Penelope Wilson
Penelope Wilson
August 23, 2023 ·  5 min read

11 Fundamentals That Happy People Follow

Contrary to what most so-called realists think, you can never be too happy. To some, happiness has become a foreign word and a baseless desire. They are consistently plagued with negative emotions that are inundated by brief periods of elation and moments of bliss. However, true happiness can become a permanent state with the right amount of effort and persistence.

When it comes to happiness, there is no recipe or pattern. True happiness is a mental state that is often achieved by the “effect of choice.” You have to choose to be happy before your efforts will make any meaning. The good news is that you can also increase your own happiness by mirroring these 11 things that happy people do: [1]

1. Happy people guard their minds against negative thoughts and triggers

The first step to ensuring that you are constantly happy is by warding off negativity. This can only be done by self-searching and safeguarding your environment. What triggers negative emotions? How does the news you listen to influence your mood at a given time? What emotions does that friend of yours evoke whenever they come visiting? Once you identify the channel of negativity in your life, make a quick sweep. Control the books you read, regulate your social media feed so you can get only positive news, control the movies and television shows you watch. Additionally, control the people you allow into your life as well as the places you visit. Protect your space.

2. Accept that happiness isn’t a final destination.

Sometimes, it is difficult to simply enjoy the ride without worrying about the destination. However, happy people understand that the journey is equally important, perhaps more important than the destination. They are unconscious of their happiness. To them, happiness is a normal state that comes naturally. To be truly happy, determined to enjoy the ride.

3. Happy people choose forgiveness

They realize that holding on to anger or malice is burdening, so they usually choose to forgive when they are offended rather than bear the burden of grudges. They forgive, not just other people, but themselves. They forgive their failures, their mistakes, wrong choices, and accept that it is a learning process.

4. Happy people focus on the positives

There are periods when a person can be inundated with lots of terrible news at once. Some circumstances evoke sad emotions but people who are always happy would have learned to focus on the positives each day.  They intentionally spend minutes each day looking for things to be thankful for in their lives. They find the silver lining in every situation.

5. They find a work-life balance

No matter how crowded their schedules are, happy people always find time to pursue activities and interests outside their work. They do not let their work consume all their time. They find the time (no matter how little) to practice their hobby, visit the gym, spend time with friends, etc. Finding a work-life balance will reduce stress and work wonders for your happiness quotient. [2]

6. They accept imperfections

What sets happy people apart is the realization that to be truly happy, they must consciously learn to embrace their imperfections. They see the beauty in imperfections. They do not hold themselves to impossible standards which are mostly futile. They gracefully accept their flaws and curved edges and are not put down by negative feelings.

7. Happy people surround themselves with happy people

Why do you cry when you see a person cry or laugh when you are with bubbly people? Simple. Moods are highly contagious. There’s no better way to achieve a constant state of happiness than to hang out with happy people. Not only will they keep you happy, but they will also see you through gloomy periods. What’s even better? The more time you spend with them, the faster your emotions and behaviors become synchronized with theirs leading to a transference of feelings. [3]

8. Happy people do not worry

“It became quite clear to me and my fellow researchers, that one of the most direct ways for average persons to increase their happiness would be for them to “Stop Worrying!” — Michael Fordyce

Why worry about a thing that you cannot change? Worrying is one of the fastest ways to destroy your happiness. Worry is worthless and it doesn’t make a difference. Make an international effort to stop worrying; channel all that energy to productive brainstorming. 

9. Happy people celebrate small victories

If you have neglected to give yourself a treat after you’ve achieved a milestone, then you need to start doing it, and fast too! Don’t guilt-trip yourself into feeling that treats are frivolous and indulgent. When you make progress in any aspect of yourself, celebrate it. By doing so, you will feel cared for and energized which in turn will sufficiently help with your healthy habits. Simply put, when you give yourself treats, you can ask more from yourself.

10. They prioritize experiences over material things

Happy people know that materialism drains happiness, and renders us less empathetic, friendly, and likable. It threatens satisfaction with our relationships and makes us unlikely to help other people. As such, they choose instead to focus on experiences that will become better each time they are revisited.

11. They make out time for themselves

As much as relationships are important and hanging out with happy people is vital, it is pivotal to make out time for yourself.  Spending time alone allows you to take a breather, unpack your worries, and ultimately reflect on things that you are grateful for. Schedule a solo date at intervals and check in with yourself at least once daily.

Happiness is a choice. The more you work at it, the better you become.


  1. 25 Habits of Successful and Extremely Happy People.” Entrepreneur. Peter Daisyme. July 18, 2017.
  2. The Relationship Between Work-Life Balance and Happiness From the Perspectives of Generation X and Y.” Research Gate. Ayşe Begüm Ötken. January 2013.
  3. 17 Things Happy People Say Every Day.Inc. Bill Murphy Jr. April 16, 2014.