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15 Simple Ways To Do More Of What Makes You Happy

Want to do more of what makes you happy? Sure, don’t we all. We all want to be happy. It’s a feeling that’s near impossible to beat and one that we strive for every single day. But sometimes, life can get in the way of finding our ‘happy’ and we instead find ourselves feeling less than joyful.

Thankfully, like most things in life, we do have some degree of control over the experiences in our lives. While we can’t predict everything that comes our way, nor can we avoid tough moments or feelings, the good news is that there are ways to do more of the things that make you happy and bring more joy into your life.

Finding Joy: Why It Matters

happy woman running around outdoors as the sun sets in the background.

Happiness is not just a nice feeling to have. It’s a necessity!

When we’re happy, we’re more productive, creative, and resilient.

Studies have shown that happy people live longer, have healthy relationships and are often perceived to be more successful.

Plus, when we’re happy, we’re more likely to spread joy to others – such as our friends, our kids and our co-workers.

So, finding joy isn’t just good for us, it’s good for everyone around us.

What Makes You Happy?

But do you actually know what makes you happy?

If someone asked you this question right now, I have no doubt you would be able to come up with a heap of things off the top of your head.

The top of that list might be good physical health, good relationships with your kids and partner, a fulfilling career and a roof over your head.

But what about those little things in life that bring us joy? Like laughing until our stomach hurts, getting lost in a book or enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones.

We often forget the simple pleasures that bring us happiness because we get too caught up in the bigger picture. But sometimes, it’s those small moments that have the biggest impact on our overall well-being.

So if you want to do more of what makes you happy, it helps to really dig deep into the many different things that can do exactly that, so that you can make a conscious effort to incorporate them into your daily life.

Check out my 30-day happiness challenge to kickstart some extra joy in your life

free printable 30-day happiness challenge.


What Is Getting In The Way Of Your Happiness?

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves feeling stuck and unhappy.

There may be things in our lives that are preventing us from doing what makes us happy.

These could be external factors like a demanding job or financial stress. Or they could be internal factors like self-doubt or a lack of confidence.

The important thing is to identify what’s getting in the way of your happiness and work to address those issues.

Journalling can be a great tool for self-reflection and understanding what may be holding you back. Talking to a trusted friend or therapist can also provide helpful insights.

15 Ways To Do More Of What Makes You Happy

Now, let’s get to the fun part: how to do more of what makes you happy. These 10 happiness strategies will help you to increase your chances of feeling happier and more content on a regular basis.

1. Know What Makes You Happy

Yes, this one is a bit of a no-brainer and we did already touch on it above, but sometimes it isn’t as obvious as we think!

Make a list of all the things that bring you joy, no matter how small they may seem. This can be a gratitude list of all the things you are grateful for in your life, or a straight-up happy list – things that give you an instant mood boost!

Before you read on, grab yourself a pen and paper or even the notes app on your phone and create a list of things that make you happy.

Aim for at least 20 if you can.

If you can’t come up with 20 right now, that’s okay. Do your best. There’s a reason you’re here looking for ways to increase your happiness and when you’re struggling, this question can be hard.

If you can come up with more than 20, even better! Add as many as you like and refer back to this list whenever you need a reminder.

2. Know What Makes You Unhappy Too

Just as it is essential to know what does make you happy, it’s equally important to know what sucks the happiness out of your life!

You don’t need to make a list for this one, because that’s a bit of an icky list. Unless you think it will be helpful, in which case, go right ahead and jot down all those things that tend to bring you down or negatively impact your mood.

This can include habits, people, activities, or situations.

Once you have identified your triggers for unhappiness, it becomes easier to identify them and to try and actively avoid these situations where possible.

It’s not always possible to avoid what makes us unhappy.

If for the most part, you love your job but really hate toxic Steve and his constant complaining, you might not be able to avoid him entirely. In that case, you can practice setting boundaries and finding ways to cope with the negative energy.

And if you can’t entirely avoid them, having awareness of them gives you back some of the power over how you react to them.

3. Make Time For Yourself Daily

Carve out time each day to do something that brings you joy, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

This could be reading a few pages of a book (this is my bedtime routine every single night), taking a walk in nature, listening to your favourite music, or doing something creative.

Whatever it is that you enjoy, make time for it and making self-care a priority is a simple way of doing more of what makes you happy.

Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and massages. It can be drinking your coffee on the deck or applying a delicious scented face cream.

Just 30 seconds here and 10 minutes there, doing things just for you can have a big impact on how you feel.

Often when we are busy and stressed, we tend to put our own needs on the back burner.

But by taking even just a few minutes each day to focus on ourselves, we can recharge and show up better for others and for ourselves.

Further Reading: Weekend Self-Care Activities

4. Set Your Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a crucial part of maintaining your happiness and peace of mind.

It’s important to recognise what triggers negative emotions in you and communicate with others about it.

For example, if you know that discussing politics or certain topics will upset you, it’s okay to let others know that those topics are off-limits for you.

This doesn’t mean avoiding difficult conversations altogether, but it does mean setting boundaries for yourself and others to respect.

Boundaries also apply to how much you take on in your personal and professional life.

Don’t be afraid to say no when you feel overwhelmed or stretched too thin.

Prioritise your mental health and well-being by setting realistic boundaries for yourself.

These boundaries also make sure there is time for you to do the things you really want to do – those things that make you happy!

5. Surround Yourself With Positive People

family movie night with family on floor of living room with bowl of popcorn.

Spend time with friends and family who uplift you and bring you joy.

Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you, but also challenge and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

Having a strong support system can make all the difference in maintaining your happiness.

It’s important to surround yourself with positive energy and avoid toxic relationships that drain you. This includes romantic relationships, family relationships and friendships.

You can’t always entirely avoid negative people. Some situations require you to interact with people who may not have your best interests at heart.

In these situations, that’s when your personal boundaries are essential and limit your interactions with them as much as possible.

6. Practise gratitude

Focus on the things you’re thankful for each day, and you’ll start to notice more things to be thankful for.

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of life, but taking time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the good things can significantly improve your happiness.

As part of your daily routine, you can keep a gratitude journal or simply take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for.

Practising gratitude in your everyday life also helps shift your perspective and reminds you to not take things for granted.

7. Take Care of Your Physical Health

Your physical health has a significant impact on your overall well-being and happiness.

Taking care of your body helps you physically, but it can also boost your self-esteem and confidence.

If this one feels harder for you because the thought of eating salad and going for a run sounds like the furthest thing from happy, start small.

Incorporate small changes into your daily routine, like going for a short walk or choosing healthier options at meal times.

It doesn’t mean quitting your favourite treat if that’s what makes you happy. It just means finding a balance between the two so you can take care of yourself physically and mentally.

Trust me, I’ve tried quitting chocolate and it did not make me happy. So instead, I enjoy my ‘sometimes’ treat and do a physical activity I enjoy. For me, this is going for a walk in nature, and enjoying some fresh air, while listening to an audiobook or a podcast.

Do it in a way that does feel good to you. Try different forms of physical activity until you find one that feels fun and look for ways you can add more balance to your diet.

You’ll likely notice that these simple micro habits have a positive impact on your mood and energy levels.

8. Try New Things

Getting outside of your comfort zone might feel scary. Especially if you’re an introvert like me who loves staying in their comfort bubble.

However, trying new things can bring a sense of excitement and adventure to your life.

It doesn’t have to be anything too extreme or daunting like jumping out of a plane. Start with something small that interests you.

Maybe take a cooking class, learn a new language online, or join a book club.

This adds variety to your routine and allows you to meet new people and expand your knowledge and skills.

You never know, you might discover a hidden passion or talent that brings even more happiness into your life.

Further Reading: Hobby Ideas For Women

9. Set Intentions

curly haired woman sitting at a table indoors reflecting and writing in a journal.

Setting goals can be incredibly motivating and it gives us something to focus on. I am someone who loves to set goals, but I’ve also learned the importance of setting intentions.

Intentions are different from goals as they don’t have a specific endpoint or specific achievement. They are more about the present moment and how you want to feel in your daily life i.e. happier!

For example, instead of setting a goal to lose 10 kilograms, set an intention to nourish your body with healthy foods and make physical activity a daily habit.

The best thing about intentions, compared to goals, is that without a specific deadline or end result, if you fall off track a little, you don’t end up feeling a sense of failure. Instead, you refocus on that intention, or adjust it if needed, and get back to it!

