Personal Growth

10 Tips for Nurturing Happiness

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

As we head into special times of the year such as holiday or vacation, we often anticipate finding happiness. But, I wonder if we can ever really find happiness? What is the real stuff made of? Not the illusion that disappears along with the last joyful moment of our holiday. I’m not so sure that we find happiness, but I am confident we can cultivate it, make a place for happiness, and be ready to experience it.

Here are my top 10 tips for nurturing happiness.

1. Say Thank You

There is a reason we teach children to say Thank you. It helps them recognize the good people and good things around them. We would be wise to do the same. Start, end, intersperse your day with a bit of gratitude. What are you thankful for? Name it. Write it down. Tell someone – tell yourself. I’m thankful for my husband who makes me coffee each morning, for podcasts on long car rides, a workplace filled with interesting people…

Start, end, intersperse your day with a bit of gratitude.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
G.K. Chesterton


2. Choose It

We are the active ingredient in our lives. This is our life and we get a say in how we want it to look and feel. Some things we don’t control, and that’s okay, or at least it is the reality, but there is a lot we do control. We get to choose our attitude and our responses. Life isn’t always easy. Most of ours aren’t; we all have our struggles and pressures. But our lives are mostly good and we need to do our part in making it so.

If you want to be happy, be.
Leo Tolstoy


3. Fill Your Life with Good People

Who are the people who make you feel good? Who inspires you? Who lends you a listening ear? Who are the people who support you? Who makes you laugh? Who do you spend time with and leave encouraged to be a better person? We are not meant to do this thing alone. We need people. We need good people. And we need to have them close by. See others as partners in creating and experiencing happiness.

Joys divided are increased.
Josiah Gilbert Holland


4. Share Freely

Pass the happiness along. If you see something that moves you – say so. If you meet someone and you are pleased – tell them. If your co-worker eases your workload – make mention of it. If a friend said something that got you thinking – let them know the impact of their words. Share your smiles, your ideas and even the pain life gives. Try it. See how others respond and see how it makes you feel.

Happiness seems made to share.
Pierre Corneille


5. Have Fun

Work expectations, kids, aging parents, financial worries: the demands of life are endless. No matter how much we do, the list is never done. We have the choice to endlessly run, or we can take a bit of time to have some fun. Play a game, dance while making dinner, be silly, laugh a little and see if happiness makes an appearance.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from our own actions.
Dalai Lama


6. Do Something for Someone Else

Volunteer. Help a neighbor. Buy a surprise gift for a friend or family member. Ask a co-worker if you can do anything to help. Look around and see what needs doing – and do it – even if it’s not in your job description. Offer what you can to support a bigger cause. Go the extra mile just because you know it will make someone else happy. Emotions are contagious. Give happiness and you are sure to get some in return.

Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing.
Napoleon Hill


7. Invest in Your Health

Eat well, exercise and sleep enough. Most of us know more about the value of eating well, getting regular exercise and ensuring we are rested than we actually implement. It is hard to be happy when we are run down and tired. When we take care of our physical self we make a place for our emotional self to experience the happiness around us. Let’s not miss out because we are too tired.

The groundwork of all happiness is health.
Leigh Hunt


8. Give Good Gifts to Yourself

The holidays are about gift giving. Make sure you are on your own list. Being nice to yourself should extend beyond the holiday season. Intentionally plan something for yourself. If you’re up to the challenge, try doing something each week. Even better, include a gift to yourself each day. It doesn’t have to have a price tag; the best gifts are usually about time.

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin: what else does a man need to be happy?
Albert Einstein


9. Feel Deeply

Happiness is a feeling. Feelings come and go. Being a happy person does not mean it is our exclusive emotion. It can permeate our lives, but sadness, grief, uncertainty and frustration are also a part of the human experience. We don’t have to fear any emotion. Unsettling emotions are often the appropriate response, and they do not chase happiness away.

Happy is he who learns to bear what he cannot change.
Friedrich Schiller


10. Slow Down and Hear Your Own Voice

Don’t hurry. Don’t rush. Don’t ask, “What’s next?” Happiness doesn’t have a secret recipe. Ask yourself: what do I need to be happy, deeply happy, to be content and at peace? These are hard questions; give yourself time to reflect and time to consider. Listen to yourself. No one knows your needs like you. And when you experience a bit of happiness, pause, take it in and return to tip 1.

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they did not stop to enjoy it.
William Feather

For more FREE RESOURCES on this topic and others, visit our free resources page.


Wendy Loewen

Managing Director

Wendy is co-author of ACHIEVE’s book, The Culture Question: How to Create a Workplace Where People Like to Work. This books is available on our website

To receive notification of a new blog posting, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
© Achieve Centre For Leadership (
Interested in using the content of this blog? Learn more here.

Share this:
Keep up to date with ACHIEVE

Receive a free Conflict Resolution Skills E-Manual!
Sign me up to receive info on: