Daily Happiness: 9 Simple Ways to Find it in Your Life

by Henrik Edberg

Image by mattzor (license).

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
Eleanor Roosevelt


When you think about it then you may often think of the future in some way. The dream vacation coming up, the promotion you are working towards, the baby that is on the way or the sixth date with someone new in your life.

But happiness can also be found in the small things of a regular day.

So today look for it there. Take just a few minutes and apply one of the tips below and see how it brightens your day.

1. One minute of appreciation.

Take a minute, sit down and just reflect on what you appreciate and love about your partner. Or a friend or family member. This will fill you with gratitude and redirect your focus to the positive side of things.

2. Express your appreciation.

Tell the partner, family member or friend what you came up with. It will brighten his or her day. And as his or her face lights up with a big smile you’ll feel happier too because emotions are contagious.

3. Take 5 minutes to see how you can help someone out.

Offer some practical help, some good advice, look something up for him or her, be encouraging and supportive or just lend a listening ear.

4. Slow down for 3 minutes.

Walk and move slower for just these few minutes. Let your thoughts slow down. Use the 3 minutes to enjoy what is happening all around you. Truly take it in with all your senses.

There is much simple wonder we miss each day because we are so preoccupied with our thoughts and plans for the future.

After those 3 minutes are up, continue at the slower pace if you like.

5. Be the smile you want to see in your world.

Smile more towards the people you meet and you’ll get more smiles back. You’ll feel better. They will too.

And they will probably smile more towards the other people they meet that day. So don’t wait for other people to smile more, be the smile you want to see in your world instead.

6. Start your day with setting a low bar for happiness.

As you open your eyes and wake up to a new day tell yourself:

“Today I will have a low bar for happiness”.

I have been using this one for quite some time now and it makes the regular day happier. I take fewer things for granted – like my food, the weather, the small gestures in my world and the small moments – and often pause to appreciate them more.

And it does not make me passive action-wise. Instead it makes me feel more inspired, motivated and inner resistance decreases. And so I get more of importance done.

7. Discover and explore something new.

Something you haven’t eaten before. A new song or album. A new author or movie. A new sport. A new way to work or through your town.

By actively going outside of what is normal for you or your comfort zone you’ll discover new, wonderful things in life quite often.

This will bring happiness into your life and if you develop this habit then in my experience it will be easier to move outside of your comfort zone in bigger ways too.

8. Do what you deep down think is the right thing.

Instead of letting quick and judgmental words come of your mouth be understanding.

Instead of snacking on some candy eat a fruit or drink a glass of water.

When an impulse inside of you wants you do something that you know deep down isn’t right for you then pause. Be still for a few moments. The impulse will pass. And you can more easily choose to take the action you think is right in this situation.

Then appreciate that you did the right thing, give yourself a pat on the back and see how good it all feels. Continue to do this and you’ll help yourself to build a stronger self-esteem.

9. Stand still for a minute, close your eyes and just enjoy the spring sun.

I did it yesterday and it was wonderful. This one may however work best if you have had a cold winter filled with grey skies for the last few months.

Like what you've read? Then get email updates (it's free)

Join over 59,426 awesome subscribers who receive exclusive happiness and personal development tips every week!

Click here to get started!

Print Friendly


Trevor March 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I love your last point. Unfortunately, it’s still firmly Winter here in Vermont. But when the sun actually shines, and when the air is warm enough to stand outside in without layer upon layer, I’ll definitely get out there and soak up some of that Spring sun.


Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Thanks, Trevor! Hope spring will get started in Vermont soon too.

Vincent Nguyen March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for the great tips! It’s difficult to remember to do all of these things on a daily basis when things just go so fast at times. I try my best to explore, be appreciative, and slow down when I remember to, but it still hasn’t been ingrained in my mind yet.

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

You’re very welcome, Vincent! What has worked for me is to focus on one of the things at a time. And to write that thing down and place the note in my work space as a reminder.

Inspiring Citizen Rafi March 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Hello Hendrik,

The beauty about the 9 points is that its simple, straightforward and down to earth.

You keep reminding people about the good things to be done as you said in the interview you gave for inspiring citizen..

Many of my readers have come to your blog and 4-5 people said that they really loved your articles..

I have written a similar post a month back where it was about 50 simple things you can do to make people happy..


Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Thank you very much for the kind words and for interviewing me on your site, Rafi!

Becca Chopra March 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Even though I live in Hawaii, turning my face up to the sun and letting its energy fill my body is a way to lift my mood every day. Thanks for a great post.
Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

You’re very welcome, Becca! Glad you liked the article.

Nick Goodall March 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

‘Slow down’! I often tell that to myself, and then hit up the lotus (as best as I can) for a bout of meditation, it works wonders!

Appreciation is so easy and so rewarding, yet so underestimated. It wasn’t long ago that I sent a simple text to my mother on a Friday night saying ‘Have a wonderful weekend!’, it took < 30 seconds, and rewarded me with a loving smile when I saw her. It's something everyone can do, and it'll work wonders for relationships!

Lovely post, Henrik, and I can share your appreciation for the spring, at the moment it's just popping its head up in the UK, it's great!

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience, Nick! And great example with the text, appreciation can really do wonders for relationships.

wai wa March 7, 2013 at 12:38 am

“When an impulse inside of you wants you do something that you know deep down isn’t right for you then pause. Be still for a few moments. The impulse will pass. And you can more easily choose to take the action you think is right in this situation.”

I like this sentence very much. I think that is a simple way to make sure me to do in the right way, and avoid the impulse to drive my thinking.

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Glad you liked it! :)

rachid March 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I just started doing a lot of these things. One big thing is don’t worry about tomorrow…I worry about the next day all the time, and I find if I tell myself this, everything falls into place.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”~Dalai Lama
Thank you so much for this great post.

