Are you living your life in full color, or does it feel more like a black-and-white movie?
Imagine waking up every day filled with excitement and anticipation for what the day will bring.
Imagine feeling deeply fulfilled, not just by the big moments but by the ordinary ones too.
This isn’t a dream—it can be your reality when you decide to do what makes you happy!
If you’re ready to explore the path to a more joyful existence, dive in as we illuminate the way!
- Identify your joy-inducing activities and experiences to create a happier, more fulfilling life.
- Prioritize spending time on the activities that bring you the most joy for maximum happiness.
- Invest in moments instead of material possessions to create lasting memories for greater fulfillment and satisfaction.
The Importance of Happiness
Happiness isn’t just a fleeting emotion or a state of mind. It is a fundamental part of our overall well-being and health. The benefits of happiness are numerous and far-reaching. They extend beyond just feeling good with positive effects on our physical health, including boosting our immune system, lowering stress levels, and even increasing our lifespan.
Happiness is a key driver of life satisfaction, offering a sense of fulfillment and contentment that permeates every aspect of our lives. Happiness can enhance our relationships, making us more compassionate, empathetic, and supportive towards others. Happiness can also improve productivity and creativity at work, leading to increased job satisfaction and success.
Happiness does not happen to us. On the contrary, we can actively pursue and cultivate it. This is what doing what makes you happy means. The phrase encourages us to align our actions with our passions and interests, live authentically, and prioritize our joy. It’s about recognizing what brings us joy and incorporating those elements of happiness into our daily lives. It’s about living a life that feels good from the inside out.
Not everyone is clear on what makes them truly happy, often because they haven’t focused enough attention on self-discovery. This lack of clarity can stem from various factors, such as being too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, society’s expectations, or simply not giving enough thought to what brings them true happiness. If this is you, don’t worry! Read on for nine practical tips to help you do what makes you happy and enhance your joy in everyday life.
9 Ways to Do What Makes You Happy
Let’s dive into the heart of the matter – the practical steps you can take to infuse more joy into your life. This section will explore nine effective strategies to help you identify what truly makes you happy and incorporate them into your daily life. Think of the following as a roadmap to a more joyful, fulfilled existence.
1. Identify Your Happiness Triggers
If you want to be a happy person, you first need to understand what makes you happy. If you have yet to introspect and identify what brings you joy, you might not know what makes your heart sing.
It’s essential to take some time to think about what makes you happy. This process of introspection can be incredibly enlightening and empowering. Whether it’s a hobby that you’re passionate about, a person who always makes you smile, or an experience that left a deep impression on you, identifying your happiness triggers is the first step towards living a life that is authentically yours.
Here are some ways to identify your happiness triggers:
- Self-Reflection: Spend some quiet time with yourself. Reflect on moments when you felt truly happy and content. What were you doing? Who were you with? What was happening around you?
- Journal: Start a happiness journal. Spend time each day journaling about activities or moments that brought you joy. Over time, you’ll start to see patterns and common themes.
- Experimentation: Try new activities, meet new people, and visit new places. Sometimes, we discover what makes us happy by stepping out of our comfort zones.
- Mindfulness: Practice being fully present in each moment. When you are completely engaged in an activity, without worrying about the past or the future, you’ll find it easier to identify what brings you joy.
- Seek Feedback: Talk to close friends or family members. They might provide insights into what they’ve noticed makes you happiest.
- Trust Your Gut: Sometimes, our bodies know before our minds do. Pay attention to those activities that make you lose track of time, that make your heart feel lighter, that make you feel ‘in the zone.’ These are likely your happiness triggers.
Remember, your happiness triggers are unique to you. There’s no right or wrong answer. So, take your time, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the process of discovering what truly makes you happy.
2. Schedule Happiness into Your Daily Routine
Prioritize your happiness with the ‘pay yourself first’ strategy by scheduling more of what makes you happy into your daily routine, even if it initially feels uncomfortable. By scheduling activities that bring you joy, you ensure that no matter how busy life gets, there’s always time set aside for your happiness. This way, you’re not leaving your happiness to chance but actively making it a priority.
You can wake up earlier to engage in a hobby you love, take a longer lunch break to enjoy a leisurely meal, or dedicate a few hours each weekend to a passion project. Another idea is to start your day with a happy morning ritual, an empowering set of activities you do each morning that kickstarts your day on a positive note and sets the stage for a productive day.
Your happy morning ritual can include:
- Setting a Regular Wake-Up Time: Establishing a consistent wake-up time each day can help to regulate your body’s internal clock. This can improve sleep quality and increase energy levels throughout the day.
