The 68 Rules Of Happiness

Happiness is the result of your thoughts, your actions, and your awareness in every moment. You can’t be happy all of the time, but you can be happy a hell of a lot of it. You can’t control if you wake up in the morning with a heavy sadness hanging on you like a cloak, but you can control what you do next. In no particular order, here are some tried-and-true actionable ways you can use your mind and body to bring you more joy:

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Mindfulness Hack – 5 Words To Peace





  1. Exercise. Get out of the house. Get those endorphins. Have lasting energy throughout the day. Look better and feel better.
  2. Be generous. Keep a handful of one dollar bills in your pocket for homeless people. Or some bags of trail-mix in your purse. Be prepared to help out in small, ordinary ways. You will feel better in the moment, and it will eventually come back to you. A win for all.
  3. Help others. Serve others. Take away the suffering of others. See above.
  4. Take the attention off yourself. That’s right–if you stop thinking so hard about how to make yourself happy and just live your life, you’ll actually be happy. It’s those thoughts you’re having that tell yourself you’re unhappy that make you feel that way.
  5. Stay busy. An idle and untrained mind can go dark places. Plan your day with things that excite you. Use your down time consciously.
  6. Don’t rush. You can walk quickly without feeling hurried.
  7. Cultivate close relationships. Open up to each other. Experience new things together. Stay in contact.
  8. Have something to look forward to. Always.
  9. Maintain a positive posture. Smile. Sit or stand up straight. Do power poses, such as standing with your feet firmly rooted in the Earth, arms up high like you just climbed a mountain. Hold it for a few minutes. Don’t just take my word for it. Do it and see what happens.
  10. Forgive others. Actually forgive. Don’t just say it so you can move past it. If you’ve told somebody you forgive them, you can never bring that wrongdoing up again. If you said you forgave them when you didn’t, try to be more intentional with your words.
  11. Find your flow. Do work and activities that keep you in the moment. You can find this anywhere–from waiting tables to singing in a choir to doing repetitive office work. Give the task at hand your full attention and throw yourself in completely. Don’t judge what you’re doing. Don’t think about what you’d like to be doing. Do what you are doing and find the pleasure in the mundane.
  12. Drink water. More, more, more.
  13. Get the amount of sleep that’s optimal for you. Figure out what that is by paying attention to your patterns and the results you get at varying amounts. Everybody is different. If you’re always tired even though you’ve gotten plenty of rest, maybe you’re sleeping too much.
  14. Sleep naked. It decreases your body temperature, which gives you a better quality sleep and releases melatonin and growth hormone (aka anti-aging). It also regulates cortisol levels so you’ll burn more calories while you sleep.
  15. Break your normal routine. Do something different for no productive reason other than enjoyment. Even if these means getting really drunk and binging on donuts at 2 in the morning. It will serve as a reminder for why you have those healthy habits in the first place. And it keeps things interesting.
  16. Don’t deprive yourself of anything. Dabble in things that are “bad” for you once in a while. Life is about experience and experiment. And fun.
  17. Try new things. Stimulate yourself.
  18. Moderation in all things: alcohol, drugs, food, TV,
  19. Use the Internet as a tool, whatever that means to you. Take everything you see with a grain of false: social media is not real life.
  20. Balance emotions. Feel happy, feel sad, but always with your feet on the ground, rooted in Now-ness. Don’t get too swept away by thoughts, no matter how tempting.
  21. Don’t resist or suppress emotion. Lean in to it. Feel it without narrating it. Practice vulnerability, wherein you are open about your genuine feelings to others.
  22. Allow yourself to be vulnerable even to people who may try to harm you. That’s the practice of opening your heart to the world. It isn’t dependent on the circumstance.  Carry that practice into your close relationships. It’s how true human connection is made.
  23. Drink less coffee and more tea. Drink less everything and more water.
  24. Ask questions.
  25. Learn to accept not knowing.
  26. Accept everything as it comes. It is what it is. All is well. If it were not meant to be, it would not be.
  27. Be as present as possible.
  28. Dream big.
  29. Believe in your ability to turn your dreams into reality.
  30. Set goals. Set small goals daily and accomplish them. Set big goals and remind yourself of them frequently to stay motivated and excited. Formulate an action plan to accomplish your goals and check every back every now and then to see if you are still on track.
  31. Forgive yourself for falling off track. Now is the perfect time to start again. Be okay with your dreams changing. It doesn’t say anything about you. That’s life.
  32. Love yourself more than anything else. When you love yourself, you’re happy and confident and naturally more loving to others. When you love yourself, you’re aren’t negatively affected by other people. When you love yourself, someone random person’s face won’t piss you off.
  33. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are who you are for a reason. Some people are naturally cooler than you, and some people are naturally hotter than you. That doesn’t change your worth. Your value doesn’t depend on superficiality.
  34. Eat healthy (most of the time). Happiness is a level of energy. Eat foods that will energize you, not make you want to take a nap. Put value on feeling good. Realize that chemicals in unnatural food products actually f**k with your emotions.
  35. Choose to do things that make you feel good and avoid things that make you feel bad! It’s so simple. For instance, you recognize that being on Facebook for extended periods of time ultimately lowers your self-esteem or sucks up productivity time, then sign off! Always ask yourself, “Is this behavior going to benefit mine or somebody else’s well-being?”
  36. Be aware of your thoughts. So aware, that when you notice one coming a mile away, you dismiss it without a fight. Use your thoughts to create the life you want. That’s what is meant be “conscious creation.” You are deliberately thinking certain thoughts and choosing the life that you want to live.
