If you adopt these 16 daily practices, you’ll be a whole lot happier

We all strive to be happy. But with the daily stresses of life, you can’t help but be sad, frustrated, anxious, or even melancholy at times.

How can you fight these emotions? How can you bounce back from a mood swing? We asked experts what happy people tend to do on a daily basis that gives them joy.

If you adopt these 16 daily practices, you’ll be a whole lot happier… 

1) Practice mindful movement

Without a doubt, exercising will make you happy. When I take the time to ride my Peloton or take a walk, I always feel better. It’s like I’ve been able to literally work the stress out of my body.

What’s that about?

Physical activity can release endorphins, which will lead you to feel great. If you’re not familiar, endorphins are natural hormones that can activate your body’s opiate receptors. You will literally get a natural high from fitness.

2) Eat well

You might not correlate food with happiness, but consuming a balanced diet with mindfulness will influence your mood and energy level, says Silvestry. Eat nourishing foods, like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

And it’s not just about eating the right food. You should also pay attention to the process of eating. Silvestry suggests you savor each bite.

3) Sleep well

Getting enough sleep is essential for your health. When I don’t get enough sleep, I am incredibly cranky. 

Adults should aim for seven to nine hours per night. Anything less than that might give you mood swings throughout the day.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to put your best self forward, which will ultimately result in you feeling insecure and unhappy. 

4) Socialize and connect with people

Whether you spend time with friends, family, or join social groups, doing so will keep your spirits up

When I’m having a bad day, talking to my best friend or husband can do wonders. 

Being around people can bring about a nice diversion from the stressors of life. Having your friends and family around can also ground you and remind you who are and what you’re good at. All of these things can benefit your mood overall.

But if you’re shy or introverted, making connections IRL is not that easy. Luckily, there are Facebook groups that you can join if you find it challenging to connect with people in person. 

The types of Facebook groups you may consider joining include:

  • Groups for supportive moms and dads if you are on the same parenting boat.
  • Local groups for people in your community where members share town topics, news, and recommendations.
  • Career connections for professionals who are in your line of work sharing work opportunities and advice. 
  • Groups of people with similar hobbies and interests, such as pottery, knitting, even Taylor Swift fans (also known as “Swifties”). 
  • Support groups for people going through something very specific–such as the loss of a pet, home renovations, and parents of children who have special needs.

5) Practice meditation

Meditating can reduce stress and anxiety, which will help provide happiness and the general feeling of content.

If you don’t know how to meditate, don’t worry, anyone can do it.

Meditating can be as simple as sitting in a quiet room, and doing some deep breaths. Just give yourself an opportunity to be still.

Meditation can also be practiced in your own way. Someone once told me they would sit alone on a bench and simply smile as their form of meditation. No matter how silly it sounds, it’s your time. Do with it what you want that’ll quiet the monkeys in your brain.

6) Know who you are and accept it

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If someone were to ask you, “Who are you?” would you be able to answer the question with confidence? It’s easy to get lost in things that can make you feel bad. As these bad things happen, reminding yourself who you are is key.

Being happy is all about knowing yourself well.

Being proud of what you’re good at and accepting what you’re bad at can help you feel okay. Admitting when something is not “your thing” can ward off any ill feelings you might develop about yourself.

When I’ve accepted who I am (the good and the bad), it led me to positive outcomes. 

Rid yourself of any guilt or shame to lead to a happier version of you.

7) Pursue a hobby that you enjoy

If you don’t have a hobby you enjoy, find one! 

I just took up pottery, for instance. Many are doing the same. Therapists have recommended the activity for trauma victims or those suffering from anxiety. There’s something about working with clay on a spinning wheel that engages your hands and focuses your mind.

When you progress in a hobby you love, you’ll also get a sense of satisfaction that will contribute to your happiness. 

8) Become a subject matter expert in a specific area or discipline

Now take the pursuing-of-a-new-hobby a step further. Say you take up a new activity and, through hard work and effort, you end up mastering it. 

This accomplishment will make you happy, and be tenfold. As you gain recognition for this area of expertise, it’ll give you joy in the process.

9) Perform acts of kindness, random or otherwise

You’ve heard of the concept of “random acts of kindness.” That’s when you do nice things for people for no benefit or reward. Doing this will give you a sense of fulfillment, which will in turn, make you happy.

Doing kind things for people you know and love (that’s not random) will also give you a similar boost. The everyday, ordinary things you do for your family, for instance, counts!

Packing your child’s lunch with care, saying something thoughtful to your spouse—these are all going to give you great karma and good vibes.

10) Lead

Ever heard the phrase, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Similar concept, but elevated. If leadership comes naturally to you, go for it and lead. Steering a team to success will bring about happiness to you and those you’re leading.

Leading will also give you a sense of purpose, which brings about happiness.

11) Share your knowledge and mentor someone

If you have wisdom to spread that can help someone else, don’t hesitate to offer someone mentorship. 

It’s important to do this appropriately with care. After all, being a know-it-all or a bossy pants is not going to bring about joy in others, let alone yourself. 

Make your knowledge and expertise available to someone. If they accept it, take the opportunity. 

12) Fake it ‘til you make it

Okay, so this is a bit of a weird one, I know. But hear me out… Say you’re not feeling so happy one day, dwelling on it won’t help you. You’ll have to snap out of it somehow. Act happy for a brief moment even if you’re not feeling all that great, and see what happens.

This tactic can also apply if you’ve been given an opportunity and you’re feeling a sense of imposter syndrome

If you’re able to trick your psyche to have some fun or play the part even when you’re not quite “feelin’ it,” mission accomplished. If it does get you out of your funk, score! If it doesn’t, well, you’ll have to try something else. Lying to yourself is not the point here.

13) Spend time in nature

Whether you take a daily walk or simply sit on a park bench, your proximity to nature can help reduce daily stress and anxiety. Reducing these happiness killers will improve your mood. 

You’ll also benefit from soaking in the sun’s rays and getting some much needed vitamin D. Vitamin D can help improve the production of hormones (like serotonin) that make you feel good. 

14) Do things with purpose

If you’re moving through life doing things for no reason at all, it’s likely that you’ll start to feel lost. Don’t live a pointless life.

Instead, proceed through your days with great intention to bring about your happiness

Whether you’re taking risks to attain something you really want or learning and improving as you start something new, your purpose will make you content and confident.

15) Confront the things that are making you feel bad.

One thing I’ve learned over time is to address the negative things in my life. 

When normally happy people get in a funk, they know to get out of it by understanding what’s causing the negative feelings. They will work through their challenges with honesty. 

Ever in this situation? Ask yourself why it’s making you feel bad. For instance, you might be triggered by something in your past. Knowing the root cause of something will help you get to the other side. 

16) Stay away from stressors.

Like #15, when you’re in a funk, fix it. To be happier on the daily, you have to also protect yourself from the things that can trigger you to feel bad.

Picture of Ysolt Usigan Schmidt

Ysolt Usigan Schmidt

Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle writer and editor with 15+ years of experience working in digital media. She has created share-worthy content for publishers WomansDay.com, Shape, WhatToExpect, CafeMom, TODAY, CBSNews, HuffingtonPost, TheBump, Health Magazine, and AskMen. A working mom of two, her editorial expertise in relationships, spirituality, mental wellness, shopping, and home are rooted in her everyday life.

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