Everyone has experienced happiness, but not everyone has experienced it in the same way. Happiness starts from within, and as unique individuals, we perceive and react to the world differently.
Consequently, happiness means something different to each of us, we each have different ways of achieving happiness, and everyone responds to the same situation differently. Some research even suggests that happiness goes as deep as your genetics. What may make you feel happy might not be the same for your friend. It may make them feel the opposite, which is why it’s difficult to rely on external factors for our own happiness and inner peace.
But here’s a secret: if you find happiness within yourself, you won’t have to look for it anywhere else. Instead, you experience happiness and contentment internally, and it pours out of you externally. Any additional happiness you find outside of yourself then only becomes a bonus.
If you’re wondering how to find happiness within yourself, you won’t find the true answer anywhere but within yourself. However, you can guide yourself there by picking up habits you enjoy that encourage you to look within and figure out what you really value and what truly makes you happy.
Why It’s Important to Find Happiness Within Yourself
You might think that finding inner happiness isn’t a worthwhile endeavor, but it can make all the difference in how you live your daily life.
We may think that we find happiness in external factors all the time and feel satisfied with that. However, this isn’t entirely true. Often, happiness depends on our reactions to these external factors.
If you’re already happy and someone does something nice for you, you can’t disregard the fact that you were already happy and in a good place before the act of kindness. There is a correlation between your happiness and this act, but it isn’t necessarily dependent on your happiness. You can experience happiness even when no external factors are involved — and that’s happiness within yourself.
When you’re happy within, you’re in a better position to react to the world.
10 Ways Find Happiness Within Yourself
Figuring out how to find happiness within yourself shouldn’t feel like a mission. Ideally, it shouldn’t even feel like a challenge.
Our minds and bodies thrive when we’re happy. We already have all the necessary tools for happiness within, we just need to recognize and activate those tools. Keeping this in mind, when seeking happiness, it’s best to let go and allow your mind and body to guide you to what makes you happy.
The truth is, you make choices every day to make yourself happy, whether you know it or not. What you choose to make for breakfast, the book you choose to read, the music you choose to listen to — these are all choices influenced by how much they add to your happiness. When you feel like you’ve found happiness within yourself, you make more and more choices that enhance your overall happiness.
There are several ways to increase your happiness and ensure that you live the most fulfilling life possible. They range from instilling small habits into your everyday routine to picking up a new hobby that you look forward to.
1. Find Purpose
People who live their life with intent tend to be the happiest because they feel the most fulfilled, which isn’t to say that you should have a mission in life that you are trying to complete, but that you should know that you have a purpose, and you should understand what that purpose is.
Living life with a purpose means living beyond yourself. Figure out the impact that you want to leave on the world without having to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Understanding why you do the things you do will help you look more deeply inward and understand what exactly makes you happy.
You can’t understand how to find happiness within yourself without practicing mindfulness to some extent.
Mindfulness involves being present in everything within yourself, including your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. When you’re mindful, you’re grounding yourself in the present moment to experience it and react to it without judgment or interpretation.
Being mindful sets you up for a more fulfilling life, and consequently, a happier one. When you’re mindful, you’re better able to address the little things in life that make you happy, such as everyday occurrences or certain aspects about yourself.
Just as we can all feel happiness, we can all experience mindfulness, although it is difficult to achieve a truly mindful state when you live a busy life and are constantly on the go. However, mindfulness and happiness go hand in hand in that both require you to look inward. You can even say that one causes the other: when you’re mindful, you can more easily access your own happiness.
There are several ways to achieve mindfulness and unlock your own happiness, including:
Slow gets a bad rap for being synonymous with boring, but living a slow life is just the opposite. When you slow down, you end up having more time for things you enjoy — things that truly make you happy.
The more you do in life, the more chaotic it becomes. Some people may enjoy the chaos. For others, it is a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. When you overwhelm your plate, you’re unable to give everything the attention it deserves, not to mention that you leave little time for the activities that you love. As a result, you may feel unfulfilled, and your stress and anxiety increase.
There are many ways to experience slow living, such as:
- Focus on doing it right, and not fast
- Step back and look at the big picture
- Stay consistent
When you keep your life simple and organized, you minimize the chaos and have more energy to live your life with purpose. Take on fewer responsibilities, learn to say no, and find happiness within yourself.
4.Establish Your Values
Learning how to find happiness within involves understanding what exactly makes you happy. One of the factors in understanding what makes you happy is knowing your values.
Your values help you prioritize what’s important in your life and determine what matters most to you. Even though some values are universally important, values are personal. That said, your values may give you a sense of belonging within your community, especially if they align with societal standards.
Some common values that you may cherish include:
Our values make us happy, so when you’re able to identify them, you’re better equipped to find your happiness within and hold onto it.
5.Focus on Meaningful Connections
Relationships play a key role in our happiness, which is why it’s important to keep strong, meaningful connections to the ones you love in your life. But not all relationships are fulfilling, add value, or help with your happiness.
You can have many connections but very few that genuinely make you happy. Even worse, these connections may be preventing you from accessing your happiness within and causing you stress and anxiety instead.
Take some time to analyze the relationships you currently have. Which ones bring you joy? Who do you tend to be happy around? When we hang out with people who radiate joy, it affects us in a way that causes us to feel the same.
It isn’t about the number of connections you have; it’s about the quality of those connections. You won’t find happiness in a relationship that serves no purpose. When you’re happy, you’re the best version of yourself. Stick to people who help bring that part out of you.
6.Practice Daily Gratitude
It’s almost intuitive to list all the things that go wrong in life. From waking up late to missing the bus, these problems always seem to be the most evident occurrences of our day, especially if you lead a busy and demanding life. Unfortunately, we often let these problems linger and emotionally affect us long after they’re over.
Once we recognize this habit, it’s important to think about the positives in life and recognize the good that happens to us, no matter how recurring or small it may be. Holding on to how the positive things in your life make you feel will affect your mood, how you react to the world, and your happiness within.
Practicing gratitude improves our mental health as well as our relationships with others. The act of expressing gratitude should be extended to every part of your life, as it will help you appreciate the little things, change your perception, and better understand how what seems to be a minor aspect of our lives does help us find happiness within.
There are many ways that you can go about practicing gratitude:
- Accept compliments, no matter how small, and give compliments to others
- Say thank you whenever appropriate
- Write yourself positive notes with affirmations
- List what you’re thankful for at the beginning or end of the day
Practicing gratitude will not only teach you how to find happiness within yourself, but it will also teach you how to find happiness in the little things.
7. Do What You Enjoy
Finding happiness within yourself doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Finding happiness might be as easy as doing an activity that you love.
Chances are that the activities you enjoy also make you happy. Unfortunately, because of how quickly our schedules tend to fill up in a day, many of us don’t find time to do what we genuinely love. So if you find that your happiness has dipped recently, think back to when was the last time you did your favorite activity.
Whether you enjoy reading a book in the afternoon, going for a coffee date with a friend, or traveling the world, it’s important to make time to do things that truly make you happy. Sadly, depending on the extent of the activity, we can’t do what makes us happy every day, but it’s important to carve out the time to do something genuinely enjoyable every once in a while.
8. Appreciate Yourself
It’s easy to appreciate the external factors in our lives, and it does play a huge factor in accessing the happiness within ourselves. That might be appreciation for the things that others do for us or the material we acquire. However, it’s important not to forget to extend that appreciation to yourself.
Many people rely on the appreciation of others to validate their self-worth. When we feel underappreciated and undervalued, this can harm our mental health and overall happiness.
One of the steps in finding happiness within yourself is to appreciate yourself more. When you complete a task, give yourself credit when it’s due, no matter how small the task may be. Appreciate all the aspects of who you are. Here are some examples of this:
- Appreciate your body — understand the strain that you sometimes put it through and recognize its strength and beauty in helping you live each day.
- Appreciate your thoughts — your mind is constantly working and each of your thoughts are valuable and make you who you are.
- Appreciate your emotions — Your feelings matter and help you navigate life, and shape your perspective of the world.
Don’t rely on validation from others. When you appreciate yourself, others follow suit.
9.Explore the Outdoors
When learning how to find happiness within yourself, be sure not to keep your search indoors. Our environment plays a huge role in our happiness and perception, so it’s a good idea to extend your search to exploring the outdoors and create a connection to the natural world around you.
Forming a deeper connection can help you find the happiness within yourself. Appreciating nature helps you appreciate the natural parts of yourself. Going for a walk outside, for example, is a great way to disconnect yourself from the distractions of a demanding life and let your mind be free.
Observe everything you see around you, from chirping birds to the color of the leaves. Use all of your senses to take in the fresh air. What’s more, going for an outdoor stroll is also a great form of exercise, which is another activity linked to increased happiness. When you get your body moving outdoors, your confidence boosts, making it easier to access your happiness within.
But you don’t need to exercise to explore the outdoors. You can be completely still outside and still find happiness within yourself. Practice meditation in the park or go for a picnic on a nice day and see how doing these acts outdoors positively affects your mood.
10.Know That You Deserve It
The final secret to finding happiness within yourself is the simplest: know that you deserve happiness.
Our minds are powerful and serve as our greatest tool for change. Telling yourself that happiness is something you have the right to changes your mindset. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like an unattainable state. Happiness will eventually feel natural and become a part of you — something you carry around with you everywhere you go.
This confidence boost is all you need to validate your happiness within. No one else will be able to tell you when you should be happy — that’s something that you have to decide on your own. So what are you waiting for? When you think about happiness, you start to feel it, and you’ll always know where to find it again.
Wrap Up: How to Find Happiness Within Yourself
There will always be aspects of our daily lives that make us feel happy, but true happiness starts within. If you’re struggling with finding happiness within yourself, there are many things you can try, but the best answer is to look inward and figure out what makes you happy.
Everyone has a different answer to this question and a different way of reaching happiness. For some, it’s through actions such as walking or spending time with loved ones. For others, it’s a more internal process that involves meditation and self-reflection. No matter how you achieve your happiness within, be sure to access it every day.