- Affirming Something Positive: Start your day with positive affirmations about yourself and your life. Remind yourself of a personal strength, a goal you’re excited about, or something you’re grateful for. This simple practice can help you cultivate a positive mindset and set an encouraging tone for the rest of your day.
- Taking Time to Meditate or Practice Mindfulness: Begin your day with a moment of calm. This could involve meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply sitting quietly with a cup of tea. This practice can help clear your mind and set a peaceful tone for the day.
- Exercising: Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters, helping you start your day feeling energized and happy.
- Eating a Healthy Breakfast: Fuel your body with a nutritious meal to break your overnight fast. Eat a bowl of oatmeal, a protein waffle, or eggs and toast. Eating a healthy breakfast provides the energy you need to tackle your day and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing mood swings and fatigue.
- Appreciating the Small Things: When you take the time to practice gratitude, you focus your attention on the good and invite more joy and happiness into your life. Starting your day with gratitude is like hitting the reset button on your mindset, enabling you to begin each day with a fresh, positive outlook that carries through the rest of your day.
Ultimately, scheduling happiness into your daily routine invites you to pause and reflect on what truly matters to you and consciously make room for joy amidst the hustle and bustle of life. It’s about recognizing that you deserve to experience joy every day, not just on weekends or special occasions.
3. Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care encompasses activities to rejuvenate your mental, physical, and emotional energy. By dedicating time to your personal needs, you cultivate a state of mind and body more open to experiencing joy. Whether engaging in a loved hobby, taking a tranquil walk, or simply ensuring you get enough sleep, these acts of self-care contribute to your overall happiness by keeping you healthy, energized, and balanced. It’s like keeping your happiness fuel tank full so you’re always ready to participate in activities that bring you joy.
Consider these self-care ideas:
- Sleep Enough: Ensure you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, which is vital for your physical health and mental clarity.
- Enjoy Your Hobbies: Dive into activities that bring you joy and stimulate your passions. Paint, dance, play a musical instrument, or garden. These activities relieve stress, provide a sense of achievement, and enhance your overall well-being.
- Spend Time in Nature: A walk in the park or a day at the beach can do wonders for your mood. Nature has a calming effect and can help you feel more connected to the world around you.
- Cook or Bake: Preparing a meal or baking a dessert can be a therapeutic and rewarding experience. Plus, you get to enjoy a delicious treat at the end!
- Read a Good Book: Getting lost in a good book can be a great escape. It can also help you relax, learn something new, and improve your cognitive function.
- Listen to Your Favorite Music: Music can uplift your mood, reduce stress, and evoke many cathartic emotions.
- Spend Time with Pets: Pets provide companionship and unconditional love, which can significantly boost your mood and reduce feelings of loneliness.
- Adhere to a ‘Digital Detox’ Weekend: Disconnect from your devices and reconnect with the world around you. This much-needed respite from the constant influx of information and notifications can help restore your focus and rejuvenate your mind.
Remember, when you care for yourself, you become better equipped to handle life’s ups and downs, make thoughtful decisions, and engage positively with those around you. Each act of self-care is a powerful affirmation of self-worth and self-respect. It sends a message to yourself and the world that you deserve care and attention.
4. Find Balance Between Work and Personal Life
In our fast-paced, career-driven society, work often overshadows personal time. This imbalance can lead to burnout and decreased productivity, hindering our ability to do what makes us happy. Striking a balance between work and personal life doesn’t necessarily mean an equal distribution of time. Instead, it’s about finding a blend that ensures you attend to both spheres of life.
For instance, leaving work at a designated time, setting ‘out of office’ messages for actual downtime, and dedicating weekends to family and hobbies are all ways to maintain this balance. These practices allow you to separate your professional responsibilities from your personal life, providing the necessary mental space to enjoy the activities that bring you joy.
Implementing this balance requires setting clear boundaries. A practical step could be deciding not to check work emails after 7 p.m. This simple rule helps to delineate your work time from your personal time. Additionally, planning personal activities post-work can aid in transitioning smoothly from work to relaxation. This could be anything from meeting friends for dinner, participating in an exercise class, or having a game night with family.
Mastering the art of saying no is also crucial here. This often-overlooked skill is essential in maintaining a healthy work-life balance and ensuring you have time for activities you enjoy. Learn to make conscious choices on where to invest your time and energy and stand firm in those choices. By saying no to tasks or commitments that don’t align with your priorities or happiness triggers, you’re making room for those that do.
