9 common traits shared by people who are truly happy in life

Happiness isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s different for everyone, and what makes one person happy might not work for another.

But there are certain traits that people who are genuinely happy in life tend to share. Traits that go beyond the surface level concept of happiness we often see portrayed in society.

These traits provide a bit of a roadmap to a more fulfilled, joyful life. They aren’t hard and fast rules, but rather, insights gleaned from observing those who seem to have found their unique brand of joy.

So, let’s dive into these 9 common traits shared by people who are truly happy in life. You might be surprised by what you discover!

1) Embrace positivity

Truly happy people have a knack for looking on the bright side of life. They are the ones who see the glass half full, rather than half empty.

Of course, it’s not about being unrealistically optimistic or ignoring reality. It’s more about adopting a positive mindset that focuses on solutions rather than problems.

This positive outlook is not something they put on for show; it’s a genuine part of their character. It’s their way of navigating through life’s ups and downs.

By embracing positivity, they’re able to see opportunities where others see obstacles. And this is one trait that helps them maintain their happiness even when things get tough.

So, adopting a positive mindset is like equipping yourself with a happiness superpower. It might not change your circumstances, but it can certainly change your perspective and your response to them.

This positive outlook really sets the stage for gratitude, doesn’t it? When you’re looking on the bright side, it’s so much easier to appreciate the little joys in life.

2) Grateful heart

I’ve noticed that being grateful is another common trait among truly happy people. They have this wonderful habit of appreciating the small things in life, and they don’t take anything for granted.

Take me, for instance. I’ve made it a daily practice to jot down three things I’m grateful for before I go to sleep. Some days, it’s big things like landing a new project or having a great conversation with a friend. Other days, it’s simple things like a delicious meal or a beautiful sunset.

This practice helps me focus on the positive aspects of my life and keeps me grounded. It’s a gentle reminder that even on tough days, there’s always something to be thankful for.

People who are truly happy understand that gratitude is not just an occasional act but a way of life. And this consistent appreciation for life contributes significantly to their overall happiness.

And gratitude naturally leads to forgiveness. It’s like when you’re thankful for what you have, you find the strength to let go of past hurts and move forward.

3) Practice forgiveness

One of the most profound traits I’ve observed in truly happy people is their ability to forgive. Holding onto resentment or anger can be like carrying a heavy weight. It’s exhausting, and it can cloud our ability to find joy in life.

People who are genuinely happy understand this. They choose to let go of grudges and forgive, not necessarily because the other person deserves forgiveness, but because they deserve peace.

They realize that forgiveness is more for themselves than for the person who wronged them. It’s about releasing themselves from the burden of resentment and opening up space in their hearts for more positive emotions.

This trait of practicing forgiveness, while not always easy, is a powerful step toward cultivating true happiness. It allows them to live in the present, free from the chains of past hurts.

Letting go of grudges, like in forgiveness, really ties into being mindful. It’s all about living in the now, appreciating the present without the weight of past issues.

4) Mindful living

Truly happy people don’t just rush through life. They practice mindfulness, living in the present moment and savoring life’s experiences.

Whether it’s enjoying a meal, spending time in nature, or engaging in a conversation, they fully immerse themselves in the experience. They aren’t constantly distracted by what happened in the past or what might happen in the future.

Mindfulness allows these individuals to engage more deeply with life. It heightens their senses, enhances their appreciation for the present moment, and reduces stress and anxiety.

This practice of mindful living contributes greatly to their overall sense of happiness. It’s about making the most of each moment and finding joy in the little things that make up our everyday lives.

Being present and mindful definitely helps in building resilience. It’s about facing life’s ups and downs with a clear, steady mind.

5) Cultivate resilience

pic1746 9 common traits shared by people who are truly happy in life

Life is unpredictable and full of ups and downs. But truly happy people possess a strong sense of resilience. They understand that setbacks and failures are a part of life, and they don’t let these experiences define them or deter them.