  37. You create your reality, but not entirely. Life is constantly testing you and teaching you. That’s still you, your higher self is doing that. You’ll keep facing the same scenarios until your reaction changes.
  38. Don’t feel guilty. You can be generous while still enjoying yourself. There’s nothing wrong with abundance.
  39. Smile at strangers. Don’t take it personally when they don’t smile back. Don’t take anything personally for that matter.
  40. Find the balance between rest and activity. Work and play. There’s a difference between indulging in laziness and making a conscious decision to enjoy much-needed relaxation.
  41. Be aware of the matrix, the system, The Man, the Machine. Don’t fight it, but don’t internalize it. You can be free within it, and change it without exerting yourself.
  42. See beyond surface appearances.
  43. Try to navigate through familiar territory using beginner’s mind, or seeing through the eyes of a child.
  44. Recognize the ego in others and forgive them for it. Because you have one yourself, you know how the ego operates. Be compassionate.
  45. Do not hold too strongly to your opinions. You aren’t your opinions. Not everything is black and white, right or wrong. Look complexly at all situations and people. We are all multi-faceted and all basically god.
  46. Practice gratitude. If you have to, fake it til you make it. Even if it’s hard to really feel grateful, just write it down as a way of acknowledging it. That is how you attract more of it, guaranteed.
  47. Let go of identities. “I’m a yogi.” “I’m a lesbian.” “I’m a used car salesman.” “I’m a Virgo.” You are not any of these things. You are so much more.
  48. Consciously take in the good. If something makes you smile, stay with that moment just a little longer and savor it. This practice will literally train your brain to focus on the positive and give you an overall sense of well-being.
  49. Make your bed every morning. It starts your whole morning off on a positive note. It forces you to get out of bed and stay out of bed.
  50. Practice empathy. That’s done by really listening, without interrupting by asking questions or interjecting your opinion or advice. Just be present. Without making it about you, let them know you’ve been there, too. Let them know they are loved.
  51. Give. Give something, even just spare change, to homeless people. Don’t go through the whole mental monologue you always go through when it happens. Don’t worry what they’re spending the money on. Your intention is pure and that’s all that matters.
  52. Understand connections. Understand that we are all connected to each other and everything in existence through energy. When you realize our interconnectedness, you won’t feel so alone.
  53. Help others. Stop concentrating so hard on trying to make yourself happy! If you focus on helping other people, you’ll end up happy anyway 🙂
  54. Know how to behave in ways that are socially advantageous while still being aware of your truth. It sounds contradictory, but it if you know who you really are then it’s not breaching your authenticity to interact with everybody on their level in order to succeed.
  55. Remove negativity. Get negative people out of your inner circle. But don’t go out of your way to avoid negativity. That’s a part of life. Just remember: you are a clear glass of water; you can simply let the negative pass through you without it toxifying you or tainting your spirit.
  56. Don’t stress out if you slip back into old mental patterns–be aware that it’s happening and that it won’t last.
  57. Listen. Listen to a pump up playlist. Listen to affirmations. Listen to the sounds of nature. Listen to soothing tones.
  58. Do yoga. If you aren’t flexible, you should definitely do yoga.
  59. Light a candle. Stay with the aroma. Let it alter your state.
  60. Laugh. At yourself and with others. None of this is serious. If you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at the likes of Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, Ellen Degeneres, Wanda Sikes, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Samantha Bee, Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Bo Burnham, James Cordon, or even, like, Dane Cook.
  61. Be aware of the entertainment you consume. Garbage in, garbage out. Don’t abstain, but don’t indulge.
  62. Spend more time outdoors, without technology. Trees! Birds! Fresh air! Space!
  63. Notice your breath. Notice as it gets slower and deeper without you manipulating it. Your awareness is strengthening it. The way you do one thing is the way you do all things.
  64. Empty your mind. When you’re head feels like it’s going to explore with anxiety and depression, empty it. Talk about it with a friend, or write it all out. Purge yourself of everything taking up space in your mind. Stream of consciousness that shit. On paper, your thoughts are manageable. In your head they are magnified and spinning and out of grasp.
  65. Open your mind. There are so many documentaries that can help you realize the reality of the world we live in. It might be scary, but it’s good to know. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but relax– the burden of change doesn’t fall all on you. Just do what you can, by taking small, simple actions that will over time yield a big positive impact.
  66. Don’t think in terms of extremities. You don’t need to go from zero to one hundred. Of course, veganism is “better” than vegetarianism, and vegetarianism is “better” than being carnivorous. But you don’t need to change your entire lifestyle overnight. It all comes down to moment-to-moment decisions, and choosing love over the suffering of another life.
  67. Know when it’s TMI. Information is a great thing, but sometimes the onslaught of it all can overwhelm, exhaust, and confuse. There are so many different opinions, theories, and conflicting ideas. It’s best to learn from experience. Minimize the noise. Recognize your addiction to updates and try to let it go.
  68. Read books. They will take you out of your current negative reality and escape into a better one. Then you can return to reality with a new mindset, new ideas, new discoveries. But don’t use books as crutches to escape from reality.

Or do whatever makes you happy 🙂




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Stephen Wickhem

Stephen Wickhem is a writer and certified life coach living in New York City. He is also the founder of…

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