Saying no doesn’t mean you’re being selfish or unkind – it’s a way of respecting your own needs and boundaries. It’s about acknowledging that your time is valuable and that you have the right to spend it on things that make you happy. It may be difficult at first, especially if you’re used to always saying yes, but with practice, it becomes easier. Remember, every time you say no to something that doesn’t serve you, you’re saying yes to something that does.
Finding the right balance between work and personal life allows you to do more of what makes you happy, ultimately leading to a more fulfilled and healthy life.
5. Cultivate a Supportive Social Circle
Humans are inherently social beings. Our subjective well-being and happiness are often directly linked to the quality of our relationships. By cultivating reciprocal, meaningful, and positive relationships, we build constant sources of comfort, inspiration, and joy.
For instance, imagine fun outings with friends where you share laughter, stories, and mutual interests. Picture joining clubs or groups that resonate with your passions, providing a sense of belonging and an opportunity to engage in activities you enjoy. Think about attending community events where you work with like-minded people driven by a mutual sense of purpose to contribute to improving your local community. Think about how much better your days would be!
Building a supportive circle starts with staying connected. Give an old friend a call, send a thinking of you gift to a family member, or schedule regular meet-ups with people who uplift and understand you. Don’t shy away from initiating plans, hosting small gatherings, or striking up a conversation with a neighbor or co-worker. Be open to meeting new individuals at workshops, classes, or social events. Invest in meaningful conversations, shared experiences, and mutual support. Remember, it’s not about the number of friends you have but the quality and depth of the relationships you nurture, so spend time building and maintaining these relationships.
Cultivating a supportive social circle is a proactive step towards doing what makes you happy. Taking the time and effort to cultivate this circle ensures you have a reservoir of positivity and support to draw from, people who understand, appreciate, and support your pursuit of happiness. You build relationships that inspire and encourage you to embrace joy and live fully.
6. Practice Mindfulness
It’s easy to get lost in a whirlwind of thoughts, responsibilities, and distractions and let happy moments go by unnoticed. If you want to live a happy life, try being more mindful. Mindfulness, the act of being present and fully engaged in the moment, offers a path to rediscovering life’s simple joys. When you’re mindful, you are attuned to the ebb and flow of emotions, sensations, and experiences as they unfold. This heightened awareness allows you to fully immerse yourself in your happiness triggers, amplifying the joy you derive from them and making each moment of happiness more vivid and memorable.
Consider the simple joys of a meal. While many of us consume food in autopilot mode—perhaps while juggling other tasks or lost in thought—mindful eating transforms this routine act into a symphony of flavors, textures, and aromas. Similarly, a stroll in the park metamorphoses from a mundane activity to a sensory dance of ground textures, ambient sounds, and caressing breezes when approached with a mindful mindset.
Beginning a mindfulness journey can be as straightforward as a daily five-minute meditation. There are numerous appsand guided videos available to help you get started. Gradually, you’ll incorporate mindfulness into your routine activities like eating or walking. Before long, your daily tasks become rich, joy-filled encounters. By being more mindful, you’re finding happiness and learning to live more fully and meaningfully.
7. Embrace Personal Growth and Self-Discovery
Embracing personal growth and self-discovery is fundamental to a fulfilling life journey. The richness of evolving, learning, and expanding your horizons underpins a deep sense of accomplishment and contentment. As you continuously push the boundaries of your comfort zone, you unlock unparalleled joy and satisfaction. Imagine the revelations from attending transformative workshops, the insights gleaned from books that challenge your worldview, or the awe of exploring unfamiliar terrains and cultures during your travels. Each experience, every challenge to your pre-existing beliefs, and every embraced change add a new dimension to your existence.
But this transformative journey doesn’t happen by chance. To truly embed personal growth into your life requires intentionality. You actively foster your growth by setting aside dedicated moments each month to explore a new class, delve into a thought-provoking novel, or embark on a unique travel experience. As your mind opens and your understanding of yourself deepens, the happiness increases confidence in your choices and path, turning everyday moments into memorable milestones of joy and discovery.
8. Invest in Experiences Over Material Possessions
In today’s consumer-driven world, the allure of spending money on the latest gadgets or luxury items is ever-present. However, the satisfaction derived from these material possessions often proves fleeting. In contrast, investing in experiences over material things offers a deeper, more enduring form of happiness. While a new gadget might bring a momentary thrill, the memories and personal growth from a pottery class or a weekend getaway can last a lifetime.