Instead, they see these situations as opportunities to learn and grow. They bounce back from adversity with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. This resilience allows them to navigate life’s challenges with grace and come out stronger on the other side.

Cultivating resilience is not about avoiding difficulties but about developing the strength to cope with them effectively. This trait is indeed the cornerstone of true happiness, enabling individuals to thrive even in the face of adversity.

And resilience is so much stronger with good relationships. Having people around who support you makes facing challenges a lot easier, doesn’t it?

6) Nurture relationships

Truly happy people understand the value of relationships. They recognize that happiness is not just about individual accomplishments or personal success; it’s also about the connections we make with others.

They invest time and energy in nurturing their relationships, whether it’s with family, friends, or colleagues. They’re not just present for the good times, but they also stand by their loved ones during tough times.

These individuals tend to have deeper, more meaningful connections. They listen, empathize, and offer support when needed, making their relationships a source of joy and satisfaction.

In a world where technology often replaces face-to-face interactions, truly happy people prioritize real connections over digital ones. This sense of community and belonging greatly contributes to their overall sense of happiness.

These strong bonds often lead us to self-acceptance. It’s easier to embrace who you are when you’re surrounded by people who love you just as you are.

7) Self-acceptance

We live in a world where it’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game. With social media showcasing everyone’s highlight reels, it can sometimes feel like we’re falling behind or not measuring up.

I’ve grappled with this myself. There was a time when I felt like I was constantly racing against some invisible clock, trying to keep up with everyone else’s progress. It was draining and far from fulfilling.

But the happiest people I know have mastered the art of self-acceptance. They understand their worth and don’t define themselves by how they stack up against others. They acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, celebrate their victories, and learn from their mistakes.

This acceptance of self, with all its imperfections, is a powerful trait of truly happy people. It fosters a healthy self-esteem and allows them to live authentically, contributing significantly to their overall happiness.

And with self-acceptance comes the confidence to pursue your passions. When you’re true to yourself, following what you love just feels right.

8) Pursue passions

People who are genuinely happy in life have a knack for following their passions. They have something they love to do and make time for it, no matter how busy they are.

Whether it’s painting, gardening, hiking, writing, or any other activity that brings them joy, they carve out time from their schedule to pursue it. This passion becomes a source of fulfillment and happiness.

By engaging in activities they love, these individuals add a layer of richness to their lives. It allows them to express themselves creatively and provides a sense of achievement that goes beyond their professional lives.

The joy derived from following one’s passion is infectious and contributes substantially to overall happiness. So, if you want to enhance your happiness quotient, consider making time for what you love doing the most.

Following your passions often gets you moving, which links to the importance of exercise. It’s not just good for your body, but also lifts your mood, right?

9) Regular exercise

Here’s something you may not have considered. Physical activity has a profound impact on our happiness. Truly happy people have a consistent exercise routine, whether it’s going for a quick jog in the morning, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym regularly.

Exercise doesn’t just keep our bodies healthy; it also releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood lifters. These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine, and can lead to feelings of euphoria and general well-being.

So by engaging in regular physical activity, truly happy people are not just taking care of their physical health but also boosting their mental well-being. This trait is undoubtedly a key factor in their overall happiness.

Final thought: It’s a journey

The pursuit of happiness is a journey, not a destination. It’s about embracing the highs and lows, the triumphs and setbacks, and everything in between.

Each of us has our unique definition of happiness and the path we take to get there. But these common traits shared by truly happy people provide an insightful guide.

Whether it’s cultivating resilience, practicing mindfulness, following passions, or fostering relationships, every step you take on this journey contributes to your overall well-being and happiness.

Remember, happiness isn’t contingent on external circumstances but on how we perceive and respond to them. So take a step back, reflect on these traits, and consider how you can incorporate them into your life.

After all, as the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wisely said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Let that be the driving force as you navigate your unique path to joy.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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