How To Find Happiness Every Day

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Shorter Version

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“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed, or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.”

~ Joel Osteen

An opposite effect

Being happy every day seems like a pretty easy task, doesn’t it? I mean, all you have to do is turn that frown into a smile, right? Yeah…not exactly. Some of us try way too hard to “be happy.” Why? Because we think that is how we’re supposed to feel. Although society promotes “happiness” as the end-all-be-all of life, it is important to understand that this desperate need to “be happy” is causing most people to be “unhappy.” Seriously.

Happiness is not satisfaction

Moreover, a lot of people mistake satisfaction for “happiness.” Satisfaction and gratification are often lumped in with positive attributes like confidence, elation, respect, and success, when, in actuality, they are separate things. The truth is, constantly trying to attain “happiness” can, in essence, leave you “unsatisfied.”

It is important to understand that when something is satisfying or pleasurable, it triggers the reward center in our brains.


Once our reward center is triggered, our brains signal to our bodies that it is time to release extra dopamine, the “happiness hormone.” Dopamine, in turn, causes us to crave or desire the thing that gave us pleasure. In other words, it leaves us wanting more. When we receive what we crave or desire, we equate the feeling with “happiness.”

Happiness is…

But, is that really “happiness” or simply the fulfillment of craving or desire? It can be hard to find true happiness in our lives, but it is within us and around us. We just have to know what to look for. Thankfully, the steps below will help bring true happiness into your everyday life.

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Actionable Steps


Read the longer version

You can learn more about “finding happiness every day” by reading the following articles, reviewed to be the best by our professionals: What is Happiness, Anyway?, Happiness Explained: Why Being Happy is More than Just Sunny Days at the Beach, What Is Happiness and Why Is It Important? (+ Definition in Psychology), and What is Happiness and How to Be Happy in 7 Steps.


Dish out some compliments

If you want to find happiness every day, dish out some compliments. In other words, say nice things to others. For instance, tell your co-worker you love her new scarf or tell your buddy he has the best running form. The truth is you can usually find something nice to say about anyone – if you try. For many, this requires practice; however, every time you brighten someone else’s day with a compliment, you experience true happiness.
But, what if you aren’t sure what to say to others to make them feel good? Check out these books: How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships and How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age.
If you aren’t sure how to compliment others, you can always purchase compliment cards – flashcards that have positive words on them.


Be thoughtful

Another way to find happiness every day is to be thoughtful. Think of how others may feel. Being thoughtful can be as simple as packing your spouse’s lunch, making your partner coffee before he or she has to go to work, smiling at the first person you see after entering your office, helping someone who is ill, waving and saying hello to your neighbor, paying it forward and paying for the coffee for the person behind you, holding the door for someone who is struggling, and/or praising someone for a job well done. Being thoughtful can also include sending a friend who is going through a hard time a text to let him or her know you are thinking of him or her.
The goal of this step is to bring happiness to someone else – and in turn, to yourself.


Get some sunshine!

If you want to be truly happy – get some sunshine! Go outside! Nature can do amazing things for the mind, body, and spirit, so reconnect with it. Take a stroll with a co-worker around your office during lunch, ride rollercoasters at your State Fair, go to outdoor festivals, sign-up for a marathon, or simply grab a book and sunbathe by the pool, while you throw yourself into a juicy book.
The sun provides you with vitamin D, which promotes stronger bones, a higher level of testosterone, a lower risk of diabetes, stronger lungs, increased endurance, healthy teeth, more energy, sounder sleep – and a happier mood.  
Happiness can be found right outside, so sit on your porch, go to the park and lounge on a comfy blanket under a massive oak tree, and/or opt to sit outside at your favorite restaurant with your friends. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what you do outside as long as you actually go outside.


Live in the moment to find happiness every day

One of the most important ways to find happiness every day is to live in the moment. In other words, be present. You don’t have to have a picture-perfect life to be happy. When you try to “plan out” how you want your life to go or what your life should be, it never works out.
How can you identify the good things in your life? By making a list of them. For instance, purchase a gratitude journal and write down all of the things you are truly grateful for. Return to this list when you start to feel sad that your life isn’t perfect. Doing this will remind you just how happy and blessed you really are.
So, instead of depressing yourself because your life isn’t what you imagined, be thankful for what it actually is. In other words, stop fretting over what could have been and start being grateful for all of the good things that are. Relax and go with the flow. More specifically, live in the moment.
If you refrain from having lofty expectations and just live in the moment, you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome!

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About the Author

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Ph.D. in Family Psychology

Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

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