37 Keys To Happiness And A Happier Life

by Sherry Riter in Happiness,Self-Development  

37 Keys to Happiness


I’ll say it again…Happiness.

Take a few breaths, relax the way I did on the couch in the bright sunshine. It was while enjoying the warmth and beauty of a spring day in Richmond, Virginia, with Bella that I contemplated the key to happiness. Lately, the time spent on my couch has been quite intellectually stimulating which is proof that the plan for better health is working.

As Bella chewed on her keys, I pondered happiness.

Keys To Happiness

37 Keys To Happiness

Happiness is officially defined as a state of well-being brought about by enjoying, showing, or marked by contentment, pleasure, satisfaction or joy.

There are some keys that will help us get to a state of feeling happiness and it really isn’t rocket science.

  1. Be here, now – Living in the present is the only minute that we can control. The past is gone and the future isn’t here yet.
  2. Remain aware – While living in the moment, be aware of everything that is making that moment possible.
  3. Gratitude – Appreciation for everything big and small is a vital key to happiness.
  4. Accept that it isn’t easy – We are all different, but there is for sure one thing that is the same; life is often difficult and filled with adversity. If we accept this truth, the painful times are a little easier to bear.
  5. Let your body lead you – Our physical body will let us know what it needs, (rest, sleep, fun, food, water, shelter, warmth) so listen and accommodate it.
  6. Be comfortable in your skin – You have beauty of the body and the soul. If you don’t believe it, ask someone that loves you and they will agree with me.
  7. Let go of fear – Happiness is strangled and suffocated by fear. Face your fears, see them as they really are (the product of memory, which dwells in the past) and overcome them. You can’t improve the past with actions in the present. Accept it and move on fearlessly into the future.
  8. Become resilient – You know yourself best, so learn techniques that will guide you to bouncing back resiliently during and after difficult experiences.
  9. Friendly relationships – We are all social beings and cultivating strong relationships reinforces our positive self-image.
  10. You are smart enough – People with the highest IQ’s are not capable of any more happiness than those with the lowest IQ’s. Why? Often, people who are smarter also have higher expectations of themselves and life which keeps their state of happiness equal to everyone else’s level.
  11. Accept change – Sure! Just hand me all your dimes, nickles and quarters. What? Oh, not that kind of change? Alright, change is not easy to accept, but I am trying to do it with a semblance of grace. Change happens every day to every one, so the sooner you can find peace with the whole concept of change, the more happiness you will find in your life.
  12. Peace, be still – Meditating and remaining in touch with our inner dialogue is a vital key to finding, being and remaining in a state of happiness.
  13. Enjoy the journey – Nurturing and attaining goals is great, but as I always say, “Stop and smell the roses” or in other words, enjoy the journey.
  14. You’re all you need – Other people can influence your happiness in a positive or negative way, but they are not needed in order for you to have happiness in your life. Love yourself.
  15. Manage stress – If you don’t manage stress, it will manage you and take your straight to an early grave. Stress causes so many problems in the body that it literally will kill you. I don’t know a better reason to learn to manage your stress than that, so having control of this part of life is definitely a key to having happiness.
  16. Let it be – Over analyzing every little aspect of life, our thoughts and feelings is unnecessary. Take the time to just enjoy, observe and give up trying to figure everything out. Women could take a lesson from men with this key to happiness.
  17. Marriage – Although marriage is not all white lace and roses, it is still a scientifically proven fact that people who are married, live longer and are happier. Just for clarification, cohabiting does not have the same positive effect as marriage. Obviously, the piece of paper and gold band have a magical happiness power that some speculate as a great proof of commitment and love.
  18. Approval by one – Relinquish your need for external approval because the only opinion that really counts is your own. Have an unconditional self-acceptance and self-love.
  19. To thine own self be true – Learn who you are and what makes you tick. Become empowered with a clarity of your authentic self.
  20. Focus – Older people have it all going on and can teach us all a very valuable lesson about an important key to happiness. As we age, it seems natural to focus on the things that make us happy and ignore or banish all the things that negatively impact our happiness. Think about it, when you’re 95 years old, every experience is a little richer because it could be the last time you get to live it.
  21. Be satisfied – Keeping up with the neighbors does not bring happiness. If you want what you have, you’ll have what you want along with the happiness associated with the feeling of being satisfied.
  22. More is not necessarily better – Studies have shown that once your basic needs are met, money only seems to add to your happiness if you already feel happy. It doesn’t bring you permanent happiness.
  23. Faith – Whether you believe in God, a Higher Power or something else, exhibiting faith in something greater than our self creates security and gives us a purpose in life. Feeling an ultimate direction for our existence leads to happiness.
  24. You’re not alone – In case you didn’t know it, there are billions of other human beings inhabiting the planet. We are all connected in many ways, so no matter what you’re going through, someone else is going through the same thing. Remember the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks? As he carried on conversations with the volleyball named Wilson, I was very aware of how important it is that we are all in this experience of life together.
  25. Let go of anger – Anger stifles forgiveness and the unforgiving spirit finds happiness to be elusive. Face the circumstance with a greater understanding and anger will subside as you learn to cope. A key point to remember is that just because you forgive, it doesn’t mean that what happened wasn’t wrong. It just means that you aren’t going to let that emotion or the circumstance control you or your future.
  26. Listen – Communication is such a major key to having solid relationships. When I had my manly communication epiphany, I started to watch how men and women relate with each other on a daily basis. It is totally fascinating! In our conversations with both genders, it is important to truly listen and to ensure the atmosphere is conducive to great communication.
  27. Don’t sleep with dogs – Growing up I remember my mother saying, “If you sleep with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.” Well, I eventually understood the message. If you are surrounded by negative people filled with hate, their attitude will greatly influence you. The inner you is reflected by what you do, where you go and who you choose to spend time with on a daily basis. If you wake up with fleas, happiness is usually very far away.
  28. Give unselfishly – An unselfish heart and charitable spirit, gives much, but receives more. Happiness can always be found in giving unselfishly of our money, time and talents. Be generous with yourself…often.
  29. Strengths, not weaknesses – No one is perfect. Don’t expect perfection of others or yourself and I guarantee that happiness will be much easier. It is great to want to improve, but understand that you won’t ever be able to fix everything.
  30. Smile – It is said often, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of putting a smile on your face every day. Happiness smiles.
  31. You’re the boss – You are in control of all your actions, so don’t set yourself up with predestined unhappiness.
  32. Judge not – Not only shouldn’t you judge others, but don’t judge yourself. Happiness gets bogged down when consumed with a judgmental mindset.
  33. Give up the bad stuff – If this comes across as bossy or preachy, I’m sorry, but give up the toxic things that are bad for your body and soul. You know the normal things like drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, but even things like tanning, over eating and abusive relationships are things that can drag every bit of happiness into the toilet.
  34. Courage – I know that it is not easy to be courageous in the face of tribulation and fear. Courage, however, is one of the most important keys to obtaining happiness.
  35. Persevere – People who give up don’t succeed. People who keep going, not only succeed, but they are also much happier.
  36. All or nothing – Be in your life, activities and relationships, all the way, one hundred and fifty percent.
  37. Be like a cow – Have you ever watched how a cow roams around the pasture totally content with eating grass, mooing and relaxing? Be content with yourself. After all, you are an original.

