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How to Be Happy Again – 20 Simple Ways

How to Be Happy Again – 20 Simple WaysUpdated on November 21, 2020 | Published on August 20, 2020
Reviewed by Katina Tarver, BS (Psychology), Life Coach

How to Be Happy Again - 20 Simple Ways

Are you someone who is stuck in a negative bubble? It might be because of having negative thoughts about yourself or your job, life, and every other thing. Are you letting negativity and a sense of unhappiness define your life? Then, it is the right time to ask, “how to be happy again?

TODAY is the first day of your upcoming life. You have to believe that you CAN be happy again. 

Why is Happiness Important? 

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

–Charles R. Swindoll

To reframe the question, do you want life satisfaction, and a life led by meaning? Both of these things have been linked to happiness. And, rightly so.

According to June Silny, happy people have a better social life and are more successful. Happy people are even said to live longer. Productivity, creativity, charity, and health—all can be enhanced by just being happier. There are many reasons to be happy but you might be thinking, “how exactly to be happy again?”

So, here we have… 

How to Be Happy Again?


There’s so much advice that we listen to like “just think happy thoughts”, and roll our eyes. The reason being, it does not work that way! If you are looking for some ways to be happy again that would genuinely work and make you take action, here are 20 simple ways: 

1. Define Happiness For Yourself

Define Happiness For Yourself
Define Happiness For Yourself

If you don’t know what happiness is for you, there’s nothing to look forward to. 

We have been surrounded by things, and “having” something is generally equated to happiness. For example, you might feel like “If only I get a promotion, then I’ll be happy”, “If only this happened, then I’ll be happy”. 

The truth is that dependence on any material thing for happiness will never result in genuine happiness. This is because as we get the thing we want, we have something bigger, something better to want. And this cycle never ends.

What Can You Do Today? 

 To have a clear definition of happiness. you can start by journaling with the following prompts:

  • Is happiness an emotion or state of mind for you? 
  • What “sparks joy” to you? 
  • What is the ideal day for you like?
  • Write about 5 small things that make you smile.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

How to Be Happy Again - 20 Simple Ways
How to Be Happy Again – 20 Simple Ways

2. When Did You Start Being Unhappy? 

When Did You Start Being Unhappy?
When Did You Start Being Unhappy?

Since you want to be happy again, then you must have been happy at some point in the past. 

Identify when you were the happiest. Also, figure out the factors that contributed to your happiness. Asking this question can be pivotal in the journey of being happy again.

What Can You Do Today?

Talk to a close friend or a family member and ask them if they have seen any change in your behavior. If they agree, ask them since when they have noticed it. 

Asking people close to you is the best way to understand the changes you have overlooked in the past. 

The Top Five Regrets of The Dying – Bronnie Ware

3. Why Are You Unhappy? 

Why Are You Unhappy
Why Are You Unhappy?

It’s possible to not have a clear answer to this question right now. You might just be feeling down for no reason. 

But it’s also possible to dig deeper and find the exact reason why you might be unhappy. It might be dissatisfaction with your work, a breakup, some sort of loss, or a falling out with a friend. Figure out WHY you are feeling the sense of unhappiness.

What Can You Do Today?

Start finding your ‘why’ through Seven Levels Deep as explained by Dean Graziosi in this podcast. Here is what you have to do:

  • Ask yourself the question ‘why am I unhappy?’ This will get you a superficial answer like “I am not enjoying my work.”
  • Then, go one level deeper, and ask “why am I not enjoying my work?”
  • Continue asking “why” to the previous answer 7 times. And voila! You have the real reason for your unhappiness. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

4. Stop Being A People Pleaser

Stop Being A People Pleaser
Stop Being A People Pleaser

If you are constantly changing yourself to make someone else happy, you will not have happiness yourself. 

People-pleasing is driven by a lack of self-love, confidence, and fear of rejection. But in order to be happy, you have to make yourself your first priority.

Believing that happiness comes from making someone else happy, you start giving everything to make other people happy; even if it requires you to change yourself, your personality. 

What Can You Do Today?

To make sure you are progressing every day, start taking little steps TODAY. Here’s what you can do:

  • Make a list of your priorities now. When you have to choose between two things, you can refer to the list and decide. 
  • Say ‘no’ to one thing today that you don’t want to do.

The Art of Saying No by Damon Zahariades.

Happiness is not external. It can’t be found in other people or other things, but only through yourself, which brings up the next point…

5. Happiness is Internal 

Happiness is Internal
Happiness is Internal

Happiness is all down to your perspective and your thoughts. 

This indicates you are the only thing in your life that is holding you back to experience happiness. That’s all about it. 

A study showed that people who won a lottery returned to their previous level of happiness after a year. This shows how money and materialistic gains can not bring long term happiness. 

What Can You Do Today?

