27 Simple Essential Rules to Live By for a Happy Life

Simple Essential Rules to Live By for a Happy Life

Rules to live by for a happy life

Have you ever pondered the elusive nature of happiness? It’s a universal desire, yet many people find themselves going through life feeling unfulfilled, discontent, and sometimes utterly lost in life.

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But what if I told you there’s a secret to happiness hidden within we all can access?

It’s all about the rules we choose to live by. Yes, there are rules. But which ones are you following?

You can choose the essential golden rules of happy people. What rules are those you ask?

These are the essential rules to live by for a happy life that should be your compass in taking your life in the direction you want it to go.

These rules guide you.

They call to you to follow your heart and to be you.

If you just pause long enough to listen to your intuition and your secret knowing, you can easily access your own set of rules to live by.

The truth is that happiness isn’t just a stroke of luck or a distant dream.

It’s a tangible reality waiting to be unlocked, and the key lies in the rules we adhere to.

And if you think about it, you realize that we’re all following rules—whether consciously or not.

These rules shape our thoughts, actions, and ultimately, our happiness.

So are the rules you’re living by truly serving your happiness?

Are they empowering you to live a life of purpose, passion, and fulfillment?

If not, it’s time to rewrite the script and embrace a new set of guidelines—the essential golden rules of happy people.

These rules aren’t some elusive secret reserved for a select few; they’re accessible to every one of us.

By adopting these principles into our daily lives, we can transform our reality and cultivate a deeper sense of joy, contentment, and meaning.

Rule to live by for a happy life

We’re ensnared by societal rules that dictate what success should look like, who we should be, and how we should live our lives. 

Yet, despite our best efforts to conform, many of us still find ourselves feeling unfulfilled, lost, and disconnected from our true selves.

Rules to live by to be happy are about reclaiming our autonomy and rediscovering what truly matters.

In a world that constantly bombards us with messages of inadequacy and insatiable desires, these simple rules offer a refuge—a reminder that happiness is not found in the pursuit of external validation or material wealth, but in the cultivation of inner peace and self-acceptance and self-love. 

So, are you ready to start living a life governed by these simple rules to live by for a happy life?

 Let’s dive in and learn about the most important rules to live a happy life we all should adopt. 

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1. Identify  your values, passions, and strengths

When you identify your values, passions, and strengths and live accordingly, you then find your purpose in life and nothing makes life more fulfilling. Living according to our purpose is what life is all about. 

A sense of purpose gives our lives direction and meaning, providing us with a reason to get out of bed each morning and pursue our goals with passion and determination. 

By identifying our values, passions, and strengths, we can uncover our unique purpose in life and align our actions with our deepest aspirations.

2. Stay true to yourself

Nothing brings on more unhappiness than living an inauthentic life. It is like living a lie and that is hard on the mind. It makes life feel heavy and unhappy. 

 Authenticity is the key to living a fulfilling and meaningful life. By honoring our values, beliefs, and aspirations, we align our actions with our true selves, fostering a greater sense of integrity and self-respect. 

Staying true to ourselves also enables us to build genuine connections with others based on mutual trust and understanding, leading to deeper and more meaningful relationships.

3. Practice kindness and compassion

Acts of kindness not only benefit others but also contribute to our happiness and well-being.

By extending compassion and generosity to others, we cultivate a sense of connection and empathy that fosters greater harmony and fulfillment in our relationships.

 Moreover, practicing kindness triggers the release of neurotransmitters like oxytocin and serotonin, which promote feelings of happiness and contentment

4. Prioritize Quality Time with Loved Ones

Building strong and meaningful relationships with family members and friends is key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of work and the distractions of technology, but taking the time to prioritize your loved ones can have a profound impact on your overall happiness and well-being.

 Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive individuals can uplift your spirits and provide a sense of belonging.

Reach out, plan regular get-togethers, and engage in activities that you all enjoy.

Put away distractions, such as cell phones and work-related thoughts, and focus on creating meaningful connections.

Tip: Set aside dedicated time each week for your loved ones, whether it’s a designated family night or scheduling regular coffee dates with friends. Prioritizing these relationships will contribute to your overall joy and satisfaction in life.

