Can We Make Happiness a Habit?

happiness habit


You wanna be happy, right?

Of course, you do! Everyone wants to be happier. (Yes, even you, Oscar, you grouch!)

chillpill oscar happiness habit

We all want to be that person who’s always smiling no matter what happens to us. To have a positive outlook on life and enjoy every moment of it. The type of person who stops and smells the flowers.

Now, you’re probably think some people just naturally have the ability to be happy while others (like you) don’t. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Turns out you’re not missing a happiness gene! You just have to make happiness a habit.

But why aren’t we all just happier?

Your Brain is Wired Towards Negativity

According to Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,

“Our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative, which can make us feel stressed and unhappy even though there are a lot of positive things in our lives.”

This negativity bias is a part of our evolution. If our ancestors weren’t careful, they probably would’ve been eaten by sabertooth tigers or GIANT 7 foot tall sloths! (SERIOUSLY, these things existed!)

chillpill ground sloth museum

So…we basically evolved to be negative? What a bummer. Even though it’s true that humans naturally have a bias towards negative thoughts and fear, we still control our ability to be happy. You don’t want to just survive – you want to live!

The Key is to Give Ourselves More Love

Elisha Goldstein, psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher, explains:

““One of the things we can give in life is love to ourselves. This isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary to feeling well. Consider today, what is one way you can give love to yourself? Maybe it’s taking a vacation from the inner-critic for a day, indulging in a treat you don’t normally give yourself the luxury of, or perhaps simply putting your hand on your heart and priming your mind for good by wishing yourself to be happy, to be safe, to be healthy and to be free from fear.”

We just need to make a habit of this. As Elisha Goldstein puts it:

“Learning how to give more love to ourselves is a key practice that when turned into a habit, becomes a source of happiness and resiliency.”

Create a Happiness Habit Loop

As we know, there are 3 parts to a habit. Elisha Goldstein recommends we use context as a cue to trigger our happiness habit.

“When we practice and repeat introducing ways to love ourselves in certain contexts, the contexts themselves become cues for that to begin happening automatically.”

Here’s how you do it according to Elisha Goldstein:

  1. Consider what loving yourself means to you.
  2. Sprinkle more into your day as a practice for a week.

The reward? Happiness!

han solo and princess leia

Like with any habit, you’ll need to make a daily practice of your happiness habit to train your brain.


What would your life look like if you could remove your habit of negative thoughts? 

If you want to be happy, then you need to cultivate a happiness habit. There are no more sabertooth tigers, so you’re all good!  🙂

Imagine your mind as a garden. The garden you grow comes down to the plants you choose to grow – flowers of happiness or weeds of negativity.

Do you want this?

tulips for happiness habit

Or this?

dandelion weeds

The garden that grows is entirely up to YOU.

Per Elisha Goldstein:

“There are specific seeds within each and every one of us that if we understand and water, we can literally create a more resilient and joyful life.”

We’re creatures of habit, so why not make happiness a habit?!

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”

– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Thanks for reading!

Sharing is caring, so we’d love if you share this article with a friend. They deserve to be happy too.  🙂

Make Happiness Your Goal

BONUS: Download the 5 Science-Backed Hacks to Create Daily Happiness

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