I’ve been talking a lot lately about the things we can all do to lead better lives. So, I thought it would be great to put them all together into one big “rules for happiness” list. Keep reading to check them out!
11 Rules for Happiness That Everyone Should Follow
Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a “find your bliss” kick. I feel like we’ve all had such a cruddy year (almost two now, actually), and we can definitely use more of it. While I can’t Marie Kondo the heck out of my life and get rid of everything that doesn’t bring me joy, I can make some changes that help reduce negativity in my life.
I’ve been sharing a lot of the tips that I’m trying myself, and as I said above, I thought it would be great to have them all in one place. So, without further ado, I present to you the 20 basic rules for happiness! They’re not in any particular order, so just jump right in. After all, there’s no better time to learn to be happy and to take care of yourself than this very moment!
1. Learn to like being alone
In this life, you can only count on one person to always be there with you: yourself. Note the word “with.” Yes, your best friend, spouse, and other loved ones will be there FOR you, but they can’t always be WITH you 24/7.
If you can learn to like being alone, to really start appreciating your own company more, you will never, ever be lonely again. So, if you only follow one of these rules for happiness, make it this one.
2. Be present in your life
You’re missing so many amazing things by constantly looking at the world through a tiny screen. Contrary to what social media will have you believe life really DOES happen even if you don’t have photographic proof.
So, turn your phone to silent mode, slip it back in your bag, and actually be present for all of those amazing once-in-a-lifetime moments.
3. Ignore haters (they don’t really hate you, anyway)
We all have to deal with people who don’t like us for one reason or another. It’s just a fact of life. You can never please everyone, and you’ll drive yourself crazy trying. When it comes to dealing with actual haters, remember that their feelings are almost never actually about you, anyway.
Remember, haters hate because they either don’t like themselves, feel like you’re going to take something from them, or just plain want the life that you have. You can’t do anything about any of those things. So just keep living your life. Which brings us to…
4. Remember, the best revenge is to just go on living your life
Revenge is such a dirty game that never ends well for anyone. Instead of moving forward, it keeps you focused solely on the negative. That’s not good for your mind, body, or soul! Don’t waste your time trying to think of a good way to get back at someone, just go on living your life. It truly is the best form of retribution.
5. Focus on the lesson, not the pain
Life isn’t always easy. It’s full of pain and loss, anger and sadness. While you can try to focus on the positive, there’s absolutely no way to avoid the negative. As they say, you can’t have light without dark, right?
What you can do when things get tough, though, is look for the lesson. Focus on what this experience is teaching you and what you can take away from it. It won’t take away all of your pain, but it will help you get through the worst of it intact.
6. Stop justifying the things that make you happy
Stop calling things “guilty pleasures,” and just call them “pleasures.” If something makes you happy, embrace it. Don’t justify it. You’re allowed to like whatever you want, even if no one else likes it. That goes for everything from romance novels to those cheesy disaster movies on Sci-Fi to ketchup on your eggs.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel “uncool” for the things you like.
7. Never let anyone rain on your parade
Too often, we keep good news to ourselves because we don’t want to deal with nasty comments from jealous people. Things like “must be nice to be you,” or “you just got lucky.” You know, comments that make it seem like we don’t actually deserve good things, that we didn’t actually work for them.
Stop giving these people so much power. Sing your good news from the mountaintops and celebrate your wins. Remember, you’re not responsible for anyone else’s happiness but your own, so don’t ever feel bad for living your life.
8. Follow at least one big dream, even if it scares you
You can’t celebrate your wins if you’re too scared to even play the game in the first place, right? So, find the courage to follow your dreams! If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of a ginormous life change, just take the first step. Just like Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
9. Measure your life by how much you love, not how much you have
Stop measuring the value of your life by how much money you have in your wallet or stuff you have in your house. Measure it by how much you love and are loved. No one that matters will remember our shoe collection. They’ll remember the way we made them feel. I know it’s cliché to say, but love really is all you need.
10. Remove toxic people from your everyday life
Look, unless you plan to live totally off the grid away from society entirely (including online society), there’s really no way to completely avoid toxic people. They’re everywhere! You’ll find them at the grocery store, on social media, just walking down the street. Sometimes, they’re even members of your family.
So, no, you can’t completely cut toxic people off. You can, however, limit their presence in your everyday life. Fill your life- and your social media feed- with people who bring you joy. Block or unfollow the rest. Just because you have to see Mean Marcy at family reunions doesn’t mean you’re obligated to look at all her nasty comments on Facebook. 😊
11. Be kind to others
Acts of kindness, no matter how small, have a ripple effect. Whether it’s helping a neighbor, offering a genuine compliment, or volunteering your time, spreading kindness not only brightens someone else’s day but also contributes to your own sense of fulfillment.
12. Embrace your imperfections
Life isn’t about achieving perfection; it’s about embracing imperfection. Making mistakes is part of the human experience. Accept them, learn from them, grow stronger, and don’t let the fear of failing hold you back from trying new things.
13. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Having an “attitude of gratitude” can significantly contribute to your overall happiness. So, make sure you take a moment every single day to reflect on the positive things in your life. Even on a really awful day, try to find one thing to be grateful for. It can be as simple as a good cup of coffee, a stranger smiling at you on a busy street, or even just sitting in the warm sun for a few minutes.
14. Keep your circle small
The older I get, the smaller my circle becomes. I value quality over quantity. Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Foster deep connections with those who share your values and encourage your personal growth, not those who hold you back (or talk behind your back).
15. Find joy in the little things
The world is full of tiny wonders. Learn to find joy in the little things. Whether it’s the smell of fresh rain, the comfort of a cozy blanket, or even just managing to fold a fitted sheet right on the first try, take time to savor these small moments that bring genuine joy.
16. Make self-care a priority
Your well-being is crucial. Dedicate time to self-care rituals that rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Whether it’s reading a good book, taking a leisurely walk, or practicing meditation, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Remember, self-care is NOT selfish.
17. Learn to Let Go
Holding onto grudges can weigh you down. Practice the art of forgiveness, not for others, but for yourself. Letting go of resentment and anger frees up mental space for more positive and fulfilling experiences.
18. Embrace Change
Life is dynamic, and change is inevitable. Instead of resisting it, embrace change it as an opportunity for growth. Adaptability is a valuable skill that allows you to navigate life’s twists and turns with resilience and a positive outlook.
19. Learn something new every day
Cultivate a curious mindset and embrace opportunities for learning. Whether it’s acquiring new skills, exploring different cultures, or delving into a hobby, continuous learning adds depth and richness to your life. There are so many ways to learn something new every day, so there’s really no excuse not to!
20. Write your own story!
Last, but so very far from least, be the author of your own story. Choose your own adventure and fill it with characters that make you happy. Make it a tale without an antagonist. Most important of all, never let anyone try to steal your pen and change the tale to fit their own narrative.
Remember, only YOU can make yourself happy. No one else can do it for you. If you follow even half of these rules for happiness, you’ll be well on your way to living a far more blissful life.