9 daily habits that separate happy people from unhappy people

Alright, peeps, let’s chat about happiness—it’s all about the daily grind. Believe it or not, those routines of yours are like the architects of your mood and general vibe.

Happy folks? They’ve got some low-key habits that set them apart from the not-so-happy crew. We’re not talking grand gestures here, just simple stuff you can weave into your daily hustle.

In the upcoming read, we’re gonna dive into 9 of these habits that make the happy crew stand out. No fluffy talk, just real-deal routines you can sprinkle into your day.

Get ready for the ride, ’cause exploring these mood-boosting habits might just nudge you towards a sunnier outlook.

1) Gratitude journaling

One habit that often separates the happy from the unhappy is gratitude journaling.

This simple daily practice involves taking a few moments each day to jot down things that you’re grateful for. It might sound trivial, but it can have a profound impact on your mental health, according to research

The act of focusing on positives, no matter how small, shifts your mindset from what’s going wrong to what’s going right. It’s a tangible way to cultivate a positive outlook, which is a common trait among happy individuals.

Gratitude journaling doesn’t have to be time-consuming or elaborate. Just a few minutes each day can make a noticeable difference in your overall happiness levels.

Now, grab a notebook and start chronicling the good in your life. You might be surprised at just how much there is.

2) Regular exercise

Check it out – happy peeps swear by this daily habit: getting their bodies moving. And lemme tell ya, I’ve been there and done that.

A few years ago, I found myself in a bit of a slump. My mood was low, my energy was lacking, and I just wasn’t feeling my best. So, I decided to make a change. I started incorporating 30 minutes of exercise into my daily routine.

At first, it was difficult. I was out of shape and struggled to keep up with my new routine. But guess what? Slowly, I had more energy throughout the day, my mood improved, and I generally felt happier.

Now, no matter how busy my schedule gets, I always make time for exercise. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block or a high-intensity workout session, physical activity has become an integral part of my happiness formula.

Believe me when I say that regular exercise doesn’t just change your body. It can change your entire outlook on life.  

3) Mindful eating

Do you know there’s an art to eating that makes you a happier person?

When it comes to happiness, what we eat and how we eat it can make a significant difference. Happy people often practice mindful eating.

Mindful eating is about savoring each bite, paying attention to flavors, textures, and the experience of nourishment. It’s not about rushing through meals or eating while distracted.

Interestingly, research shows that people who practice mindful eating tend to have a healthier relationship with food and are less likely to overeat. They’re also more likely to enjoy their meals and feel more satisfied afterward.

The next time you sit down to eat, try to do just that: choose a comfortable place, sit down, and eat slowly. Take the time to appreciate your food and you might find yourself feeling happier and more satisfied as a result.

4) Regular downtime

Taking regular downtime, which includes breaks, leisure activities, and moments of relaxation, can contribute to overall well-being and happiness. Here’s why.

Downtime provides an opportunity to relax and unwind, helping to reduce stress levels. Chronic stress can have negative effects on both mental and physical health, so taking breaks is essential for stress management.

In addition to that, engaging in activities you enjoy during downtime can positively impact your mental health. Whether it’s reading a book, practicing a hobby, or spending time in nature, these activities can promote feelings of joy and satisfaction.

Your productivity also benefits from your regular downtime. It allows your mind to recharge, leading to better focus and efficiency.

5) Practicing kindness

image 12.07 11 9 daily habits that separate happy people from unhappy people

Happiness is more than just receiving. It’s also about giving.

From a scientific perspective, acts of kindness have been linked to the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins. These “feel-good” chemicals are associated with pleasure, happiness, and stress reduction.

What’s more, engaging in kind acts often involves positive social interactions. Building connections and fostering positive relationships with others contribute to a sense of belonging and happiness. The positive feedback loops received during these engagements also lead to reciprocal kindness, creating a cycle of positivity and fulfillment.

A good way to practice kindness is to dedicate some of your time to volunteering or helping others in your community. This could involve volunteering at a local community center, helping a neighbor with household chores, or mentoring someone who could benefit from your expertise.

6) Nurturing relationships

There’s just something awesome about human connections, right? Whether it’s with fam, friends, or your special someone, these bonds are like pure happiness vibes.

The cool folks who’re always having the time of their lives? They get how important it is to nurture these connections. Every day, they’re reaching out, showing love, lending an ear, or just sharing a good laugh.

These connections are like a reminder that we’re not flying solo, that there are people who’ve got our backs and care about us. They’re the ones adding love, support, and happiness to our lives.

So, why not shoot a message to someone you care about today? Those connections are the real deal, making life totally worth it.

7) Embracing imperfections

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay. Embracing our imperfections and accepting ourselves as we are is a habit that happy people practice regularly. Let me clarify. 

I used to get caught up in trying to be perfect in every aspect of my life, from my job to my looks. This pursuit of perfection left me feeling constantly stressed and unhappy.

But then I realized that it’s our imperfections that make us unique, that make us human. And once I started accepting myself, imperfections and all, I found that I was happier and more at peace with myself.

The moral of the story is: When we embrace imperfections, we let go of unrealistic expectations we may set for ourselves. This shift in mindset fosters a more compassionate and forgiving attitude toward ourselves, alleviating stress and reducing pressure. 

8) Prioritizing mental health

Happiness and mental health go hand in hand. Have you ever met a happy person with poor mental health?

Just as we take care of our physical health, it’s equally important to prioritize our mental health. Happy people understand this and make it a habit to check in with themselves emotionally.

This could mean practicing mindfulness, seeking therapy, or just allowing yourself to feel your feelings without judgement. It’s about acknowledging your mental state and taking steps to nurture your mental well-being.

Keep in mind that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. What’s important is that you give yourself the space to heal and grow. Prioritize your mental health, because your happiness depends on it.

9) Living in the present

Happy people know how to take a chill pill when things get a bit overwhelming. And mindfulness, my friend, is the chill in their pill.

Living in the now allows you to ditch the past regrets and future worries. When you’re all about that mindfulness and totally in the present, it helps dial down the stress and anxiety linked to all those “what ifs.”

Doing some laid-back mindfulness stuff like deep breathing or meditation can really mellow out the mind and bring those good vibes of tranquility.

Final thoughts: Happiness is a practice

Happiness – it’s not this far-off place or a one-time thing. It’s a daily vibe, a bunch of habits we build up bit by bit.

These habits, from jotting down what you’re thankful for to just soaking up the now, aren’t just about feeling good on the spot. They’re about setting up a solid foundation for long-term happiness and feeling good.

So, as you roll through your day, keep in mind that happiness isn’t just something that lands on you. It’s a choice, a practice, and in the end, it’s something you cook up.

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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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