Think of it this way: when you allocate more money towards experiences, you’re not just buying a service or an activity but securing moments of enrichment, joy, and personal evolution. These moments become memories that weave into the fabric of your life story, becoming cherished markers of your journey.
So, the next time you’re on the brink of a purchase, take a moment to reflect on its long-term value. Ask yourself: will this item simply add to my collection, or will it genuinely enhance my life’s narrative? Will its charm wane with the novelty, or will it birth stories, lessons, and moments of true happiness? By consciously directing your spending towards experiences, you enrich your life and nurture your soul, prioritizing lasting contentment over transient pleasure. Even bad experiences can turn into valuable lessons, helping you grow and find happiness in the long run.
9. Give Back to Others
There’s an age-old adage that happiness multiplies when shared, and there’s profound truth in that sentiment. One of the most rewarding ways to amplify your own joy is by actively contributing to the well-being of others. This isn’t solely about grand gestures or monetary donations; it’s fundamentally about adding value, be it through the gift of time, sharing your unique skills, or allocating your resources.
Kindness matters. Think about the warmth of serving meals at local shelters, the fulfillment in guiding someone as a mentor in your professional domain, or the camaraderie felt when rallying positive people around you for a community clean-up drive. Each act of kindness and service brightens someone else’s day and illuminates your soul with a profound sense of purpose and joy.
For those looking to embark on this rewarding journey, begin with small steps. Dedicate a few hours each month to a cause that resonates with your heart. As you immerse yourself and witness the ripple effects of your contributions, you’ll not only experience the intrinsic happiness it brings but will also naturally be driven to do more. When you show kindness, you create a cycle of positivity that elevates those around you and uplifts your spirits in immeasurable ways.
Discovering what truly makes you happy and living a more fulfilling life is within your reach. You have the power to shape your life in ways that align with your personal happiness triggers, turning everyday moments into extraordinary ones.
This is an empowering realization. It means that happiness isn’t something that happens to you or is determined by external events or people. Rather, you can actively influence, cultivate, and enhance it. You can spend more time on activities that make you happy, surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you, and create an environment that supports your well-being. You can choose to prioritize your happiness and make it a central part of your life.
Moreover, you can view life through a lens of positivity, focus on the happy things in life, and appreciate the beauty in everyday moments. You can choose to cultivate a mindset of gratitude, to celebrate your achievements, and to be kind to yourself. In doing so, you’re enhancing your happiness and enriching your life. You’re creating a life that reflects your values, passions, and loves. You’re making a life that feels good from the inside out and filled with joy and meaning.
So, remember: happiness is within your reach. All you have to do is do what makes you happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some inspirational ‘do what makes you happy’ quotes?
- “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
- “Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.” – Jim Rohn
- “Stop comparing yourself to other people, just choose to be happy and live your own life.” – Roy T. Bennett
- “Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.” – Sarah Louise Delany
- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer
What are the most important things that lead to happiness?
Key factors that contribute to happiness include:
- Cultivating positive relationships
- Pursuing personal growth and self-discovery
- Practicing mindfulness and gratitude
- Prioritizing self-care and mental health
- Achieving work-life balance
- Giving back to others
- Choosing to invest in experiences rather than material items
How can I identify my happiness triggers?
Identify the activities and experiences that bring you joy and note the moments when you feel the most alive and content. These are your happiness triggers.
Paying attention to what truly makes you happy is a step towards understanding yourself better and creating a life that brings you joy. Remember, happiness is unique to each individual. What brings you joy might not necessarily bring joy to others. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on what makes YOU happy, not what you think should make you happy or what makes others happy. This process might take some time and self-reflection, but it’s worth it.
Once you’ve identified your happiness triggers, prioritize them. Make them a non-negotiable part of your daily or weekly routine. Think of this as an investment in your happiness. Just as you would set aside time for work, fitness, or other responsibilities, carving out time for your joy-inducing activities is crucial. This might involve blocking out time in your calendar, setting reminders, or even making arrangements with others to ensure you commit to these happiness-boosting activities.
If you need help after reading this, don’t worry. We’ve created a tool that can help you!
Here at a little dose of happy, we are firm believers that happiness is an action, and we encourage our community to do happy every day. We designed the Do Happy App to increase your happiness organically by providing daily joy-inducing activities, encouraging you to journal about your happiest everyday moments, and helping you stay connected with your friends and loved ones. Take the next step in your happiness journey and download the Do Happy App today!
Explore our other articles on our blog for more insights and practical tips on cultivating happiness and leading a fulfilling life. These are some of our favorites: