30 Happiness Building Actions

Commit NOW to making positive adjustments


There’s a lack of happiness in the world today and no shortage of stress and anxiety. The research is clear that happy people live life differently than the unhappy. They engage in actions that are distinct from those who struggle.

You can make happiness more likely through consistent healthy actions. If you don’t make time for your mental wellness, you will be forced to make time for your mental illness. In 2021, eglecting my self-care led me to 5 sleepless nights in a row, and a trip to the emergency room. You can learn more about my experience here.

Learn what the research says will help you stay mentally healthy for the long haul. Below are 30 research-based actions you can take that significantly increase the chances of you having more happiness in your life.

30 Happiness-Building Actions

1. Build Friendships

Plan to spend time with positive and encouraging people consistently. Make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

2. Consistently Read

Read something positive and inspiring to rest and stretch your mind for a minimum of 20 minutes each day, regardless of whether blogs, articles, or books

3. Have Fun

Engage in activities that energize you. If you don’t know what energizes you, connect with a friend to come up with ideas.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Live in your current moment, not the past or the future. Fully focus on what you are doing NOW (e.g. eating, reading, talking to a friend, etc.). Take at least 5 minutes each day to focus on your breath – identify & let go of intrusive thoughts and sensations.

5. Resolve Issues

Address lingering issues in a calm, intentional & healthy manner. Don’t put it off. Resolve those conflicts!

6. Eliminate Perfectionism

Strive for satisfaction with a 7, on a scale of 1 to 10. Let yourself be the imperfect special person you are.

7. Focus on Long-Term Goals

Have 3 to 4 one-year goals posted where you see them each day. Create 3-month & monthly objectives moving towards each goal.

8. Move Towards Your Goals

Invest 70% of your time and energy into activities that move you towards your short & long-term goals.

9. Express Strong Emotions

Write down how you are feeling (positive & negative), why you feel that way, and what information that feeling gives you. Share with someone. “You must feel it to heal it.”

10. Organize Your Finances

Living within your means is crucial for long-term success. Follow a written budget, minimize debt, cut expenses & increase income potential.

11. Avoid Avoiding

Get your priorities completed! No binging on social media & Netflix. Take action instead of staying stuck in anxiety. Most procrastination feeds anxiety and comes out of a perfectionistic mentality. Check out this video I made to learn more.

If you found this information helpful, SUBSCRIBE TODAY to access my Free video & worksheet, Shatterproof Yourself: 7 Small Steps to a Giant Leap in Your Mental Health. 

12. Minimize Alcohol and Nicotine

Only drink or smoke socially and/or at special events. Don’t use it on a regular everyday basis. (Yes, I like to have a cigar with buddies on special occasions)

13. Apologize to Others

Own your mistakes! Let yourself be human. Say “I was wrong, no excuses” when you mess up. It’s OK to make a mistake. For most, it eventually feels great knowing they have owned their part. Check out this video I made to learn more.

14. Take Risks

Stop playing it safe. Do things each day that are uncomfortable (i.e. trigger anxiety). Prove to yourself that you can face your fears, and potential failure (rejection, no results, etc.), and still move forward.

15. Stick to a Schedule

Create and follow a daily schedule regardless of how you feel. Don’t be a slave to your thoughts and feelings.

16. Have 3 – 4 Daily Objectives

Select your top 3 priorities for the day. Don’t go to bed without identifying your next three for tomorrow.

17. Practice Gratitude

Schedule some time to reflect on the blessings in your life. Engage in the daily 5 and 5 and reflect on gratitude questions.

18. Live with Balance: Invest time and energy into all 7 life areas. Make adjustments consistently.

19. Get 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep

Your body and mind require at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and often even more. Block off at least 8 hours each night for rest.

20. Practice Positive Self Talk

Focus on the intrinsic qualities that you like about yourself for at least 5 minutes each day.

21. Laugh Often

Find funny things to enjoy. Laughter heals the soul! Here’s a favorite clip that makes me laugh.

22. Eat Healthily

Minimize eating what you know drains you and maximize your intake of healthy nutritious foods

23. Move

30 minutes of physical activity each day (e.g. walk, run, swim, cycle, lift weights, do yoga, etc.). Mix it up and move your body!

24. Live Out Your Values

Live your life aligned with your moral compass and avoid temptations. Be honest, live the golden rule, do what you say you’re going to do & don’t live with secrets.

25. Enjoy the Journey

Research is clear that happiness is about the journey, not the destination. Choose to enjoy the process of growth, whatever type of growth it may be.

“The average human looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.” – Leonardo da Vinci

26. Connect Spiritually

Give yourself 30 minutes each day of solitude for prayer, meditation, scripture reading, or self-reflection.

27. Forgive Others

Choose to forgive yourself & others. You may not be able to trust those that hurt, but you can work towards letting go of your resentment so you are free of them.

28. Focus on Your Vision

What do you want your ideal realistic life to be living in each area? How are you going to feel when you get there? Focus on that and let it sink in.

29. Journal Your Thoughts and Feelings

Consistently write down your thoughts and insights. It’s clearer on paper than in your head. Research different questions to answer.

30. Help Others

When the chance to help (not enable) arises, take advantage of it. Give your time, treasures & talents.

31. Reframe Negative Experiences

Focus on the positive that has come out of a negative experience. For example, if you didn’t get a job you wanted and struggle to think “I lost a great opportunity”, focus instead on “There is a better career fit out there and this job wasn’t meant for me.”

If you found this information helpful, SUBSCRIBE TODAY to access my Free video & worksheet, Shatterproof Yourself: 7 Small Steps to a Giant Leap in Your Mental Health.

How to Be Grateful When Life Is Hard (post) by Adam Gragg
25 Gratitude Building Questions (post) by Adam Gragg