15 Things Incredibly Happy People Do

Young women hanging out at the beach, at sunset
POPSUGAR Photography | Benjamin Stone
POPSUGAR Photography | Benjamin Stone

Life isn't always a walk in the park. So how do happy people get through a rough day? These tips are small things that happy people do to make life just a little bit better, and now you can too.

1. They Turn Mistakes Into Lessons

As much as we try to strive for perfection, mistakes are an inevitable part of life. While it's easy to beat yourself up when a new job just isn't working out or a relationship falls apart, focusing on learning from what went wrong will help you turn a mistake into something productive. When something goes wrong, consider it an opportunity to grow and become an even better version of yourself.

2. They Go Offline

Obsessing over social media sites is a bad habit that we all have, but looking at pictures of other people's amazing vacations and delicious desserts isn't doing anything for you. Make a pact with yourself to unplug every day — you can read a book or call a friend — but just signing off allows you to live your life instead of watching other people live theirs.

3. They Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Bad days happen. You spill coffee down your shirt running out the door, you accidentally overdraft a card. . . . There are plenty of instances where anger, disappointment, and anxiety are totally reasonable reactions, but they don't have to be your final reactions. Learning to let go of the little things you can't control will allow you to focus better on the positive aspects of life. While those small things totally suck, there's something great around the corner that is more worthy of your time and energy.

4. They Plan Getaways

Even if you can't afford a cross-continent trip, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to get out there and see the world. Experiencing a new culture or food or a change in scenery is a great way to bring a little extra happiness into your life. Whether you book a trip alone or with a buddy, traveling helps you to create memories that you will never forget.

5. They Say Thank You

Saying thank you is an easy way to pay it forward and make everyone's day a little brighter. During a busy day, take a second to stop and be grateful for the small stuff. It may not come naturally, but in the long run, it really will increase your happiness. Whether it's a friendly checkout person at the drugstore or a co-worker who holds the elevator so you can jump in, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and appreciate the little things.

6. They Give Themselves a Break

Putting in long hours at the office is draining, but there's a little trick that will help you to be both happier and more productive: take a break. Even if you bring your own lunch, step out for a brisk walk around the block. Getting your body moving and taking your eyes off your screen will help you come back after just five minutes, feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever project is up next on the agenda.

7. They Turn a To-Do List Into a Game

Doing chores is not usually considered fun, but there are ways to transform busywork into something more exciting. The next time you need to tackle a bedroom cleanup, set a phone timer for 10 minutes and race against the clock to accomplish as much as you can while time ticks away. Ten minutes will be over before you know it, and in your haste to beat the clock, you'll find that a daunting task has disappeared before your eyes.

8. They Build Relationships

Maintaining friendships is an important part of leading a happy and full life. Whether you have a few close friends or a big social circle, keeping in contact and having a buddy to cheer you up can make a huge difference.

9. They Don't Blame the Past

Instead of dwelling on the things that went wrong in your past, make your time more meaningful by looking to the future. When you stay positive and think about the things you can accomplish, you're able to find peace with the things that may not have gone your way before.

10. They Fake It Till They Make It

Some days just start off bad, and from the moment you wake up, you really just want an excuse to stay under the covers. When you have no choice but to get up and face the day, try faking a smile through your morning routine.

11. They Take Chances

Instead of waiting for opportunities to fall into your lap, take control. Putting yourself out there can feel like a challenge, but once you take a risk, whether it's searching for a new job or asking a friend out on a date, you will be rewarded.

12. They Get Sleep

Catching a few extra hours of sleep can make a big difference. When you're feeling groggy or under the weather, it's hard to put your best foot forward. While you definitely shouldn't sacrifice your plans just to hit the hay, make sure you make time to catch up on your sleep.

13. They Get Moving

While a marathon may not be on the horizon, physical activity is an important part of leading a happier life. Working out releases endorphins and help you banish a blah mood for good.

14. They Are Honest

They say "honesty is the best policy," and when it comes to health and happiness, this couldn't be more true. Lies cause stress and anxiety, and life is too short not to live authentically.

15. They Don't Compare Themselves to Others

Everyone has their own path in life, and when you start to compare yours to others', you take focus away from personal progress. While jealousy can be hard to beat, learning to let go of how you stack up to others will ultimately help you to focus on your own successes.