How to Be Happy with What You Have: 12 Steps

Table of contents:

How to Be Happy with What You Have: 12 Steps
How to Be Happy with What You Have: 12 Steps

Happiness is a choice. It's impossible to control everything that happens to you, but you "can" control your thought processes and the actions you take. In essence, being happy with what you have can be done by focusing on the good things in life, letting go of unrealistic burdens and expectations, and doing your best to make you feel happy in the present moment.


Method 1 of 2: Changing Your Mindset

Be Happy With What You Have Step 1
Be Happy With What You Have Step 1

Step 1. Take time to reflect on the many blessings in life

In other words, think about the things you "have," don't think about the things you don't have. This isn't an easy thing to do if you're feeling down, so start with the things you take for granted. Ask yourself some of the questions below. If you can answer "yes" to "all" of the questions, you have a reason to celebrate life - not everyone can.

  • Do you have a place to live?
  • Do you have a job?
  • Do you have the opportunity to get an education?
  • Is there someone who loves you?
  • Is there a family member you have a good relationship with?
  • Do you sometimes have free time to do what you want?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Is there wilderness near where you live?
  • Is it enough to live?
  • What else do you need? Is this really necessary?
Be Happy With What You Have Step 2
Be Happy With What You Have Step 2

Step 2. Think about how things could have gotten worse

After that, try to think about all the things that could go bad right now. Think about why these things don't happen. Think of all the bad things that have never happened to you. Here are some questions you can ask yourself - this time, if you answered "no" to every question, you have reason to be happy!

  • Are you dead?
  • Are you imprisoned?
  • Is your health bad?
  • Are you really alone in this world and have no chance to meet new people?
  • Are you really broke?
Be Happy With What You Have Step 3
Be Happy With What You Have Step 3

Step 3. Let go of the past

There's no way to change the past, so it's pointless to worry about it. Don't waste a second focusing on the things you can't change - these things don't exist in the present. Here are some examples of things you shouldn't regret anymore:

  • The feeling of liking someone who is not welcomed
  • Mistakes you made regarding your career
  • Adventures you don't do
  • Embarrassing situation that you are involved in
Be Happy With What You Have Step 4
Be Happy With What You Have Step 4

Step 4. Stop comparing yourself to others

Envy is like poison for happiness. It's very difficult to keep happiness alive if you're constantly focused on how other people are better than you. If someone has something you love (like a job, a car, a partner, a great vacation experience, and so on), don't be disappointed if you don't have it. Instead, try to feel happy for the person and focus on making yourself happier.

Remember: other people tend to share the parts of their lives that they are proud of. Usually you don't know the bad things about the lives of your friends and coworkers

Be Happy With What You Have Step 5
Be Happy With What You Have Step 5

Step 5. Release yourself from material desires

Material possessions can't make you happy in the long run. The pleasure of buying a luxury item will fade in an instant. In no time, your new object will be boring and you won't be any happier than before. Money, houses, and fancy cars are nice to have, but they are not the source of happiness. So by allowing yourself to want these things, you're setting yourself up for even more unhappiness.

Be Happy With What You Have Step 6
Be Happy With What You Have Step 6

Step 6. Focus on your happiest memories

It's best if you don't worry about the past because there's nothing you can do to change it. However, you can and "should" reminisce about your good memories. No one else in this world has your fond memories, you are the only one who is lucky like that. Here are some things you can think about:

  • Beautiful childhood memories
  • Important achievements or events that you have
  • Memories with family that you enjoy
  • Happy memories with friends
  • Professional goals that you have achieved.

Method 2 of 2: Changing Your Actions

Be Happy With What You Have Step 7
Be Happy With What You Have Step 7

Step 1. Spend time with people you truly value

You could say you become like the people around you. Over time, their opinions, actions and emotions will rub off on you. In order for you to be as happy as possible, make sure you spend time with the people who are very important to you - the people who make you very happy. These people can be friends, family members, co-workers, spouses, or even casual acquaintances. Only you know who makes you the happiest, so take this decision for yourself.

Be Happy With What You Have Step 8
Be Happy With What You Have Step 8

Step 2. Thank other people for what they have given to your life

Always be grateful to those who bring happiness into your life. If you make it a habit to thank others, you will become aware of how happy you are in life. By thanking the people who mean the most to you, you too can share your happiness. Being happy alone is great, but being happy with someone close to you is even better.

That doesn't mean you have to give a heartwarming speech. You can thank something as simple as, "Hey, thanks for helping me yesterday. Your help means a lot to me." What matters is the sincerity of the thank you, not the choice of words used when doing it

Be Happy With What You Have Step 9
Be Happy With What You Have Step 9

Step 3. Create fun life goals

The happiness you get through achievement and success is great fun. Just like a newly purchased item, this feeling of happiness fades quickly so you feel like you were before. However, the pursuit of that goal can be a source of happiness as well. Having a purpose gives you a reason to live the best you can and makes you feel useful and active. In a way, having a goal is like filling "gasoline" to life that you can use to find happiness in the long run.

Every important event that you come across in your quest to achieve your goal is sure to feel good when you get through it. When you finally reach your goal, enjoy the joy it has, but remember that this happiness is only temporary so you can avoid disappointment. In order to find the same happiness, you must set new goals

Be Happy With What You Have Step 10
Be Happy With What You Have Step 10

Step 4. Surround yourself with things that make you happy

Something as simple as your surroundings can have an impact on your happiness. Do you like flowers? Decorate your home or office with flowers. Are you a car lover? Take time to take care of your car every week. Taking time - even if only a little - for things that make you feel happy can have a huge impact on your mood. Plus, it can remind you how much you have to be grateful for.

Be Happy With What You Have Step 11
Be Happy With What You Have Step 11

Step 5. Live an active and open lifestyle

Don't hesitate to leave the house because you can discover something new by doing it. Try to take a walk. Go to the park. Have a chat with someone you just met. Riding a bicycle. Visit museums. Do all the activities outside the home that you like. You will also see how your mood improves and your perspective changes.

Watching television or browsing cyberspace at home are great ways to relax, but you shouldn't do this in all your free time. The point is to do things in moderation - balance the desire to be lazy with the realization that life is temporary and you won't get back the time you wasted staying at home

Be Happy With What You Have Step 12
Be Happy With What You Have Step 12

Step 6. Have fun

Everyday life can be stressful and we can easily forget to have fun once in a while. There are actually many ways to have fun - only you know what it means to have fun for yourself. Some people like to party or go to nightclubs. Others prefer to read by the beach. Some people enjoy watching good movies. No matter what you're passionate about, try to always make time to do it on a regular basis. Remember: there's no point in avoiding activities that make you happy.

Having other people around can make a fun activity even more enjoyable, so feel free to invite friends, family, and/or partner along with you. However, don't miss the chance to have fun just because there's no one around to accompany you. Believe in yourself and do the activity yourself - you may be able to meet new people while doing it, but if you don't, you can still have a lot of fun


  • Try to be mentally in the present. Don't dwell on the past. Stop thinking about painful regrets. You can only change the present, and that's all that matters.
  • Remember that no one has a perfect life. Things can sometimes not go according to plan. Try to improve things like this, but don't let life's imperfections get you down. Mistakes and unhappiness are sometimes unavoidable.
  • Make a list of your likes and dislikes, your life goals, and so on. This is great for organizing your thoughts. Plus, it feels really good to cross out the things we've managed to finish.

Popular by topic