When it comes to happiness, we hope you know by now that it is an achievable goal—and these 12 quotes about being happy from positive psychology researchers prove it. Their research sheds light on the things we can do to be a little happier. Things like gratitude, grit, strong relationships, and a positive outlook, even (okay especially) in the face of adversity. Yeah, they’re legit, and you’ll want to hear what they have to say.
Looking to jumpstart your positivity in 2019? Stay with us as we present some short quotes about being happy that actual researchers actually said. And don’t worry, we fact-checked these happy inspirational quotes so you don’t have to.
Our Top 12 Quotes about Being Happy
So let’s let the best people for the job—leading positive psychology researchers and experts—tell us how to build our bliss with these quotes about being happy.
What happiness is all about
2. “Impact is rewarding. Mattering makes us happy. The act of steering one’s boat down the river of time is a source of pleasure, regardless of one’s port of call.”
—Daniel M. Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, in Stumbling on Happiness
3. “Psychological wealth is the experience that our life is excellent—that we are living in a rewarding, engaged, meaningful, and enjoyable way. Psychological wealth includes life satisfaction, the feeling that life is full of meaning, a sense of engagement in interesting activities, the pursuit of important goals, the experience of positive emotional feelings, and a sense of spirituality that connects people to things larger than themselves.”
—Edward Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, authors and leading positive psychology researchers, in Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
How (and why) to see the positive in life
5. “Usually your negative beliefs are distortions. Challenge them. Don’t let them run your emotional life. Unlike dieting, learned optimism is easy to maintain once you start. Once you get into the habit of disputing negative beliefs, your daily life will run much better, and you will feel much happier.”
—Martin E. P. Seligman, founder of positive psychology, in Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
6. “Being optimistic involves a choice about how you see the world. It doesn’t mean denying the negative or avoiding all unfavorable information. It also doesn’t mean constantly trying to control situations that cannot be controlled. Optimists are very much aware that positive outcomes are dependent on their efforts (they don’t wait around for good things to happen).”
—Sonja Lyubomirsky, author and Professor of Psychology at UC Riverside, in The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
7. “The research on optimism is clear: optimistic people are happier, healthier, more productive, have better relationships, succeed more, are better problem solvers, and are less likely to become depressed than pessimistic people.”
—Karen Reivich, director of training programs for the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, in the article “The Resilience Ingredient List”
On grit, growth, and gratitude
9. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
—Carol S. Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, in Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success
10. “Consciously cultivating an attitude of gratitude builds up a sort of psychological immune system that can cushion us when we fall. There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals.”
—Robert Emmons, leading gratitude researcher and Professor of Psychology at UC Davis, in the article “How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times”
And finally, find what works for you
12. “The multitude of studies that I and other scientists have conducted on positivity is destined to remain merely interesting dinner conversation until you deepen your self-study. You need to pivot away from what’s worked for others and toward what works for you. Have your own ‘Eureka!’ moments. Discover for yourself what rouses genuine and heartfelt positivity.”
—Barbara L. Fredrickson, Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life
We hope these 12 quotes about being happy spark your joy in 2019, whatever that means for you. There’s plenty of help along the way from these and other experts who’ve dedicated their lives to studying happiness. So take their advice to heart, get going, and let us know how you do. Happy happiness-boosting!
Your turn: Which of these quotes about being happy hit you the hardest? How do you cultivate your joy? Let us know in the comments.
Want to bring joy on the job? Check out these 83 ways to be happier at work.
Author: Ally Carlton-Smith MS
Ally Carlton-Smith is an editor and freelance writer with a master’s degree in Health Communication. She’s also a closeted circus performer. When she’s not busy wordsmithing, you can find her hanging upside down at her local aerial studio.