5. Practice unconditional self-acceptance

When we love and accept ourselves unconditionally, we cultivate a deep sense of inner peace and confidence that allows us to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and grace.

Offer yourself the same kindness and love you offer to those you love. Embrace all aspects of yourself—your strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures—with compassion and understanding.

 This means letting go of harsh self-judgment and embracing yourself with open arms, just as you are.

6. Celebrate your wins

You congratulate others on their wins all the time. Learn to do the same for you. Pause and reflect and tell yourself how well you did. Celebrate your wins responsibly of course. 

Embrace the journey of self-improvement and celebrate small victories along the way, rather than striving for unattainable perfection.

7. Reflame negative thoughts. 

Overthinking and negative thoughts can keep you stuck spinning in the wheel of unhappiness and anxiety. It is a habit to reframe negative thoughts and ways to quiet your mind. 

8. Set boundaries

When your life is overrun by other demands and expectations unhappiness follows.

Setting boundaries on your time and access to your time, money, and other aspects of yours is important and a must if you are to find happiness. 

Setting boundaries is essential for maintaining our mental and emotional health.

By establishing clear limits on what we will and won’t tolerate in our relationships and daily interactions, we protect ourselves from emotional harm and burnout. 

Boundaries also empower us to prioritize our own needs and values, fostering a greater sense of self-respect and authenticity.

9. Simplify your life

We tend to think we need far more stuff and things than a real happy life requires. So simplifying is a great rule to live by.  Declutter your house. Stop buying more and more stuff. Cut back on your daily to-do list. 

Read more on how to live a simple life and be happy here.

10. Live in the moment

Learn to live in the moment. Good things are happening in your life if you really think about it. So look through the window and enjoy that sunshine. Enjoy that cup of coffee. Give your child a hug…savor that, and more.

This is a great rule to live by to be happy.  How often do you worry about the future or have the past holding you hostage? Let it go.

 Enjoy the now, and live in this moment. Dont ruin today by worrying about the past or the future. 

There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live.”-Dalai Lama

Also read, 100 simple things that bring me joy and may make you happy too.

11. Focus on Mental Health and Well-being

Taking care of your mental health is crucial for leading a happier life.

When you prioritize your mental well-being, it can have a positive effect on your daily life, allowing you to navigate better the challenges and stresses that come your way.

 By focusing on your mental health, you can cultivate a more positive mindset and find joy in the present moment.

There are simple strategies you can incorporate into your daily routine to prioritize mental health and well-being. 

One of the most effective ways is to practice mindfulness, which involves being fully present in the moment and nonjudgmentally observing your thoughts and feelings. 

This can help reduce anxiety and stress, and promote a sense of calm and balance in your everyday life.

Another important aspect of mental health is engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Whether it’s pursuing a hobby, spending time in nature, or practicing self-care, dedicating time to positive things that you enjoy can significantly impact your overall happiness. 

Remember to prioritize self-care, engage in activities that bring you joy, and be mindful of the present moment. Taking these steps will contribute to your overall happiness and well-being.

Also read: 21 Simple self-care Ideas for Introverts

12. Cultivate a Positive Mindset

Developing a positive mindset is essential for finding true happiness. When faced with negative emotions, it’s important to understand the positive impacts that cultivating a positive mindset can have on your overall well-being and happiness. 

One common hurdle in achieving this is negative self-talk, which can hinder your happiness.

Overcoming negative self-talk is a crucial step towards creating a more joyful and fulfilled life. By challenging and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, you can alter your perspective and improve your overall outlook.

 Emphasize positive affirmations, focus on your strengths, and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.

13. Do random acts of kindness

Being kind means extending compassion, empathy, and generosity to those around us.

Offering even a small kindness such as offering a smile, a listening ear, or a helping hand, can brighten someone’s day and make a meaningful difference in their life. 

By practicing kindness, we not only foster deeper connections and relationships but also experience greater happiness and fulfillment in our own lives.

14. Surround yourself with positivity

Minimize exposure to negativity and surround yourself with uplifting people, environments, and media. Surround yourself with positive people. 

15. Live with intention

Set clear goals and priorities, and make decisions that align with your values and aspirations.

16. Embrace Change and Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Embracing change and stepping out of your comfort zone are essential for personal growth and happiness.

 It’s natural to feel hesitant or afraid when faced with new experiences or unfamiliar situations, but these moments of discomfort often lead to the greatest opportunities for self-improvement.

To step out of your comfort zone, it’s important to set personal rules that push you beyond familiar boundaries. 

These rules can be as simple as trying something new each week or taking on a project that stretches your skills and knowledge. 

By steadily expanding your comfort zone, you’ll gradually build confidence in your ability to tackle new and exciting opportunities.

Remember, the best version of yourself lies outside of your comfort zone. It’s where growth happens, where you discover your true potential, and where happiness flourishes. 

So, don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and embrace change.

Step out of your comfort zone and embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal fulfillment.

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Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a dramatic leap; even small, intentional steps can make a big difference. 

By gradually exposing yourself to new experiences, you’ll find that your comfort zone expands and your confidence grows.

This process of pushing boundaries allows you to challenge self-imposed limitations and discover hidden talents and interests.

17. Seek Happiness from Within, Not from External Factors

In your journey towards happiness, it is important to understand that true fulfillment does not come from external factors, but from within. 

While material possessions and social media validation may temporarily bring joy, lasting happiness requires a conscious effort to cultivate a positive mindset and find joy in the simple things.

When you rely on external factors for happiness, you give away your power and happiness becomes a fleeting emotion dependent on circumstances.

 Instead, by recognizing that happiness is an internal state of being, you can take control of your well-being and discover the immense joy that lies within you.

To start seeking happiness from within, take the first step by shifting your focus from external validations to internal contentment. 

Remember, seeking happiness from within requires a conscious effort.

It may involve letting go of negative thoughts, practicing self-care, and surrounding yourself with positive influences. 

Cultivating gratitude, expressing kindness, and prioritizing mental well-being are all essential components of this rewarding journey.

As you embark on this path of self-discovery, you will realize that lasting happiness is not found in the pursuit of external validation or material possessions. 

Here is a resource to help you in finding joy from within. Read these impactful self-discovery books to help you be your best self.

18. Focus on what you can control

One of the greatest rules to live by to be happy is to focus on what you can control. If only we could remember this in most situations that make us stressed or unhappy, we couldn’t spend time feeling worried or u=angry and unhappy. 

Worrying about things beyond our control only leads to stress and anxiety.

By focusing our attention and energy on what we can control—our thoughts, actions, and attitudes—we empower ourselves to take positive steps towards our goals and aspirations. 

This sense of agency and efficacy enhances our overall sense of well-being and resilience, enabling us to navigate life’s challenges with greater confidence and grace.

20. Practice Gratitude and Appreciation 

Happy people express gratitude daily.  Research shows grateful people are happy people, which really shouldn’t be surprising.

Gratitude serves as a powerful antidote to the negativity bias inherent in human psychology. By consciously acknowledging and appreciating the blessings, no matter how small, we shift our focus from scarcity to abundance. 

This shift in perspective not only enhances our overall sense of well-being but also cultivates resilience in the face of adversity. 

Moreover, practicing gratitude fosters deeper connections with others as we become more attuned to the kindness and generosity that surround us.

Practicing gratitude and appreciation plays an important role in cultivating a positive mental attitude and enhancing daily life.

When you practice gratitude, you shift your focus toward the positive aspects of your life, allowing you to find joy in even the simplest things.

By taking a moment each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, you can train your mind to see the positive aspects of your life and develop a more optimistic outlook.

This positive mental attitude can have a profound impact on your overall happiness and well-being.

One effective way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.

 Take a few moments every evening to write down three things you are grateful for that day.

It can be as simple as enjoying a delicious cup of coffee in the morning or receiving a heartfelt compliment from a friend.

21. Accept imperfection

Embracing imperfection is essential for cultivating self-compassion, inner peace, and happiness.

 By letting go of the unrealistic expectation of perfection, we free ourselves from the tyranny of comparison and self-criticism. 

