8 Little Habits That Will Instantly Make You Happier

UPDATED: November 1, 2016
PUBLISHED: November 1, 2016

Ancient philosophers often counseled that the greatest journey begins with the smallest step.


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” —Lao Tzu


Make these small steps and define them as daily habits to find more happiness on your personal journey.

Related: 5 Happiness Habits of Successful People

1. Wake up early.

Early birds don’t need to get the worm; they get to work early, feel energized and complete the difficult tasks before noon. Studies show the ability to focus and be creative peaks between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m. So instead of burning the midnight oil and having to chug coffee all day just to keep your eyes open, get to bed at a reasonable hour to wake up early. At the end of the day, you’ll feel like you really accomplished something.

2. Be curious.

Curiosity hasn’t killed many cats, despite the saying. What kills is a lack of curiosity. If you’re not interested in what’s going on around you then it’s going to be hard to find motivation to meet your goals at work or home. Ask questions. Pay attention. Drop the slacker attitude and you’ll find that a true sense of wonder will appear in its place.

3. Show respect.

Respect is a two-way street. You give it and then you get it. Not only should you show others respect through common courtesy, but you should show respect to yourself by dressing modestly and neatly, paying attention to personal hygiene. A recent survey of college seniors showed that more respect was shown to those who were neatly dressed.

4. Learn to forgive.

Stop carrying grudges. They weigh you down and take up too much mental space. Instead of daydreaming about things like laying on a beach soaking up rays, you burden yourself with thoughts of revenge against someone who probably doesn’t even remember what caused the grudge in the first place. Learn to forgive and you’ll sleep better. Then start planning that beach trip!

5. Be good to others.

If it’s the right thing, do it. It’s called integrity. People who can’t make up their minds about the right and wrong of a situation wind up doing nothing. So, make up your mind, take a stand and stick to your guns. Happiness is not all about being loved by everyone all the time. It’s about being loved by a choice few because of your integrity.

6. Take charge of your health.

Health is wealth. Take care of yourself. You might get a second chance at a lot of things, but you’ll never get a second body. If your body isn’t happy, then it will be much more difficult for your mind to stay happy, too.

7. Be confident, not arrogant.

Self-confidence is not the same as arrogance. Arrogant people often don’t listen to others and try to ramrod their way through life. Someone with self-confidence knows they are not perfect, but they also know they have at least the common sense to work out most everyday problems and challenges in a perfectly acceptable way. They accept the fact that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and go on with their lives. Arrogant people try to be perfect, and when they fail, their unhappiness can be epic.

8. Smile more.

Exercise that grin each morning and use it on someone who might need it—a co-worker, a family member, a stranger. Spread a little kindness to get a little happiness back.

Related: How to Be Happier in Just 5 Minutes a Day

Casey Imafidon is a full-time writer. He blogs about happiness, success and relationships. He has been featured on Inc.com, Addicted2Success.com, ThoughtCatalog.com and many more. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.