How do we really achieve a little bit of happiness?

By Jill Mountford

Personally, I prefer contentment over happiness any day of the week. Happiness depends too much on external factors whereas contentment is more about attitude and state of mind. We have little control over many external factors but we can work on and have more control over our attitude and how we feel. Happiness is perhaps short term while contentment can be much more long term.

For sure, everyone is different but loads of research tells us that there common factors and threads that tend to make most of us feel happier and more content with our lives.

Such as… Kindness

Something as simple as a smile to a stranger is proven to make us feel a little bit better.

Happier people tend to help others more, being kind to others is being kind to yourself. Asking for help from others when you need it can make other people happy because they have an opportunity to be kind. It’s win, win!


A sense of connection with other people is at the heart of happiness and contentment. Hook up with friends, family, the wider community – get connected, stay connected make, new friends!


Whether you decide to train for a 5 km run, or a Marathon or just to move around more during the day, taking care of your body is very good for your mind – they’re connected!

Trying something new

Keep learning, keep trying new new things regardless of your age, there is always something new to learn and it doesn’t have to cost much at all.

There is much evidence to say that informal learning, for pleasure and passions makes us more fulfilled and happy.


Having direction and goals is about having hope and optimism for the future. Planning for the future helps us feel happier and contented in the here and now.


We all know about the ups and downs of life. No one is exempt from them. The important thing is that science shows us we can learn new skills, actions and habits of thinking that boost our natural resilience. If you want to know more about building up your natural resilience, sometimes called “ordinary magic”, something we all have and we can all make stronger and better, Check out: https://www.mind- resilience


Love the skin you’re in – how we feel about ourselves can have a big influence on how happy, content and resilient we are. Being more able to know and accept our whole self, to be real rather than trying to be be perfect and it is a firmer foundation for a happier and contented life at any age.


People who have a sense of meaning in life tend to experience more frequent and strong positive emotions; feel more positive about the future; have greater life satisfaction; better mental well-being; fewer ill-health symptoms and stronger immune systems. Find 10 minutes this happy holiday to consider what small changes and adjustments you can make towards investing in and increasing your happiness. You’re worth it!

Action for happiness website