Five steps to happier living

You don’t have to radically alter your life to find ways of being happier. Here are 5 practical things you can start doing today that can immediately help you feel happier and more content.

Practice self-compassion

Remember throughout your day that you have a right to be safe and peaceful. Offer yourself a kind response in difficult moments and when you need to, prioritize your wellbeing.


In our hectic, modern lifestyle it can be hard to remember that, actually, most meaning comes from our connecting with others. This is a need that’s hard-wired into us as social creatures. So, where you can, try to connect with people in your life – whether that’s family, a partner, colleagues, or friends – on a human-to-human level. Ask how they are, talk about something they care about, or maybe just what they watched on TV last night.

Make kindness a habit

Similarly, look out for those opportunities in your day to spread kindness to other people. From the classic things like holding a door open to giving a compliment, acts of kindness are powerful ways to not only make you feel happier but also spread happiness to others: we now know that when you are kind to someone, on average they will go on to be extra kind to five more people.

Be mindful

If you can incorporate some kind of mindful practice in your day – and there are lots on our site – that is wonderful. But this isn’t the only way to be mindful. Try stepping away screens for a brief walk, practicing deep breathing when you’re feeling anxious or worried, or simply taking a moment to pause before responding to something that has annoyed you. These kind of practices have the benefit of calming the mind and helping you feel more grounded.

Take action

One of the known causes of unhappiness is having a sense of helplessness about the problems we might read about in the news or simply see day-to-day in our communities. If you feel like you’re running away from these issues, try instead turning towards them. Take a brave step and seek out ways that you can you be an agent of change in your community. Two things you can consider doing right now is registering to form a Compassion Circle (a place for cultivating compassion in your community) or become a Compassion Connectors (our team of volunteers working to create communities of compassion).

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