Accepting imperfection allows us to recognize our inherent worth and value as flawed, yet beautiful, human beings. 

It enables us to approach life with greater humility and flexibility, embracing mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth and learning.

 When we accept imperfection, we release ourselves from the burden of trying to meet impossible standards and allow ourselves to experience true happiness and contentment in the present moment.

22. Accept that mistakes are part of growth

One simple rule to remember is that it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable, and they provide valuable lessons that help us learn and grow. 

Embrace the learning process and view mistakes as stepping stones on the path to success. 

By acknowledging and accepting your mistakes, you gain the wisdom to avoid repeating them and become better equipped to face future challenges.

23. Nurture Meaningful Relationships and Kindness

Building and nurturing meaningful relationships with others, as well as spreading kindness, can make a big difference in your life. 

Connecting with good people and engaging in random acts of kindness can greatly contribute to your overall life satisfaction and happiness.

Take a moment to think about the people who have had a positive impact on your life.

 It could be a close friend, a family member, or even a stranger who showed you kindness when you needed it the most. 

These relationships bring a sense of belonging and fulfillment, creating a support system that uplifts you during both good and challenging times.

Random acts of kindness also play a significant role in enhancing your well-being. Whether it’s offering a helping hand, showing empathy, or expressing gratitude, these acts create a ripple effect of positivity. 

Not only does the recipient of your kindness benefit, but you also experience a boost in your happiness and sense of purpose.

Kindness can take many forms, from small gestures like holding the door for someone or offering a genuine compliment, to larger acts of volunteering and supporting charitable causes. 

By intentionally practicing kindness in your daily interactions, you not only bring joy to others but also cultivate a positive and compassionate mindset within yourself.

Fostering positive relationships and engaging in random acts of kindness can transform your life and the lives of those around you. 

So reach out to loved ones, connect with new people, and spread kindness wherever you go. Remember, it’s the simple act of being there for others and making a positive impact that truly matters.

24. Appreciate the simple things

Sometimes the best things in life are the little things, the simple things that we can easily take for granted. It is the joy of the family together having dinner.

A beautiful sunset, or sunrise. A smile from a stranger. A call from a good friend or loved one.

Related: How to live a simple life and be happy

And the list of the simple pleasures in life is many. A good rule to live by to be happy is to notice these little things and appreciate them.

25. Let go of what not serving you

Letting go is a powerful act of self-liberation that allows us to release the grip of past regrets, resentments, and attachments that weigh us down. When we let go, we create space for growth, healing, and transformation to occur.

This may involve letting go of toxic relationships, grudges, or unrealistic expectations we hold for ourselves and others.

Letting go is an act of self-love and self-respect that frees us from the burden of carrying unnecessary baggage and allows us to embrace the present moment with clarity and serenity.

26. Honor your intuition

That gut feeling is your intuition your inner knowing trying to guide you.

A great rule is to live by learning to pay attention and honor your gut feeling. Your gut feeling is your Northstar- your guiding light showing you the way toward what’s good for you.

So pay keen attention whenever you have that tiny voice whisper in your ear. It takes practice, but when you do, you will avoid many a heartache and seize the right opportunities for joy and happiness.

27. Do more of what you love

A great rule to live by to be happy is to do more of what you love. It simple. Stop making excuses.

There is time if something matters to you. You can find a way if something is important.


By incorporating these simple and essential rules of happiness into your daily routines, you can greatly increase your overall life satisfaction and experience true happiness. 

Prioritizing quality time with loved ones helps build and nurture strong relationships while focusing on mental health and well-being ensures a positive impact on your daily life.

Cultivating a positive mindset and embracing change and personal growth are key factors in leading a joyful and fulfilled life. 

Seeking happiness from within, rather than relying on external factors, promotes a sense of contentment and fulfillment. Practicing gratitude and appreciation fosters a positive mental attitude and enhances your daily life satisfaction.

Nurturing meaningful relationships and spreading kindness can make a big difference in both your life and the lives of others. 

By following these guidelines and embracing these simple rules to live by you can create a happier and more fulfilling life for yourself and be truly happy.

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