That’s not to say you can’t still set time-based goals too, because they can be incredible motivators towards living a purposeful life. But sometimes intentions are enough to keep us focused and fulfilled.

So, think about what intentions you can set for yourself in the coming weeks or months. Maybe it’s to prioritise self-care, practice gratitude daily, or connect more with loved ones.

This positive mindset shift has made a huge difference in my life and has helped me stay motivated and happier.

10. Stop Waiting For The Perfect Moment

It’s easy to get caught up in waiting for the “perfect” moment to take action towards our goals and dreams.

We say things like, “I’ll start when I have more time”, or “I’ll be happy when I have more money”. But the truth is, there will never be a perfect life moment of absolute happiness.

There will always be obstacles and challenges, no matter how much we plan or wait.

Instead, focus on setting intentions in the present moment and taking small steps towards them every day.

This way, you are not putting your happiness and fulfilment on hold for some elusive future moment. You are actively working towards it every day.

A quote that has stayed with me for many years is that “Life is not a dress rehearsal“.

This is such a simple yet powerful way of looking at things. What are we waiting for? This is the main event. This is when we give our best performance. This is our one and only life, so don’t hold back and don’t wait for things to be ‘better’.

Go out and get what makes you happy!

11. Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

It’s natural to compare ourselves to others, especially this modern era of social media.

But constantly comparing ourselves to others can be detrimental to our mental well-being and personal growth.

We often only see the highlight reel of someone else’s life, while we are aware of all our own struggles and challenges.

This leads us to believe that everyone else has it better than us, and we start to feel inadequate or like we’re not doing enough.

But the truth is, everyone has their own unique journey and struggles.

Instead of comparing ourselves to others, focus on your own path and celebrate your own progress and achievements.

What truly matters is that you are living a life that aligns with your values. So don’t let comparison steal your joy. Focus on your own happiness and growth.

12. Simplify Your Life

When life is easier, life is also happier!

In our fast-paced lives, we often feel like we have to constantly be busy and be multitasking in order to be successful. But you don’t need to subscribe to the hustle culture!

The truth is, simplicity can bring so much more joy and fulfilment into our lives.

Take a step back and evaluate your priorities and commitments. Are there things you can let go of or simplify?

Focus on what truly matters to you and cut out the unnecessary clutter in your life.

This can include physical possessions, toxic relationships, or even commitments that no longer serve you.

By simplifying your life, you create more time and space for the things that bring you true happiness and fulfilment.

13. Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism is a common mindset we are all prone to. We are bombarded with images and messages that make us believe we have to look, act, and be perfect in order to be accepted or successful.

But striving for perfection is not only unrealistic, it can also hinder our personal growth and happiness.

Embrace your imperfections and understand that they make you unique and human.

14. Embrace Change And Challenges

Change is inevitable in life, whether we like it or not. But instead of resisting change and challenges, we should learn to embrace them.

Change and challenges can bring new opportunities for growth, learning, and self-discovery.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown.

15. Get Enough Sleep

In our busy lives, sleep is often seen as a luxury rather than a necessity.

But getting enough rest is crucial for our physical and psychological well-being.

Sleep deprivation can lead to a range of problems, including fatigue, irritability, depressive symptoms and even health issues, including an increased risk of obesity, heart disease and mood disorders.

Make it a priority to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Take steps to help you get a better sleep such as no screens at least an hour before bedtime, having a dark space at the right temperature and a comfortable bed.

Don’t underestimate the power of a comfortable pillow either! Total game changer.

This will help you feel more energised, focused, and balanced throughout the day.

Recommended Reading

If you are looking for even more inspiration around how to live a happier life, there are some brilliant books that have definitely had a positive impact on my own life over the years, from changing habits to perspectives. Here are some of my favourites:

How To Be Happier

At the end of the day, we all deserve to be happy. By doing more of what makes us happy, we can create a life that’s fulfilling, joyful, and meaningful. So, take the time to identify what brings you joy, address any barriers to happiness, and incorporate more of the things that do bring you joy into your life.

Each of the steps mentioned above will help increase your short-term happiness and in term, boost your long-term happiness too!

how to do more of what makes you happy.