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks for the kind comment and for sharing your view and the great quote!

John March 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Love: The Fragrance of freedom
Love is a by-product of freedom; it is the overflowing joy of freedom,
it is the fragrance of freedom. First the freedom has to be there,
then love follows.
by Osho

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

That’s beautiful. :)

Brandy March 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I learned long ago that 90% of the things we worry about never come to pass and the other 10% are never as bad as we created in our minds. Don’t woory for tomorrow as tomorrow will take care of itself.
Great Post!!

Henrik Edberg March 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Thank you, Brandy! And that’s a great piece of wisdom, I’m glad you shared it.

Rob Leonardo March 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Number 2 resonates on me! Indeed happiness can be found everywhere and it’s in the small things that seem a trifle and yet important because it impacts our life or someone else’s! Appreciating someone so dear to me is something I constantly forget because they are so close to me- my wife and my little princess- that I forget to see the things they do out of love.

Ryan Bruno March 10, 2013 at 3:11 am

Very insightful article.
I think number 8 is my favorite. Do what you deep down think is the right thing. I think intuitively we all know what we need to do a lot of the time but often we don’t act on it.

Remez Sasson March 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

I specially like number 5, “Be the smile you want to see in your world”, and number 9, “Stand still for a minute, close your eyes and just enjoy the spring sun.”

Smiling awakens happiness, and by using the imagination to “enjoy the spring sun”, you use creative visualization to bring the sun into your life.

I think it would be a good idea to print this article and put one copy on the wall, one copy on your table, and one copy in your pocket. In this way you will remember all the 9 points and use them.

Jonna March 11, 2013 at 2:08 am

Hello Henrik,
I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful blog. I recently broke up with my boyfriend and your advice has helped me so much! I’ve been able to see the positive side of things and that has kept me on track and believing in a brighter future. Keep up the great work. :)


Jennie March 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Thank you for great tips. I just want to ad: All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.

Aisha Quinece March 12, 2013 at 12:29 am

Love the part about being the smile you want to see in the world :D So true! Happiness is a habit and giving others genuine smiles is a great one to have.

Cornelius March 12, 2013 at 12:46 am

Hey Henrik, I love tip number 6, i.e. setting a low bar for happiness. I’ll put it into practice as of tomorrow :)

I’m already slowing down and smiling a lot. Another tip I would like to share is to take some time to be grateful for all the good things you have in your life. It’s somehow similar to the “showing appreciation” tip.

Finally, I think long term you can only be happy if you live your life in alignment with your life purpose and values.

Cheers, thanks for the great tips!

Geraldine March 12, 2013 at 6:10 am

Haven’t been here for a while, glad I stopped in tonight. What a great list of easy, simple ways to improve each day. Thank you! :<)

Emariline Mghoi March 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thank you for the great tips. Especially being still for a few minutes When an impulse inside of you wants you do something that you know deep down isn’t right for you then pause. I have really got something out of this. Thank you.

Kirstin ODonovan March 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Loved the article! Really inspiring simple tips but I know how powerful they can be! I would also say ‘change your focus’ – most of the time we focus on what we don’t want to happen, what is going wrong, what we don’t have and we end up creating more it of, ironic! :) Focus on what you want and not on what you don’t!
Thanks Henrik!

MotivationalCave March 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I believe that happiness = progress, we are most happy when wear are expanding in some way.

Jennifer March 13, 2013 at 12:03 am

It’s interesting how many of your “happiness tips” involve contact with other people. Charlotte Bronte wrote “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” So true …

Jennifer March 13, 2013 at 5:44 am

It’s funny because the past few days I’ve been appreciating everything around me. Especially the fact that I have a place to live, I get to eat everyday, I’m in pretty good shape health wise. All of these things have been making me feel happier. I just started thinking to myself if only I was more positive on a regular basis I could be happier consistently.

Great article!

Sara March 14, 2013 at 12:57 am

Forgive is to me one of the most important things you can do in your life. Things happen and people mess up. But hey isn’t that what makes us human? You need to learn how to let go. If somebody does something to hurt you, then there’s no point hurting yourself more. By removing this burden off your head you will feel a whole lot better and a whole lot happier. Also forgiveness isn’t always for the big things. Forgiveness starts at the grassroots. If somebody accidently drops their coffee on you, learn to say that it’s okay. These small things can pile up and get you, so it’s best to nip the evil in the bud.

Lauren March 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I think gratitude is the way forward rather than seeking happiness – as often the latter is fleeting. A lot of your methods seem to be about expressing gratitude for the here and now, for those around you and for the smaller things in love – so that is beautiful.

Thanks :-) it is raining, but I am grateful for that because then I appreciate being inside!


Shawn Rya March 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I agree with Nick, just slowing down sometimes is always important. Meditating really does work wonders! And if you incorporate appreciation into your time of meditation, happiness seems to flow. Practicing this every day has helped me to be more of that “smile” that I want to see in the rest of the world.
Great tips! Keep it up!

RS March 19, 2013 at 10:25 am

” Start your day with setting a low bar for happiness” i just loved this line really good post u wrote..its filled with such a positiveness. I am facing one problem these days that i feel myself out of focus…felt good to read this article…

Salina Gomez March 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I like your 9 simple points Henrik. Its hard to remember sometimes to slow down and enjoy the sun and our surroundings.
I find waking up in the morning is the best time for me to feel the appreciation and blessing for waking up that day to be with the family that I love and am blessed to have. Often we wake up and think about what we have to do that day and it’s go-go-go…we forget to slow down and smell the roses – these are often the times when we will feel the most peace in our day..thanks for sharing..

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: