Turn that Frown Upside Down: How to Be Happy with Yourself

Since becoming an adult I’ve met people that are completely happy with themselves and others that seem uncomfortable in their own bodies. I think that most of us fall somewhere in the middle, but I’m going to warn you that it’s easy to look for happiness in the wrong places.

Money makes some people pretty happy, at least temporarily. If you’re an unhappy person, though, the novelty of what you’ve bought will eventually wear off and you’ll start feeling miserable again.  Losing weight can definitely make you feel better too, but being thinner doesn’t necessarily translate into instant happiness. You probably get my point so I won’t bother to provide any more examples, but I am going to offer some tricks I’ve picked up on how to be happy with yourself.

Keep these 8 Happiness Tricks Up Your Sleeve

If a formula for instant happiness existed, I’d probably bottle it up and sell it. (Can you imagine how happy that money would make me initially?!) Most people want to be happy because frankly, feeling lousy isn’t much fun. Before I go any further I’ve got to remind you that happiness comes from within. It’s a state of mind; it’s a choice we can all make. If you want to be happy with yourself, you can. Just consider the following:

1. Be yourself.

Quit trying to morph yourself into someone you’re not. It’s okay to be unique; it’s okay to be you. In fact, your family and friends would prefer it. So would I.

2. Stop playing the “If only” game.

Quit telling yourself that you’d be happier “if only” you had something in your possession or “if only” you were doing something regularly. This habit will make you grumpy and jealous of people around you—happy people. Instead, focus on what you do have and what you can do—right now, in the present.

3. Clean up your environment.

It’s hard to feel happy when you’re surrounded by junk. Clean up your house or apartment and get rid of or donate things you no longer use.

4. Clean up your relationships.

Stop clinging to friendships that aren’t working out just for the sake of having friends. If you’re unhappy whenever you’re around someone but the thought of ending the relationship makes you feel guilty, get over it and stop seeing them. You’ll feel better soon enough.

5. Stop living in the past.

Sure, you might have been your school’s star football player or the highest-paid manager at work, but if those parts of your life are over, let them be over. Memories are fine, but if you constantly live in the past you’ll never learn what the future has in store for you.

6. Don’t take things so personally.

Take a deep breath and repeat after me: “Not everything in the world is my fault.”

The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll be on the road to happiness. Other people’s problems are their problems, not yours.

7. Learn to laugh at yourself.

Don’t let mistakes ruin your life. If you do something wrong, learn to laugh at yourself and move on. You’ll feel a whole lot better once you can do this.

8. Try your best.

Just as no one is happy 100% of the time, no one is perfect. When you’re working on a project or trying to reach a goal, try your best. Sometimes things don’t work as planned, but if you honestly did all you could and you know you gave your all, that’s all the matters.

Certainly not the formula to happiness in a bottle, but still some decent advice. Try to incorporate some (or all!) of these tricks into your own life if you’re trying to learn how to make yourself happy.

Take Action. Get Results.

18 thoughts on “Turn that Frown Upside Down: How to Be Happy with Yourself”

  1. Good morning Steve:

    Reading a blog post like this should make a perfect day for me. I am one of those who always have a list of things that I want to achieve, but your blog post did the trick, and it made me smile already. You have provided good tools to think positively happy. Just eight tricks are easy to do for yourself and it is a great idea to be happy with yourself, then everyone around you is happy.

    Make it a great “happy” week end for yourself too.


    • Fran,

      You are such a good natured and happy (seeming) person. I am sure you have no issues with negativity. Glad it was a fun read for you anyway! Thanks for your aweosme comments.

      Have a fabulous weekend!

      • Hey Steve:

        Thanks for the vote of confidence. Yes I do act very bubbly all the time, but many times inside me there is a storm of emotions, that are better off controlled,
        instead of spoiling other peoples day. But I have a normal life, not much to worry about.

        Thanks to friends like you, my days go busy. So there is no time to be unhappy, just keep on going.

        But your blog post started my day with a positive trend to know how to stay happy.

        I hope it did the same to you.


  2. Steve,

    One sure way to happiness is the “attitude of gratitude”. It does encompass some of the things you’ve listed above, and there’s much more to it that everyone should experience. I’m running a challenge on that this month, and I think it’s going to take the participants (including me, of course) to a different and very special level of happiness in day-to-day life.

    I was actually expecting you’d come over to check it out the last couple of days, and even checked the spam folder to see if your comment had gotten there like the other day. Was happy (and grateful) to have incidentally found Matthew’s comment there 🙂

    I’ll see you around…


    • Attitude of gratitude…your a poet and didn’t know it.

      …Actually I am sure you did…

      I checked it out…I was in a hurry (think i tweeted it) anyway headed back there to comment now that I have a moment. It is always good to look for me in the spam folder. I think that issue is MOSTLY cleared up now. At least I haven’t heard of anyone finding me in their spam folders in a month or so…but maybe that is because i am not seeing the ones who do.

      Have a great weekend. (or rest of it)

      • Ha ha! Yes, I am a poet, and I know that, though I haven’t written poems for quite some time now. LOL!

        By the way, I cannot take credit for the “attitude of gratitude” phrase, as I had come across it somewhere else long back.

        Thanks for your valuable comments and support for the ongoing challenge. I just published another post related to the challenge. It’s for everyone who thinks it is a difficult one, and would help them achieve it. As for you, I think it is going to be a piece of cake anyway, but having a look at the new post may make it a child’s play 🙂

        By the way, when are you flying back home? Have a safe flight!


  3. Hi Steve,

    Very nice post! I have learned that happiness starts within. We are responsible for making ourselves happy, not other people or material things. Sure material things help and having people like us helps as well, but true happiness starts with ourselves. I like the tips you provided, especially number 2. Many people play the “if only” game, which is one of the main reasons some people are unhappy. Thanks for sharing my friend

  4. #2 is really big – I think we all get to that point where we think “if only I knew how to do X” or “if only I did X then” – we keep wishing but we never get anything done. We just have to do it. Plain and simple. If we want it – we go for it. We have fun along the way and always learn from it even when we fail. Change, at least for me, means that I’m going to be happy – if I’m locked into a single mindset for years – that’s unhappiness. The point? Do. New. Things.

    • Dia and Murray

      You are both 100% right. It is hard to NOT spare a little thought for “what might have been”. But this little nostalgic moment can easily be idealized (and become better than it ever would have been…in your imagination)

      Murray you really nailed it less “what if” and more “what can i do” For people that are unhappy or discontent. (or even happy people who want more) the goal should always be in what action can be taken to improve life.

  5. Great tips, especially about ditching friends that are of no value or even are a negative influence. I used to be very loyal and continue hanging out with some friends who I stopped relating to, and when I decided to stop contacting them, I gained so much free time.

    I find as long as you’re trying your best, and give yourself goals to achieve, depression is pretty hard.

    • Yeah, ditching friends can be a tough thing to do. I would not say to do it JUST because you do not share same interests. I enjoy some time with people who have different interests.

      But many times these friends can really actually be working to hold you back, whether they intend to or not. These are the ones that sadly need to be lost.

  6. I think #7 is one of the biggest points. One of my kids used to have quite the difficulty with that, and always took things ‘way too seriously . But being able to laugh at yourself (and accept yourself as a flawed but magnificent human bean) – it makes life far more enjoyable to live.

  7. Hi Steve,

    Great post as usual! Many people would like to know how to be happy with themselves.

    I fully agree with you that money can only buy temporary happiness. At most it is a mere distraction. But once the novelty of your new purchase loses its appeal, as it inevitably would, you would have nothing to distract you anymore. Then you go back to the reality of your situation.

    If a formula for instant happiness did exist and you could bottle it and sell it…you would be a very happy billionaire. Then you would truly be happy if you used that money to better the lives of others somehow on autopilot. That’s a thought. 😉

    “Happiness comes from within.” That essentially is the secret of happiness. If you depend on external factors to be happy, your happiness will not be stable since the slightest mishap to your external source can sense you plunging to the depths of despair.

    I love your 8 tricks to be happy. The ones that stand out the most for me are:

    1. Be yourself.

    Once I stopped trying to be someone else to win the approval of others, I became happy. Being yourself, doing the things you enjoy, behaving naturally is the best way to be happy.

    2. Stop playing the “If only” game.

    Learning to be content with what you have is an important ingredient for happiness. We take so much of the things we have for granted. It is a huge shame to have worked hard to get to where you are today to disregard all that you have achieved. That’s not to say that we should stagnate. But rather learning to be content and not envious gives us stability that will help us to achieve our future goals. Blessed is the man who appreciates the true value of all that he has.

    4. Clean up your relationships.

    Relationships have a large impact on our happiness. Even so, not many of us pay careful attention to our relationships. We do not assess our relationships, especially the toxic ones, with an objective eye. As such, we end up in many unhappy friendships and romantic relationships that are simply not good for us. Then we wonder why we can’t be happy.

    8. Try your best.

    I have always believed that it is important to live a life without regrets. This is important to happiness. If you have given your best in everything that you do, then you have given your all. The outcome from here on is out of your hands but it is for the best as well. Even if it doesn’t turn out as you wish, your conscience is free of burden because you have done everything that you humanly could. There is no regrets on your part. And that is the secret of being happy.

    Thank you for sharing this great post!

  8. This was a great post, Steve. But it’s sad that posts like this have to be written. It’s sad to me that people need to be instructed on how to be happy.

    And honestly, I can’t think of anything to add to the list, so… Yeah! Keep up the good work!

  9. Hey Steve,

    Great article! As always a thought-provoking entry and a one I strongly agree with. Whether one will be happy or not depends pretty much on himself and his way of thinking.

    I’m totally with you on the first point. Being yourself has turned into cliché these days and may sound kinda dull, but it definitely is true. You can’t be happy if you wear a mask each and every second of your life.

    The 6th tip is especially true as well. It is a common thing for people to take everything a bit more deeply than they should. With that kind of attitude even a joke for those guys can be taken as an insult. you just can’t be happy with that kind of thinking.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Happiness is a state of mind. It remains with us until we decide to change it, and we can choose happiness in any moment. If we’re alive, there’s a reason to be happy 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the practical tips.

    As an aside, have a safe trip home! My girlfriend is flying back to NJ (JFK, actually) tomorrow too after an extended stay in Peru and Ecuador. She did the Europe bit 2 years back for 2 months, and loved it!

    All the best.


  11. Hi Steve,

    I love this post. I agree with everyone who said that happiness starts from within. No-one else and nothing else will make you happy long term.

    I think that when we work to our strengths in life; it naturally makes us happier. When we do the things we’re good at and enjoy doing (and get paid for it); life is a lot more enjoyable.

    I think unhappiness comes when we’re not living our life in the way we know we were meant to. So, I think to be happy, you really have to get in touch with who you want to be and what you want to achieve in life.

    Then start making the changes to bring your life into line with what is really in your heart. If you make choices that lead you towards what you really want, you’ll be happier.

    I think. I don’t know for sure but this is what has worked for me. I really love all your tips though and agree wholeheartedly with all of them.

  12. Steve,

    Great list. Love the first 2. Once you learn that you CAN’T be anyone else, then it gets easier. I tried too hard when I was younger to fit in, and now I realize I don’t care if I fit in. It is too overrated.

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