37 Keys To Having A Happier Life

I nearly bit my fingers off while typing number 11, but I stand behind my list of 37 Keys to Happiness in order to live a happier life. Obviously, number 11 is the bane of my existence. Maybe my attitude would change if I took some time to chew on Bella’s keys because they sure do seem to make her happy.

Bella happily chewing on keys

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stéfan April 29, 2012 at 8:02 am

Well done. I love how you began your number 11… Laughing at oneself is also another key to happiness (i.e. not taking oneself too seriously). Sending you smiles!


2 The Redhead Riter April 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

I can definitely laugh at myself! Thank you, Stéfan! I caught all the smiles! 😉


3 Skip_D April 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

There’s no doubt that we all could benefit from time spent chomping on Bella’s keys, while ruminating on your list of keys. Several, especially Numbers 21, 22, & 37, ring true to me as reflecting one of the primary issues standing in the way of happiness for many people in this country. The concepts of ‘satisfaction’ & ‘contentment’ seem to have become nothing more than words. When I spent time in villages in Ethiopia & Eritrea, people who under any standard of wealth would be called poor had great contentment with what little they had, & enthusiastically shared what little they had in their generous hospitality. It was there that I began to refer to myself as ‘rich in everything money can’t buy.’

I plan to save and regularly return to this list to remind myself of other keys. Thanks for sharing it!


4 The Redhead Riter April 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

Thank you for sharing your story of experience. I love your saying, ‘rich in everything money can’t buy.’ It is so very true!


5 Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli) April 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

Friendly relationships…..I love all of these healthy suggestions, so many jumped out at me, and friendly relationships really jumps out at me….

thanks, peace, Kathy


6 The Redhead Riter April 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

Thanks, Kathy especially for being one of my friendly relationships. 🙂


7 andy April 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Hi Sherry…I can’t call you Red any longer, I find it disrespectful. My mind is very tricky recently…no idea what it is up to…lol
Really nice post. This works for me…http://bit.ly/IyuWSE

We need to sing it together some time, note for note…we could invite our friends Stephan, Carlos and anyone else we think of and sing it together…not a bad idea, don’t you think?

Oh, and being silly…makes me happy 🙂

Have a nice week.


8 The Redhead Riter April 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm


That song IS SILLY! I will sing with the three of you as long as you sing REALLY loud because I have a TERRIBLE singing voice!


9 Lisa April 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I like all of your 37 suggestions and marriage sure is not all white lace and roses. I really liked the one about a cow – I remember the blog you did on cows a few months ago, always loved that post!


10 The Redhead Riter April 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Thanks Lisa!!! {{huigsss}}


11 Joan April 30, 2012 at 12:16 am

Redhead Riter, this post is terrific! I kept reading each key and by the time I reached the 37th key I knew that you had come up with the 37 keys for living a life of total happiness. So I thought to myself, “Why not share these insights not only in a post but expand it into something bigger that you can share with the world.”

So this is what I propose. You and I go into business together. Why not? We’re two savvy women and every one knows that two brains are better than one. 🙂

This is my business plan. We could set up a FREE WEBINAR called The 37 Keys To Happiness And Living A Happier Life. (We’ll set up the free webinar after we created the product and are ready to launch it for $1,997.) We will then offer our customers $15,997 dollars in free bonuses if they buy our product of 37 plastic keys and we’ll expand each of the 37 keys into digital recordings so that they will have individual recordings of each of the 37 keys.

What do you think? Are you in? I think that we both might even become multi millionaires from this product launch! And to think that it was all inspired by your post today! Wouldn’t we both be deliriously happy if we became multi millionaires? 🙂 Oh, and one more thing! Where did you buy that plastic key ring for Bella? We’re going to need it for our product launch! 🙂


12 The Redhead Riter April 30, 2012 at 12:20 am


You’re a nut.


13 Joan April 30, 2012 at 4:02 am

What?!!! I’m a nut? Is that all you have to say? 🙂


14 The Redhead Riter April 30, 2012 at 5:24 am


Sometimes I’m a woman of few words.



15 Sue Atkins May 1, 2012 at 1:52 am

What good down to earth advice…….. got a clear image of that cow ftom now on ! 🙂
Sue Atkins
Author of “Parenting Made Easy – How To Raise Happy Children!


16 The Redhead Riter May 1, 2012 at 6:00 am

Thanks Sue! I love cows LOL


17 SHANU THOMAS July 11, 2012 at 2:58 am

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD OOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


18 The Redhead Riter July 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

Thank you, Shanu!


19 d July 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

hi I just want to say this is good but my mindset always changes as far as I can remember but theres always been a specific feeling in life I would be able to feel but its numb now. But it comes back in a very tiny moment but I am unable to embrace it at its fully potential it just goes away it feels like true peace and amazing but my mimd never really allowed me to enjoy it. there are times I know Im happy at the moment and I feel like everyone I come into contact with can feel my energy its so strong that it that everyone is influenced by it and the whole room of people are just conversating and having fun laughing and the feeling is just so natural. My problem I think is that it might be a chemical imbalance.


20 The Redhead Riter July 17, 2012 at 1:04 am

Hmmm…I believe we can all be happy and if you seriously think you have a chemical imbalance, please see a doctor to help you. Happiness is not elusive!


21 jayjay September 7, 2012 at 12:22 am

Y is that????????


22 The Redhead Riter September 7, 2012 at 2:55 am

Why is what?


23 kk October 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I’ve been through an awful lot this year, and often I’m down, depressed, stressed and just sad. But my question is, How do you let go? It may sound like a simple question but its not as easy as it seems. How do you really let go? Because i find that i let past experience control everything in my life. i could be in an awfully good mood just the thought of the situation or anything along the lines causes an instant change in my mood. i mean i go from all merry happy to a Freddy Jason kinda angry…but seriously, this has been taking a toll on my emotional, physical, and just in every way possible. i often have suicidal thoughts as well, but i try my very best not to let them get the best of me. But I’m afraid that it may get to that point, but I’m really concerned about that because i also have a 2 year old son whom i have to be there for, but it’s hard. It’s very hard having to deal with my own stuff and still try to be the best mom possible. i just wanna be happy. Can you help me please? 🙁 🙁


24 Sherry Riter November 6, 2012 at 9:46 pm


I’m sorry it has taken me so long to answer your comment, but I have been moving and my life has been in an uproar. My moving was a step to make a huge change in my life towards happiness.

I’m not a professional therapist and my only suggestion is for you to find a REALLY good therapist to help you find happiness.

You asked, “How do you let go?” It isn’t easy. You have to be sick and tired of being sick, tired and unhappy. You have to want happiness as much as you want the air that you breathe.

About your suicide thoughts…Please read http://www.theredheadriter.com/2011/09/road-to-suicide-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing/ Suicide is not the answer.

I promise that you can find happiness. I promise.


25 Nisha July 4, 2013 at 5:10 am

I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your suggestions! I do most of the things mentioned in the list already will start doing the rest today. Thank you for writing this post.


26 Sherry Riter July 4, 2013 at 7:09 am

Thank you so much Nisha! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!


27 muzammil usman August 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

your work is reallly unbelievable …………..
amazing……… wonderful with alot of …… tricks…..
i want u give me some simple piece of info related to key of happiness……
in simple wording……… i shall very thankful to u …….


28 Sherry Riter August 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Thanks!!! 😀


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