What Are the 10 Keys to Lasting Happiness?

If you need more tips on how to become happy in life, these practices have been strongly linked in many research papers to lasting well-being:


Studies show that fostering a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the positive aspects of our lives has a powerful impact on our own happiness level, making it one of the major keys to happiness. By shifting our focus towards the good in our lives, research suggests we can become much happier.

Kindness and Compassion

Another crucial element of well-being comes through expressions of kindness and caring towards others. Indeed, numerous studies show that giving to others, whether through formal volunteer work or other means, is one of the most powerful ways to be happy.


Around 80% of people tend to be harder on themselves than they are on others. Unfortunately, this sort of self-criticism takes a tremendous toll on our well-being. Self-Compassion—learning to treat ourselves with kindness and caring—has been shown to have powerful benefits on our mental and physical health.


Some studies suggest that we spend roughly half of our waking hours mentally detached from the present moment; in other words, we may be physically in one place, but mentally we are somewhere else. This same research suggests that the more our mind wanders, the less happy we tend to be. Mindfulness—the ability to be non-judgmentally aware in the present moment—has been shown to have immense benefits to our happiness and well-being, along with our physical health.


We’ve all heard it said that it’s best to see the glass as “half full,” but recent research underscores the importance of optimism to both our mental and physical well-being. Indeed, optimists tend to be both happier and healthier than pessimists across many different areas.

Interpersonal Connection

We live in a world of infinite connection these days thanks to technology and social media. Unfortunately, some studies suggest that the quality of our interpersonal connections has deteriorated as the quantity has gone up. This is unfortunate because much research shows that one of the best ways to finding happiness is to enhance the quality of our closest interpersonal relationships.


When we are hurt, anger is a natural response. But holding onto anger for months, or even years can have a toxic effect on our mental and physical health. One of the secrets on how to live a happy life is learning to let go of this anger can free us, and the practice of forgiveness has been linked to a number of powerful benefits to our health and happiness.

Using Our Strengths

Learning to identify and harness our own personal strengths is one of the many ways to be happy. In fact, it has been shown to have a number of benefits when it comes to boosting our own level of happiness and achieving a greater sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.

Savoring Positive Experiences

Sometimes good things can happen in our lives but we quickly move onto the next thing. Similarly, because negative experiences have a much more powerful effect on us, it’s easy to lose sight of the good experiences that might occur each day. The skill of savoring is one of the main keys to happiness as it helps us to amplify and draw out positive and pleasant experiences, to better allow them to “sink in” from a happiness standpoint.

Caring For Our Bodies and Health

Among the many ways to be happy is by taking good care of yourself. During times of stress, it’s particularly easy to lose sight of self-care, and our health is one of the first areas to suffer. By attending to our sleep, exercise patterns, and even the food that we eat, we can lay the groundwork for increased happiness and well-being.