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30 Tips To Increase Your Happiness In 2019

As you ring in the New Year, no matter what your personal resolutions may be for 2019, chances are that you would like to live with a modicum of happiness and contentment. Although priorities vary from person to person, the following are guidelines that are likely to help:

  1. List three positive things that happened in your day and consider what caused them. How did you contribute? What roles did other people play? This exercise gives you the opportunity to acknowledge that even during a challenging day, there can be bright moments, and that you probably had a hand in the matter.
  2. Express interest and empathy during a conversation. Show through making eye contact, putting away other distractions, smiling when appropriate, and asking questions or paraphrasing what the other person has told you that you are trying to understand them.
  3. Perform five acts of kindness in one day. These need not take a lot of time. Saying hello to a stranger on the street, letting someone with only a few items go in front of you in line at the grocery store, and giving your spouse a hug all count.
  4. Forgive others and yourself. Doing so does not condone the offending behavior but frees you up to move on without the stifling effect of smoldering resentment.
  5. Mindfully follow your breath for 15 minutes. Sit quietly and still your mind. Allow your whirling thoughts to settle down, much like the snowflakes in a snow globe waft to the bottom, and strengthen your ability to focus on just this moment. Mindfulness opens up your mind to deeper levels.
  6. Once or twice a day, take a moment to pay attention to the physical sensations in your body. Check in with what your body might be telling you. Are your shoulders tight? If so, roll your shoulders a few times and imagine warmth spreading through them. Are you sitting in a hunched position? Reposition yourself with a straight spine and your head erect. Note how this new stance can help you feel more alert and confident.
  7. Write a letter to yourself expressing compassion about an area in your life for which you usually give yourself grief. Consider what a close friend might say to you. Recommit to being on your own side.
  8. For 15 minutes, write about how your ideal future life would look. How would you spend your time? With whom? Where would you live? There are no wrong answers. The point is to get clearer on what you want and then determine what is within your power to do, to help get you there. You could even write about different “ideal futures” on different days.
  9. Write down a list of things for which you are grateful. Some people do this on a daily basis, but doing so on a weekly basis has been shown to increase happiness, too. You’ll gain appreciation for the wonders already in your life.
  10. Write a letter of gratitude to someone. Don’t be shy, as you don’t have to send the letter. However, know that doing so can benefit both the recipient and you.
  11. Smile even if you don’t feel like it. It will stimulate the happiness part of your brain.
  12. Join a social network, attend regularly, and actively participate – don’t just stand on the sidelines. Let people get to know you.
  13. Check in with your family and friends about their needs and how you can help meet those needs.
  14. Surround yourself with positive people who share similar goals to yours. Cultivate relationships that support intimacy and bonding.
  15. Show kindness to everyone you encounter. Give love freely and accept it openly. Study the people you admire and emulate them. Find a mentor.
  16. Be a mentor to someone. You have a lot to give.
  17. Remain open, humble, teachable, and approachable to others. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you will receive.
  18. Ask for help and support when you are overwhelmed. Our culture promotes the “pull yourself by your own bootstraps” mentality, but the truth is that we tend to thrive when we give and reach social support on a regular basis.
  19. Do or learn something new every day. Read an article, look up a fact on the Internet, or memorize a new word. Be curious about life and people. Ask a lot of questions.
  20. Face problems head-on and handle them quickly. This will build your sense of competency. Take action and the motivation will tend to follow.
  21. Do some form of exercise every day, even if it’s just taking a short walk. Get those endorphins flowing, breathe deeply, strengthen your muscles, and increase your lung capacity through moving your body. Your mind and spirits will thank you.
  22. Take yourself less seriously. Lighten up and laugh more.
  23. Try to live in the present the majority of the time. Let go of regrets about the past and worries about the future. Take things one day at a time.
  24. Create a goal for each month and daily actions steps to get you there.
  25. Tell your friends and family about your goals to keep you accountable. Consider joining a support group to help keep you on track.
  26. Write down your values and make sure your life and work reflect those values. Aim for internal fulfillment rather than external fulfillments. When spending money, invest in experiences rather than possessions.
  27. Every day ask yourself, “Who am I and what do I want to create today?”
  28. Become aware of your limiting, negative thought patterns and actively work to become more solution-focused and optimistic. Focus on the positives.
  29. Relinquish perfectionism. Accept that you are perfectly imperfect, as are we all, and simply strive for improvement in those areas that mean the most to you. If you try something and it doesn’t work out the way you’d like it to, embrace failure as your friend. It means you’ve tried.
  30. Slow down. Walk more slowly, drive more slowly, eat more slowly, talk more slowly. Life is not a race to the finish line. What matters is appreciating the journey and not driving yourself into the ground.


Are there items you’d like to add to this list? Please feel free to leave your comments. A very Happy and Content New Year to you!



30 Tips To Increase Your Happiness In 2019

Rachel Fintzy Woods, MA, LMFT

Rachel Fintzy Woods, M.A., LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist in Santa Monica, California. Rachel counsels in the areas of relationships, the mind/body connection, emotion regulation, stress management, mindfulness, emotional eating, compulsive behaviors, self-compassion, and effective self-care. Trained in both clinical psychology and theater arts, Rachel works with people to uncover and develop their unique creative gifts and find personal fulfillment. For 17 years, Rachel has also been conducting clinical research studies at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the areas of mind/body medicine and the interaction of psychological well-being, social support, traumatic injury, and substance use. You can read more about Rachel at her website:

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APA Reference
Fintzy Woods, R. (2019). 30 Tips To Increase Your Happiness In 2019. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Dec 2019
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