12 special traits of people who are truly happy in life

by Brendan Brown | March 15, 2024, 4:18 pm

What does it mean to be truly happy? Is it about perpetual joy, immense wealth, or achieving your dreams? 

Happiness, in its truest form, is a state of contentment, peace, and well-being that goes beyond material possessions and societal expectations. 

But how can you tell if you’ve attained this elusive state? 

Here, we delve into 12 special traits of people who are genuinely happy in life. 

Recognizing these in yourself could reveal an underlying happiness you might not even be aware you possess.

1) They live in the moment

Truly happy people have an innate ability to be fully present in the moment. 

They don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Instead, they savor the present, whether they’re enjoying a meal, listening to music, or simply observing their surroundings. 

This trait is often unconscious, but it significantly contributes to their overall contentment, as they’re able to appreciate life as it unfolds, moment by moment.

2) They express gratitude regularly

People who are genuinely happy in life have an inherent sense of gratitude

They recognize and appreciate the good in their lives, from significant achievements to the simple pleasures. 

Even when things are not going according to plan, they’re able to find something to be grateful for. 

This unconscious habit of gratitude fosters a positive outlook, and significantly contributes to their sense of contentment and well-being.

3) They foster deep relationships

Those who are truly happy understand the importance of meaningful relationships. 

They have deep connections with their family and friends and prioritize quality over quantity in their social circles. 

They listen, empathize, and support others, and in turn, are nourished by these reciprocal relationships. 

This ability to connect deeply with others results from and contributes to their sense of happiness, providing a sense of belonging and love that enriches their lives.

4) They seek personal growth

These people see life as a journey of learning and personal development. They embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and they’re always open to new experiences and ideas. 

Their pursuit of growth isn’t always conscious, but it’s a continuous process that fuels their curiosity and passion for life. 

This mindset not only enriches their experiences but also gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that’s integral to their happiness.

5) They practice kindness

Kindness is a byproduct of happiness.

These people have a natural tendency to be helpful, compassionate, and considerate, whether it’s offering a word of encouragement, lending a helping hand, or simply sharing a smile. 

This unconscious trait of kindness doesn’t just benefit others; it also enhances their own sense of well-being and fulfillment. 

The act of giving not only cultivates good relationships but also creates a positive feedback loop that reinforces their happiness.

6) They are authentic

People who are authentically happy are comfortable being themselves

They don’t feel the need to pretend or conform to societal norms or expectations. 

Instead, they express their true feelings and thoughts, embrace their quirks, and acknowledge their imperfections. 

This authentic way of living allows them to cultivate inner peace and acceptance, which contributes significantly to their overall happiness. 

Being true to themselves, they experience a sense of freedom and contentment that’s uniquely enriching.

7) They value experiences over possessions

When you have a natural preference for experiences over material possessions, then you are truly happy.

You understand that joy derived from experiences is far more lasting than the temporary satisfaction gained from acquiring things.

These experiences may be anything—travel, learning a new skill, or spending time with loved ones.

This unconscious shift in values leads to richer, more meaningful memories, and ultimately a deeper sense of happiness and fulfillment.

8) They find joy in simple things

People who are genuinely happy can find joy in the simplest things—a good book, a cup of coffee, a walk in the park. 

They don’t need grand gestures or expensive commodities to feel content. 

This unconscious ability to appreciate the small, everyday pleasures enables them to cultivate a consistent state of happiness that is not dependent on extraordinary events or circumstances.

9) They embrace imperfections

Those truly content with their lives accept and embrace imperfections—both in themselves and others. 

They understand that no one is perfect and that mistakes and flaws are part of being human. 

This acceptance is not a conscious effort, but an inherent understanding that contributes to their happiness

By embracing imperfections, they let go of unrealistic standards and unnecessary pressure, fostering a sense of self-love and compassion towards others.

10) They are optimistic

Happy people focus on the possibilities rather than the problems, and they see opportunities in challenges. 

This optimistic outlook isn’t a forced positivity, but an ingrained mindset that helps them navigate life with hope and resilience. 

This perspective allows them to face difficulties with courage and positivity, significantly contributing to their overall sense of happiness.

11) They maintain work-life balance

Truly happy individuals intuitively understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance

They value their time and ensure they allocate it to various aspects of their life such as work, family, hobbies, and self-care. 

This balance isn’t necessarily a conscious decision, but a natural alignment of priorities that ensures they live a rounded and fulfilling life.

This contributes to their underlying sense of contentment.

12) They take care of their physical health

Finally, people who are genuinely happy value their physical health. 

They have a natural inclination towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle—whether it’s regular exercise, a balanced diet, or adequate sleep. 

This care for their physical well-being isn’t always a conscious effort, but it significantly impacts their mental and emotional well-being, thereby enhancing their overall happiness

They understand, often unconsciously, that a healthy body is a key component of a happy life.

How to measure true happiness

Measuring happiness can be somewhat nebulous as it’s a complex, multifaceted state of being rather than a transient emotion. 

It involves a blend of joy, contentment, satisfaction, and a sense of living a meaningful life

Here, we’ve compiled a list of indicators that can serve as your personal gauge to measure your true happiness. 

Remember: These are not definitive rules but insightful guideposts to help you introspect your inner state of well-being.

Sense of peace

True happiness often brings a deep sense of peace and calm, even amidst the storms of life. 

This peace isn’t the absence of problems but the ability to remain tranquil in their midst. 

If you find yourself maintaining composure in challenging situations and bouncing back relatively quickly from setbacks, you are likely experiencing true happiness.

Satisfaction with what you have

Being satisfied with what you have rather than constantly craving for more is a strong indicator of true happiness

This doesn’t mean you don’t have aspirations but indicates an appreciation for your current blessings and achievements.

Quality of relationships

The quality of your relationships often mirrors your state of happiness. 

If you share deep, meaningful connections with your loved ones and have a strong support system, you’re likely experiencing a high degree of happiness.

Physical well-being

Your physical health is a mirror of your mental and emotional states. 

If you generally feel energetic, get sound sleep, and have good health, it’s a positive sign of your underlying happiness.

Positive outlook

If you tend to see the glass as half full rather than half empty, it indicates an inherent happiness. 

A positive outlook helps you tackle life’s challenges with optimism and resilience, key indicators of a happy state of being.

Engagement in activities

A sense of engagement and flow in your daily activities, whether work or leisure, suggests you are experiencing true happiness. 

It’s about losing track of time because you’re so engrossed and enjoying what you’re doing.

Presence of joy

Experiencing frequent moments of joy, even in the simplest things, is a strong sign of true happiness. 

This joy isn’t necessarily about euphoria or intense excitement, but about a steady undercurrent of positivity and delight in your everyday life.

Sense of purpose

If you feel that your life has a sense of purpose or meaning, it’s a powerful sign of true happiness. 

This purpose isn’t necessarily grandiose, but it aligns with your values and brings fulfillment.

Kindness towards others

An instinctive tendency to be kind and compassionate towards others is another potent sign of genuine happiness. 

If spreading kindness feels as natural to you as breathing, you are likely living a truly happy life.

Final words

True happiness isn’t about a perpetual state of joy or the accumulation of wealth and accomplishments. 

It’s about cultivating a state of contentment, peace, and well-being within ourselves. 

As we journey through life, it’s essential to foster these special traits that contribute to our underlying happiness. 

Remember: You are already on your path to true happiness, even if it doesn’t always seem so. 

Embrace the small joys, cherish your relationships, be authentic, and stay grateful. 

Keep exploring, learning, and growing, and you’ll find that true happiness is not a destination, but a beautiful journey of self-discovery and fulfillment.

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