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.

And to use a reminder on your phone or on paper so you'll more easily keep that low bar at the forefront of your mind.

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.


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.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Suparna Sinha

    Never before read tips on happiness. Very helpful! Got to try them out now. Your posts are always so concise and refreshing. God bless you Henrik!

  • Stee

    Good inspiring blog..
    But hey, we are living in a sea of info, raw and processed. we now don’t evaluate instead we agree based on reasons of a initiator or article composer. that mostly kills the ability to build and stand on owns base.

  • Thank you. I really like this concept of comparing yourself to yourself. And I agree 100% that comparing own results with other people’s results decreases motivation. Really helpful information.

  • A very interesting reading!

  • Great ideas! Specially to help someone. These thing are so normal but can affect very much in our daily lives.
    Love this post.

  • Sisa Beshy

    Worth reading for a very inspiring article. Thank you for sharing this.

  • That’s really admirable!! I failed to stop myself to read this blog.

  • Jas

    Amazing article! I have recently started writing a gratitude journal which helps me to acknowledge even the small things in my life. It drives me to constantly look for things that make me happy and the things I’m lucky to have in my life. These little joys add up to make you an overall happier person.

  • Happiness is so much simpler than we make it out to be. We think we need so many things and events in our lives to be happy. If we’d just unplug from the bragging on social media, put the phone away and enjoy whatever moment we are currently in, we’d be far happier than we are right now.

    The pursuit of happiness has become so foggy with modern society. We think money makes us happy or prestige or fame, but they don’t. Happiness comes from inside of ourselves and will only come when we choose a simple life filled with great relationships, quality time and less of the busy, noisy, crowded lifestyle most live today.

  • Anonymous


  • Nice article. Over working one’s self is not as productive as loving yourself enough to take breaks. Breaks gives time to think and act better.

  • Hi Dear Henrik,
    Hope you are doing well. i am a big fan of your blogs and a subscriber too. I also own a website on ‘POSITIVE MIND, POSITIVE VIBES & POSITIVE LIFE’. It will be my honor to have a guest post from you on. kindly be me that lucky to have your blog on it.

    Dr. Sana

  • Anna

    Thanks Henrik good advice, enjoy every day, appreciate the little things, if you complaining about the things you have instead of being thankful, the little you have will be taken away from you!

  • Anonymous

    Wow, this was really motivational and it improved my mood