The happiest people in the world follow these 8 ridiculously simple rules

We often spot people who seem to be perpetually happy, right? But have you ever wondered what they’re doing differently?

Well, it might surprise you, but it’s not about what they do, but rather what they don’t do.

Here are 8 simple rules that the happiest people in the world follow.

1. They Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many of us let little things ruin our whole day.

Missed the bus? Spilled coffee on your new shirt? Internet acting up? These are annoying, sure, but are they worth sacrificing your happiness over?

The happiest people have mastered the art of letting small inconveniences roll off their backs.

They understand that things can go wrong, and that’s just a part of life. Instead of getting frustrated, they focus on solutions or simply move on.

And the best part? This is a habit you can develop too!

Next time you find yourself getting worked up over something small, take a deep breath and let it go. You might just find your day gets a whole lot brighter!

Remember, life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.

Practical Tip: Create a “let it go” mantra. Whenever small inconveniences occur, repeat the mantra to yourself. Focus on the bigger picture and remind yourself that these small annoyances are temporary and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

2. They Don’t Hold Grudges

Harboring resentment is like carrying a heavy backpack – it weighs you down and makes your journey a lot harder than it needs to be.

The happiest people in the world know this, and that’s why they make a conscious effort not to hold grudges.

Sure, people make mistakes and sometimes hurt others, but holding onto that anger only hurts you more in the long run.

The happiest people practice forgiveness. They understand that everyone, including themselves, are not perfect.

Instead of dwelling on the past, they focus on the present moment and the future. They choose to forgive and let go because they know their happiness is worth much more than any grudge.

Practical Tip: Practice forgiveness exercises. Write down the situation that caused resentment, acknowledge your feelings, and then consciously decide to forgive and release those negative emotions. Remember, forgiveness is for your peace of mind.

3. They Don’t Compare Themselves to Others

This is a big one, and something I’ve personally struggled with. In this age of social media, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparison.

We see others’ perfectly curated lives on Instagram or their exciting adventures on Facebook and we can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy.

But here’s the thing I learned: happiest people don’t compare their lives with others.

Why? Because they know that everyone’s journey is different and unique.

I remember a time when I was constantly comparing my career progress with my peers. It wasn’t until I realized that comparing was stealing my joy and peace that I decided to stop.

Instead, I started focusing on my own growth and celebrating my small victories. And you know what? It made a world of difference.

Remember, it’s easy to look at others and wish you had their life. But happiest people focus on their own path, their own progress.

When you catch yourself comparing, take a step back and remind yourself: your journey is unique, and that’s what makes it special.

Practical Tip: Limit your time on social media and focus on your personal goals. Create a journal to track your progress and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Appreciate your unique journey.

4. They Don’t Ignore Their Passions

Seems straightforward, right? But a lot of people get so caught up in their day-to-day routine that they forget to do what they love. The happiest people, however, prioritize their passions.

A 2015 study published in The Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that pursuing your passion decreases stress and contributes to greater happiness overall.

The study found that people who engaged in hobbies were 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad during the activities, as well as for some time after.

Whether it’s painting, playing an instrument, hiking, reading, cooking – whatever sets your soul on fire – happiest people take out time for it.

They understand that engaging in activities they love not only makes them happy but also reduces stress and keeps them energized.

So, don’t neglect your passions. Make time for what you love doing! It’s not just fun, it’s science-backed happiness!

Practical Tip: Schedule regular “me time” to engage in your hobbies or passions. Treat this time as a non-negotiable appointment. Join communities or groups related to your passion to stay engaged and inspired.

5. They Don’t Forget to Be Grateful

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to overlook the good things we have. But the happiest people in the world don’t make this mistake; they practice gratitude.

Being grateful isn’t just about saying ‘thank you’. It’s about recognizing and appreciating the good in our lives, whether it’s a supportive friend, a comfortable home, or even a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning.

Gratitude has a way of grounding us, reminding us of what truly matters. It’s like a happiness magnet – the more we acknowledge the goodness in our lives, the more goodness we attract.

So, take a moment every day to count your blessings. Write them down if it helps. Because when you fill your heart with gratitude, there’s no room left for stress or negativity.

Happiness is not about having a perfect life but appreciating the one you have. And that’s the magic of gratitude.

Practical Tip: Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things you are thankful for. Make it a habit to focus on positive aspects, and you’ll start noticing more positivity in your life.

6. They Don’t Pretend to Be Perfect

No one’s life is perfect, no matter how much it may seem that way, especially in the age of social media.

But the happiest people don’t pretend to be perfect. They embrace their flaws, their mistakes, their failures.

I’ve spent years trying to live up to an impossible standard of perfection – always trying to say the right thing, do the right thing, be the right way. It was exhausting. And you know what? It didn’t make me happy. It made me feel like a fraud.

The turning point came when I realized that it’s our imperfections that make us human, that make us real.

The happiest people aren’t afraid to show their real, imperfect selves to the world.

They know that being genuine leads to deeper connections with others and a deeper sense of peace within themselves.

So remember, it’s okay not to be perfect. Embrace your imperfections. They’re what make you uniquely you, and that’s something to celebrate. 

Practical Tip: Embrace and acknowledge your imperfections. Share your failures and lessons learned with others; it not only makes you relatable but also helps in personal growth. Celebrate your uniqueness.

7. They Don’t Fear Change

Change can be scary, right? It’s stepping into the unknown, leaving behind what’s comfortable and familiar. But the happiest people don’t fear change; they embrace it.

I remember a time when I was stuck in a job I didn’t like, living in a city that didn’t feel like home. But I was too scared to make a change. What if the new job was worse? What if I didn’t like the new city either?

But one day, I realized that fear was holding me back from potential happiness. So, I took the leap. And it was the best decision of my life.

The happiest people see change as an opportunity for growth and new experiences. They know life is dynamic, not static. They adapt and flow with life’s changes, always looking for the silver lining.

Don’t let fear of change hold you back. Embrace it. It might lead you to happiness you never imagined possible.

Practical Tip: Adopt a growth mindset. View change as an opportunity for growth. List down the potential benefits of change and focus on them. Remember, stepping out of your comfort zone is the first step towards growth.

8. They Don’t Bottle Up Their Emotions

Life isn’t sunshine and rainbows all the time. We all have bad days, and it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or scared. The happiest people understand that suppressing these feelings only gives them more power.

I’ve learned this the hard way. Trying to put on a brave face when I was crumbling inside didn’t make me strong; it made me feel isolated and misunderstood.

It’s okay to show vulnerability. It’s okay to express your emotions.

Feeling your feelings doesn’t make you weak; it makes you human. Let them out. Talk about them. You’ll feel lighter, I promise.

Practical Tip: Allow yourself to feel and express emotions. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to a friend, family member, or consider seeking professional help. Use creative outlets like writing, painting, or music to express your feelings.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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