The Habit of Happiness

The author of this helpful book has distilled the essence of many ancient Buddhist practices to give us these simple, inspiring instructions to feel happier, every day.

1. Choose attractive, pleasant, undisturbed surroundings. In order to deactivate habitual daily concerns, begin with 2 or 3 minutes of becoming mindful of your breathing.

2. Check to see that you are actually sitting comfortably and free from disturbances.

3. Recall a situation in which you were content, free from hostility and stress, calm and happy.

4. Imagine this situation visually. You can also bring to mind any other sense perceptions that were connected with this situation. Stay with this memory for about 1 minute.

5. Note the feeling that you feel in your body in connection with this recalled situation.

6. Tag this pleasant feeling with a word like “happy,” “relieved,” or “content”—perhaps you will find a better word to label the mood you felt.

7. Now let the details of the imagined situation fade out and just stay with this mood.

8. Permit yourself the wish “May I be happy!” (as in the recalled situation), which after all expresses a healthy desire for well-being.

9. Mentally repeat a few times the words “May I be happy!” Repeat this exercise as often as needed to begin forming the habit of happiness.

Adapted from The Practice of Happiness, by Mirko Fryba (Shambhala, 1995). Copyright (c) 1995 by Mirko Fryba. Reprinted by permission of Shambhala.
Adapted from The Practice of Happiness, by Mirko Fryba (Shambhala, 1995).

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Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


D D.
D D.2 years ago

Sometimes its takes a little longer to do #3, but on occasion I do try.

Monica May
Monica May2 years ago


Samantha C.
Samantha C.2 years ago

I like this advice. Reminds me that many, many years ago when I started to try and take a happier road, I began with a smile. Not a stupid smile, but keeping a pleasant expression on my face. When people would say "hello" instead of wondering what their angle was, I would return their greeting with "hi." Now, it's easy for me. However, I can still recall when I first started to make my change, my parents thought there was something wrong with me.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.2 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton2 years ago


Penny C.
Penny C.3 years ago

Good advice.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Sam Lahonen
Samantha Lahonen3 years ago

i like the idea of voicing your happiness! thanks :)

Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lion4 years ago