a wash on every day, I avoid the overflowing dirty clothes basket in the bathroom, and the overwhelm that comes with it.

By putting your laundry on in the morning, you’re setting the tone for the rest of the day. I like to load it up before bed, then I don’t have to scramble and gather everything in the morning.

I just put the soap in, press the button and away it goes, spinning in the background while I get down to some work!

11) Watch Ted Talks

Whenever I’m lacking self-esteem, inspiration or just want to binge watch something that will actually make me grow as a person, Ted Talks is the place I go.

With so many different topics out there, there’s something for everyone. You really can’t go wrong! I have an upcoming post here about some of my all-time favourites.

For now, here’s this fantastic Ted Talk on how we create our happiness, we don’t find it.

12) Start something new

There will always be someone telling you that you shoudln’t start something new when you’ve already got so much going on in your life.

I say, don’t listen to them.

If you get easily caught up in life, you need an outlet for pleasure. Just something that you love – it can be anything, it’s your hobby. The great thing about learning something new, is that you’ll find like-minded people down the road!

13) Be kind to others

If you’re struggling to be kind to yourself, try lending a hand to others in need.

By practising kindness you’ll be developing your empathy skills, and connecting with people you might have not thought possible to interact with.

Again, doesn’t have to be anything huge, cheer up someone’s day with a funny comment, help someone with the groceries or let someone pass before you in traffic.

14) Laugh often

I know it sounds cliche, but laughter really is the best medicine.

So call up your old friend, laugh about memories from way back when and get your kicks. Just what the doctor ordered.

15) Read self improvement books

One of the best ways you can take the reins of your life is to read about how and where you might be going wrong.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by Thought Catalog

My favourite self improvement books amongst the ones I’ve read are:

  • ‘Listen to Your Body’ by Lisa Bourbeau
  • ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle
  • ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise Hay

Of course, you can always find an esotheric bookstore near you and select what jumps out at you. That’s a favourite habit of mine.

16) Ditch the complaining

A bit of a tricky one as most of us like to regularly complain about our financial, marital or other situations.

The thing is with doing this, you’re drawing negative energy to those areas. Practice going one whole day without complaining about just one thing, and you’ll notice a massive shift in your attitude towards life.

17) Hang out with people who lift you up

This is kinda related to the point I just made, surround yourself with people who will encourage you and support you when you need it – and vice versa.

The more you hang out with people who are constantly complaining about something or other, the more likely you are to do the same.

Choose your friends wisely, so they say!

18) Get a pet

There’s something so soothing about having a furry friend accompany you in your day to day.

Not only does it give you a responsibility (feed, walk, clean) they keep you company.

My dog, when he knows that I’m sad, comes and sits with me. Stroking your pet is also linked to releasing happy hormones.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life

19) Take yourself out on a date

Who ever invented the rule that dates were purely a romantic thing?

Stupid rule.

Let’s start again and say it’s totally legit and super healthy to date yourself. You know that movie you’ve been waiting to watch with your bestie, but she’s always super busy?

Don’t wait around and take yourself out. Bite of pizza, concert, whatever takes your fancy.

20) Set goals

I firmly believe that everyone needs goals in life. Without them we feel lost and unmotivated.

Don’t get me wrong, goals can be as small as reading for 10 minutes a day, as long as they help you achieve where you want to get – anything counts.

21) Treat your skin

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by kerdkanno

We often undermine the importance of our skin. It’s our protective barrier, so it makes sense that we should treat it well and with the right products.

If you don’t already have a skin care regime in place, now might be the time to set one up – men included!

22) Explore new music

There’s nothing like that moment when you stumble on something new on Youtube and you say to yourself – Damn, that’s just what I needed to hear.

Unfortunately, with the hustle and bustle of everyday life we rarely make time to discover new music or music we haven’t heard before.

Take time once in a while – even a half hour will do – to search for new sounds.

23) Meditate

Long gone are the days when meditation was just for the gurus. We know now that anyone can meditate, and there are a variety of courses and apps to prove it.

One of my favourite apps is Insight Timer, where you can time yourself, listen to relaxation music, calming sounds or a guided meditation.

You can also find meditation audios on Youtube, so there’s really no excuse to find your calm, and be a happier person because of it.

24) Clear out your wardrobe

De-cluttering is well known to contribute to your mental health.

That’s because when we accumulate stuff, we’re actually occupying mental space too – mental space that could be used for other thoughts, projects and ideas.

I have a post especially about How to declutter your wardrobe you can read.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by Artem Bali

25) Clean out your fridge

Similar to de-cluttering your wardrobe, your fridge should be something you keep on top on, before it gets a hold on you.

No-one wants to be seeing gone-off food when they open the fridge for their milk in the morning. Cleaning it out often will make you realise what you really need and don’t, too.

26) Light candles

Although candles are well-known as a rather feminine addition to the household, anyone can feel the positive vibes from lighting a few candles and watching the flames flicker.

Doesn’t have to be anything fancy to create awesome ambience!

Team that up with some soothing music, and job’s a good’un.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by Pixabay

27) Improve your posture

Little did we know how much our posture can actually influence our own thoughts, as well as the other way round.

If you find yourself in a sedentary job and tend to slouch, you can fix this.

I like this posture corrector that you just slip on for a few minutes a day, increasing as you get used to the sensation.

Also, ditch the chair for a fitness ball to sit on – it will force you to sit up straight and engage your pelvis as you do. It also makes sure that you don’t get stuck in one position for large amounts of time.

28) Go on trips

I’m not saying that you need to ditch everything immediately and fly to the other side of the world (though if you can do it, why not?!), I just mean go on little excursions.

Do you ever find that we live in a place for years without realizing the little treasures it holds? Pick up a pamphlet in your local council and see what’s on.

31 Habits you need to live a happier life
Photo by Simon Matzinger

29) Let go of the past

Okay, admittedly this is one that’s easier said than done.

If you find yourself really holding onto memories of situations or people that hurt you, it may be time to let go.

Write down in your daily journal what is still bothering you today, and try to leave it behind. You can’t go on in life with a heavy backpack.

30) Do a tech detox

Most of social media these days is a way of looking at other people’s lives and wanting the same, let’s admit it.

Though there’s no harm in this once in a while, and it can be a great way to catch up – sometimes enough is enough.

Put your phone or your computer away for a day and see how you feel. It will allow you to enjoy the present and what you already have.

31) Love yourself

Again, I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true.

Most relationships don’t end up standing the test of time for one reason: people haven’t learned to love themselves first.

Hopefully you should get an idea of how to love yourself by reading this post. Ultimately, only you will know what that means.

And that’s a wrap!

I hope you take away at least one thing you can change in your life if you want to become happier. Feel free to check out my other posts.