To be genuinely happy, you have to settle the internal troubles. Do something today like-

  • Have a self-reflection day. Write in a journal. You will be amazed to see what writing your thoughts can do! 
  • Go on a date with yourself. Spend some time with yourself. 

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

6. Put Yourself First

Put Yourself First
Put Yourself First

Happiness is internal not only for you but for other people as well. 

Going out of your way to make others happy does not do anything because of a single reason: happiness comes from within. Their happiness should come from themselves, and not you. 

Putting yourself first might seem like a selfish thing to do. But it’s NOT! 

If you are never putting yourself first, you’re going to end up drained and exhausted at the end of the day. You have to take care of yourself, your own happiness, and your needs.

Why?

Because you are the most important person in your life

What Can You Do Today?

You have to hang out with yourself for the rest of your life. To make the experience a happy one, start by: 

  • Having time for self-care, 
  • Prioritizing yourself,
  • Watching a movie you have always wanted to watch

7. Clean Up Your Social Media

Clean Up Your Social Media
Clean Up Your Social Media

You are absorbing every single piece of content you see. Whether it is negative or positive – you choose. 

You need to realize you are in full control of every single person you are following on social media. Every single person, every post, it’s your choice who you decide to see. 

Surround yourself by others whom you feel empowered by. Make a conscious decision to follow accounts that spread positivity or follow people that are happy. Surround yourself in a world like that. 

What Can You Do Today?

  • Open up your most used social media account and start unfollowing the accounts that give you negative vibes. 
  • Mute the accounts that you can’t unfollow. 
  • Set timers for each social media application on your phone. 
  • Follow us here to have one more positive post in your feed!

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

8. Practice Gratitude

Practice Gratitude
Practice Gratitude

You have every single chance to wake up in the morning to look around you and think, “I am so lucky that I just woke up in a bed, in a sheltered room.” This is a luxury that many don’t have. 

Or you can wake up and think, “My bed’s not big enough, my pillow’s not comfortable enough, my life is not good enough”. Again, it’s your choice. 

Practicing gratitude makes us see the things that are good in our life. This brings a shift in our perspective.

What Can You Do Today?

A gratitude journal is said to have changed the lives of Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins.

So, before you go to bed, write 3 things that you are grateful for which happened during the day. The question “how to be happy again” can be just solved with this simple method. 

Gratitude: A Way of Life by Louise Hay

9. Take Care of Yourself 

Take Care of Yourself
Take Care of Yourself

Are you having enough sleep, eating healthy, and giving time to yourself? 

If not, doing just that can make a difference. 

We take care of every person we care about, why not do that for yourself, as well? You have to hang out with your own self for the rest of your life. 

So, have enough sleep, eat healthy, and do everything you can to feel healthy. Because when you feel healthy and good about yourself, you naturally feel happy.

What Can You Do Today?

  • Clean up your kitchen and let go of all the unhealthy snacks.
  • Make a meal plan for the week.

10. Exercise For Happiness

Exercise For Happiness
Exercise For Happiness

True happiness is when your mind, body, and soul are aligned.

Exercising puts you in a good mood instantly. The release of dopamine (the happy chemical) during exercise compliments your efforts of finding happiness internally.  

What Can You Do Today?

If you feel like you don’t have enough time for exercise, there’s a solution to that. 

11. Spend Time With Close Friends and Family

Spend Time With Close Friends and Family
Spend Time With Close Friends and Family

Even though your happiness should not depend on others, surrounding yourself with positive people and people who bring you joy can result in you having positive energy. 

While solitude is important to discover oneself, it’s also important to spend time with a close friend who cares about you. 

Look outwards, not to feel happiness or comparing yourself with others, but to develop relationships with them. Daniel Gilbert, professor of Psychology at Harvard University explains this as: 

“We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.”

What Can You Do Today?

  • Plan a meet up with your friends.
  • Call an old friend.
  • Cook/plan a meal for your family. 

12. Stay in The Present

Stay in The Present
Stay in The Present

Are you constantly dwelling in the past or future? 

After an unfortunate event, it’s difficult to stay in the present moment. The mind starts wandering to the past, but this might be the reason for your unhappiness. 

Though staying in the present moment is difficult, it is necessary. The only time that you have control over is the present. You can start doing this by making a conscious decision and a commitment to yourself. 

Do not be in a hurry, but rather bring the change slowly.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

13. Meditate

Meditate
Meditate

Practicing meditation regularly can sound like old school advice. But it WORKS! 

The reason being – it reduces stress and anxiety. It also increases gray matter in the hippocampus of the brain which is associated with emotion and memory.

Meditation helps you steer clear of the negative emotions. It has innumerable benefits but it certainly will help you to feel happier. 

What Can You Do Today?

Download the application Calm or Headspace and practice 5 minutes of meditation. You can start with just 5-10 minutes and build it up from there.

14. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you are not feeling happy right now then you must change something that will make you happier. 

This can be achieved only by getting yourself out there. Changing a job, breaking the current routine, learning something new, meeting new people – requires you to get outside your comfort zone. 

What Can You Do Today?

Start by realizing your goals. Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • What is something that you always wanted to do/learn? 
  • How can you start doing it?
  • What is the one action you can take right now to get closer to your dream?

15. Help Others

Help Others
Help Others

“The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

― Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everyone has something they can give back to the world. It might take time to figure out what exactly you can give back. But once you figure it out, there’s no stopping. And the only way to understand what you can give is by doing something about it. 

What Can You Do Today?

In order to find how you can help –

  • Actively look for causes you want to support. 
  • Help one person a day, even if it’s just holding the door open for someone.

16. Be compassionate to Yourself

Be compassionate to Yourself
Be compassionate to Yourself

Finding happiness is a journey. There will be days when things will not go as expected. But do not beat yourself over it. 

Being kind to yourself does not mean going on a shopping spree.

It means giving yourself the appreciation you deserve, for every small progress you make. If things don’t go as planned, give yourself space instead of regretting it.  

What Can You Do Today?

To learn to be kind to yourself, you can –

  • Treat yourself the way you would treat your closest friend.
  • Practice mindful activities like yoga, meditation.
  • Understand that you don’t have to be perfect. You are unique. 

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

17. Change Your Perspective

Change Your Perspective
Change Your Perspective

Negative thinking gives a negative outcome. 

If you walk into a room and think, “This is gonna be awful, I hate this, I don’t look good”, you are not going to have a good time.

On the other hand, if you think “This might not be the best time ever, however, I’m open to meeting new people”. There’s some form of positivity in this that is incredible. 

Reaching the stage of “I am happy, come what may” takes years and years of practice. Small steps in the right direction bring the big change you want to see. Making some form of progress is better than no progress.

What Can You Do Today?

Start by accepting yourself. Look for ONE positive thing in everything that happens. Thus, Reconstruct your sentence. For example: instead of saying “I am not good enough”, practice saying, “I might not be perfect, but I am special.”

18. Visit New Places

Visit New Places
Visit New Places

Even if you have travel limitations and how far you can travel, try to visit a local place.

If you can’t travel, just plan a trip. Planning and seeing how big the world is, even if you don’t travel can be relaxing.

What Can You Do Today?

Make a list of all the places you want to visit. Explore your city on Maps and mark the places you would like to visit. Go to that new cafe, or take a walk in the park you have never been to. 

19. Let Go Of Control And Perfection 

Let Go Of Control And Perfection
Let Go Of Control And Perfection

Do you feel the need to be in control and strive for perfection? Then, you need to read this. 

Wanting to be in control will give you a reason to be unhappy whenever things don’t go as planned. And that can be a lot of times.

You will blame yourself for every single thing, and that is neither healthy nor helping you to find happiness. We can try to get the result we want, but we can never dictate it. 

Perfectionism comes from trying to be in control only. The truth is: perfection is not attainable.

Letting go of control will make you feel good and powerful. This is because when we give up the need to control, we accept what comes to us happily. 

What Can You Do Today?

To learn to let go of control, you can take some active steps today like –

  • List down the things you CAN control such as your health, productivity, happiness.
  • Have awareness of the triggers. 
  • Take deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed. 
  • Practice affirmation.

The Art Of Happiness by Dalai Lama.

20. Take One Step At A Time

Take One Step At A Time
Take One Step At A Time

With so many ways to be happy again, you might get overwhelmed and try to do everything at once. But doing so will burn you out soon. Start slow, but stay steady. 

Practice the way that suits you best consistently. It will become a habit before you even realize it! 

5 Things You Must Stop Doing To Know How To Be Happy Again


It is painful and difficult to give up our daily habits. But if you want to be happy again, there are a few things that you MUST stop doing today. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Doubting yourself – You have to have faith in yourself. Believe that you can do it, and you will do it.
  2. Comparing yourself – It is not logical to compare yourself when you are on chapter 1 with someone who is on chapter 10. Make your own way and write your own story. 
  3. Procrastination – If happiness is something you really want, you have to actively work on things that will help you. To have a happier life, give up on aimlessly wasting time.
  1. Avoiding reality – Dealing with problems is what solves the problems. Avoidance and running away will take a toll on happiness in your life.
  2. Overthinking – Thinking about something that never happened, or thinking excessively about what happened – both can make you feel sad. Strike a balance and give up overthinking. 

Final Thoughts

Your relationship with yourself and how you see yourself is the foundation for absolutely everything that you will achieve in life: every relation you have, friendship, work goal that you achieve, all comes down to how YOU think about YOURSELF.

Work on making yourself happy, and everything else will take care of itself!