≡ Menu

How to Live a Happier Life: 3 Quick Things You Can Do Today

How to Live a Happier Life: 3 Quick Things You Can Do Today

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

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
Chinese Proverb

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller

Happiness must not always come from big things and events. It can come from smaller, daily habits too.

So today I’d simply like to share 3 quick tips and habits that help me to live a happier life.

1. Start by setting a low bar for happiness.

When you wake up in the morning tell yourself: “Set a low bar for happiness today.”

When I tell myself this and try to keep it in mind during the day I appreciate things more.

The food, my work, the weather, the small events of the day becomes not everyday stuff but something I feel happy to have. The small things or what may be something one takes for granted becomes something I now often pause for a moment or two to take in and appreciate.

But if I become happier in my everyday life for the smaller things does that mean that I become unmotivated to keep working towards the bigger things?

Not in my experience.

This way of looking at my life instead fuels me with more energy and inspiration, life becomes lighter and I feel less inner resistance as I explore and work towards both small and bigger things.

I recommend to give this one a try and to see how it works for you. You’ll of course forget about this low bar for happiness from time to time during the day if you're like me. That's only natural and this still makes a big difference in my day.

2. Help someone out.

Helping someone out is one of simplest but also one of the most powerful things one can do to live a happy life.

How can you help someone out? By giving them value in some form.

Here are a handful of ideas for how to do that.

  • Offering some practical help. With for example work, moving houses or cooking dinner.
  • Giving some good advice. People may not always want advice but if they ask then give your best advice based on your experience.
  • Hugs. The comfort of one hug or more can make the other person’s situation at least a bit better.
  • Encourage someone. There is much discouragement in the world. So instead, be an exception and encourage people to believe in themselves and what they want to do.
  • Just listen. Sometimes people don’t want any help. They just want to vent or for someone to listen as they figure things out and release pent up emotions. It may not seem like much but it can be an immense help for someone who needs it. So be there fully – don’t sit there thinking about something else – and listen.
  • Put things into perspective. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a problem and to make a mountain out of a molehill. But you can help out by adding your perspective. The two of you can talk about it, perhaps laugh about it and even find the hidden opportunity within the problem that in one person’s head may have almost seemed like the sky was falling.

And remember to pat yourself on the back and appreciate yourself for helping someone out. Do not brush it off or make it smaller than it is.

Pause and take a moment to quietly reflect on how you did something good.

3. Be kind to yourself.

Being kind to yourself is a very helpful thing for healthy self-esteem and for living a happier life.

There are of course many ways to be kinder to yourself, but here are three good ones that I've found to be powerful.

Change your input to things that are kind and constructive.

Destructive messages from the people around you or from people further away such as media, advertising and society in general does not help you to be kind to yourself.

So, bit by bit, replace them with other daily and weekly input.

It could be the encouragement of friends and family and the help from someone close who has been in a situation that you are in now.

It could be practical personal development books and blogs that help you out with real solutions to the challenges you face and the goals you want to achieve.

Or it could be to spend more time in nature and in silence to relax and recharge yourself.

Compare yourself to yourself.

Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation and keep your self-esteem at a low level. There are always people ahead of you.

So focus on you. On what you have accomplished. And on how you can and have improved your results. This is important because it’s a great motivator to see how much you have improved and how far you have come.

Give yourself a break.

I sometimes hear that you should always be positive or always be winning or working towards your goal. That may sound inspirational in theory. But reality is not ideal or perfect and neither are you and I.

Life gets in the way sometimes. You may get in your own way. And sometimes you simply don’t have the energy or the courage or the time to do something. And that's OK.

Instead of trying to live up to some perfect image that other people and/or you may press upon you, choose to set human standards for yourself. Choose to give yourself a break when things don’t go as you may have wished and choose to cut yourself some slack.

Free Exclusive Happiness Tips

When you join the 80,000 people that are subscribed to the Positivity Newsletter you will not only get practical tips on happiness, self-esteem, productivity and more in your inbox each week.

You’ll also get these three guides for free:

-> 21 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.
-> 7 Steps to Stop Being So Lazy.
-> 10 Things You Can Do When Life Sucks.
100% privacy and no spam. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous

    Thankyou so much for those very intelligent words. Both inspirational and inspiring. I Love your great work Henrik
    Stay positive

  • Graham Morrow

    Good afternoon Henrik – Your segments inspire because they are not tainted with traditional “religious” dogma.

  • Malak

    I like your article, aspecially the part of being kind to yourelf, to stop comparing to others, and to set human standards and accept that sometimes things won’t work the way you want.
    I think those 3 points are very important to me.
    Thank you

  • Excellent tips! Thank you, Henrik, for enlightening me!

  • Eze Nnedinso P

    It was very helpful. keep them coming.

    Thanks a lot

  • Nirmal

    thank you.

  • Don

    great things happen when the mind and the heart work together in harmony the little things you do in life prepare you for the better things in life. all this information is spot on.

  • Lucy

    I appreciate your regular blogs and look forward to them every week

  • Ruth

    Your blog has been immeasurably helpful for me. I keep copies of each one to refer back.
    What a wonderful idea you had to put your self knowledge to work helping others.
    I, for one, am tremendously grateful I came across you.
    Keep doing what you’re doing.

  • This is a great insight. I particularly like the idea of setting a low bar to happiness.

    When does anyone tell us to set a low bar… in this context it makes perfect sense.

    Thanks for sharing — Greg

  • A great and insightful read, comparing ourselves to others is the worst we do. I believe personal happiness also comes from self-confidence and, self-confidence can be indicated by how often one tackles life issues on their own or how much you rely on advice. Hence, I wrote about how learning to rely less on people’s can have a positive effect on one’s confidence and personal development; francisbaloyi.co.za/?p=148

  • This article really sounds great to me. Thank you so much.

  • Anonymous

    Dear sir
    These is the advices for doing it. God bless U