The Secret Of Happiness Isn’t So Secret Anymore

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated July 16, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Most of us want to obtain true happiness and fulfillment, but it can be challenging to know how to do so. Cultivating positive relationships, pursuing your interests and passions, practicing mindfulness and self-care, and cultivating a growth mindset may be just a few ways to experience more happiness in your daily life. Therapy, whether in person or online, can also be helpful in teaching you the strategies and skills that may be needed for happiness and fulfillment.

Getty/Luis Alvarez
Experience true happiness with online therapy

Cultivate positive relationships

One thing that most people seem to neglect when searching for a life of fulfillment and happiness can be developing and maintaining positive relationships with others. Some of those people might be your family, friends, romantic partners, and coworkers. Research has shown that having strong, supportive relationships often has a significant impact on your well-being.

  • Be present: When you're spending time with others, try to put your phone away so you can be fully present in the moment.
  • Listen actively: Pay attention to what the other person is saying and ask questions to show interest.
  • Express gratitude: Regularly expressing gratitude and appreciation can strengthen relationships.
  • Show empathy: Try to understand the other person's perspective and empathize with their feelings.

Pursue your passions and interests

Another key to a life of fulfillment and happiness may be to pursue your passions and interests. Engaging in activities that you find enjoyable and meaningful can bring a sense of purpose to your life and help you feel more fulfilled.

  • Identify what you're passionate about: Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy doing and what brings you a sense of fulfillment.
  • Make time for your passions: Schedule time into your week to engage in activities you’re passionate about.
  • Experiment: Don't be afraid to try new things and see what you're interested in.
  • Pursue growth: Continuously challenge yourself to improve and grow in your passions.

Practice mindfulness and self-care

By taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, you can show up as your best self in all areas of life. Practicing mindfulness and self-care strategies can help you achieve fulfillment and happiness.

  • Meditate: Regular meditation can reduce stress and increase happiness and well-being.
  • Exercise: Physical activity can boost your mood and increase feelings of happiness. A recent study showed that exercise can be more effective than counseling and medication for treating depression.
  • Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is often essential for your physical and mental health.
  • Engage in self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your thoughts and emotions to cultivate self-awareness.
  • Nourish your body: Try to eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated to improve your mental and physical well-being.

Cultivate a growth mindset

A growth mindset generally means embracing challenges and trying to view setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. This can help you feel more fulfilled and happier in life.

  • Embrace challenges: Try to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.
  • Focus on progress, not perfection: Instead of striving for perfection, you might focus on making progress and learning from mistakes.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences: Develop relationships with others who have a growth mindset, as they may encourage, inspire, and support you.
  • Practice gratitude: Regularly expressing gratitude and appreciating what you have can contribute to a growth mindset.

Overcoming obstacles to achieving fulfillment and happiness 

Many psychologists and social scientists define happiness as an emotional state characterized by joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. However, obstacles often prevent individuals from experiencing this sense of happiness and fulfillment. Common obstacles to happiness include the desire for pleasure, which can become excessive and lead to addiction. It can be helpful to accept these obstacles as part of the journey toward achieving the goal of happiness.

To overcome these obstacles, individuals might shift their focus from happiness to fulfillment, which can be a more sustainable form of happiness. Embracing your individuality and accepting yourself can lead to change and promote happiness or fulfillment. Taking time to reflect on past difficulties, pains, and losses may also lead to a happier outlook on your life.

Benefits of online therapy

Through online therapy, individuals may have the opportunity to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a safe and supportive environment. Working with a therapist online can help individuals develop the skills and strategies they need to experience happiness and fulfillment. Online therapy can add convenience to the process of getting professional help.

Effectiveness of online therapy

Experience true happiness with online therapy

As one study explains, online therapy and in-person therapy typically have the same efficacy rates. This means that either option can be a valid choice for anyone who feels they’d benefit from working with a licensed mental health professional to find happiness.


The secret to happiness may not be a secret anymore. By cultivating healthy relationships, practicing self-care and mindfulness, pursuing your passions and interests, and cultivating a growth mindset, you may find that you experience more happiness than ever before. Online therapy can be another helpful resource to aid you in your search for happiness and fulfillment.
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