5 Traits All of the Happiest Women Have in Common

Source: Guilherme Almeida | Pexels
Source: Guilherme Almeida | Pexels

When it comes to seeking happiness, we think that buying a fancy car, closing on a new home, or getting a dream promotion will be what finally gives us the joy we’re looking for in life. Maybe you even have told yourself once you lose weight or get in a relationship, then you’ll finally be happy. In reality, happiness is a skill, not a circumstance. It’s not something that happens when you reach a destination; it’s something you practice. The happiest women I know practice being happy actively, just like the fittest women know work on their fitness actively; they don’t just expect to feel fit, they work out every day to change their bodies. To be happy, we also have to practice every day to change our minds. If you’ve been searching for happiness in life, relationships, money, or promotions to no avail, try practicing these habits of the happiest women in the world

1. They say “no” to things that don’t bring them joy

Your friends are making plans that sound more like a chore than a good time, but the potential FOMO feels worse than actually participating. Or maybe your boss asks you to do something that’s outside your job description that you don’t have time for, but you don’t want to let them down. Sound familiar? If you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do simply because you don’t feel comfortable saying “no,” it’s time to adopt a new way of thinking. The happiest women prioritize themselves by declining any event or favor they‘d only commit to out of obligation, and they do so without feeling bad. If you’re constantly doing things you don’t want to do, start practicing the art of “Thanks, but I’ll catch up with you later!” or “I’m at full capacity right now and am unavailable” and see how much happier you feel. Make sure every “yes” you give is a true yes, meaning you know saying “yes” will bring you more happiness (whether it’s short-term or long-term).

2. They prioritize their health

You don’t have to be a fitness enthusiast or a health food connoisseur to be happy, but fueling your body and brain with lots of nutrients and moving often are key factors in our overall happiness. The happiest women I know make time for movement, incorporate healthy eating habits, keep up with their mental health, and stay hydrated in the name of feeling good, inside and out. But they’re not happy because they stick to a strict schedule of workouts, salads, and meditation. Instead, they tune into and listen to their bodies. They also know that connection is the most important factor in health. According to Standford Medicine, when you experience social connection—a coffee date with a co-worker, a group fitness class, or a walk with a friend—your risk of anxiety and depression lowers and you’re more likely to experience greater self-esteem.

3. They don’t take things personally

If you often find yourself worrying about whether someone is mad at you or overanalyzing something you did or said, it’s time to detox your thoughts. According to Psychology.org, negative ruminating can contribute to the development of anxiety and depression. Don’t spend your time overanalyzing, worrying about potential outcomes that aren’t reality, or wondering how others feel about you. When someone cuts them off on the freeway or speaks to them rudely, the happiest women chalk it up to the person having a bad day, not because of something they did or said–and then they move on. If their BFF leaves them on “Read,” they don’t doubt that it’s simply because their friend is preoccupied. By adopting this attitude, the happiest women I know are saving themselves a lot of energy, unnecessary heartache, and hurt feelings. If you tend to take things personally, try reminding yourself that other people’s behavior is usually attributed to themselves and has nothing to do with you.

4. They confront their problems

Uncomfortable conversations and difficult situations may seem easier to sweep under the rug than deal with, but the happiest women don’t shy away from facing their problems. Whether sharing feelings with their partner, addressing a misunderstanding at work, or crossing off a dreaded task from their to-do list, truly happy women conquer the things that would otherwise weigh on their minds. They know that running from problems doesn’t solve anything; happiness is the result of a calm mind. By addressing your problems head-on, you’ll spend less time and energy dwelling on them and more time enjoying life. 

5. They don’t compete with anyone but themselves

Most importantly, the happiest women don’t compare themselves to others and aren’t in competition with anyone else. With constant social media use, unrealistic beauty standards, and the constant pressure to do more, it’s no wonder we fall prey to the comparison game. However, the happiest women I know only strive to be better than they were yesterday. Instead of competing with the women around them, they use their successes as inspiration and celebrate them without jealousy or not feeling good enough. If feeling less-than is something you struggle with, try challenging your thinking, practicing gratitude, and showing yourself compassion. Instead, notice how great you already are, and look at envy as a mirror to what you are destined for, not what other people have that you do not.