21 Things Women Who Live The Most Joyful Lives Do Differently

Advice for a life well-lived and full of happiness.

smiling woman Mangostar / Shutterstock

Living your best life starts with being your best self, and not only to those around you but to yourself. 

While walking around the world with a frozen smile on your face 24/7 will make you look slightly delusional (and you'd have to be that or Botoxed to accomplish this), there is a way to move into a more joyful existence—and it's not found by swiping credit cards at Chanel or being asked for a second date by the hot guy you met on Match.


Living joyfully starts with a commitment to living a life more out of intention than habit and accepting total responsibility for your choices, actions, and reactions.

It means congratulating yourself when you've done well on behalf of yourself and learning the lesson when you haven't. If you're ready to stop existing in the same old and start living in a happier reality, here are 21 ways to put your best foot forward.

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Here are 21 things women who live the most joyful lives do differently:

1. Be it a friend, lover, or family member, she accepts this universal truth

If you're important to someone, you’re not chasing them around and waiting for them to give you the respect, love, and affection you deserve. Translation: Stop treating anyone who treats you poorly as a priority. 

2. She doesn't expect men to change or save her life (and she doesn't seek to save his).  

She buys her own drinks ... and is surprised and appreciative when someone treats her to dinner. She does this because she realizes that she's equal to a man - not better than one, less than one, owed anything by one, or more deserving of (insert expectation here) than one.

She doesn't put her life or travel plans on hold until she meets one, and when things don't work out with a man she's been seeing, she doesn't waste her time vilifying him but accepts it as a sign that they were not the right fit.

3. She rises to the occasion and expects those in her inner circle to do the same

These women understand that a great friend deserves a great friend and that giving your word is a promise to take action. She maintains a strong sense of honor and when people show her they are unreliable, she takes note and doesn't rely on them again.


4. She is her own champion

Yes, she feels insecure and fearful at times, but she always chooses to guide herself through it. She makes a daily decision to do whatever it takes to fill her soul up with enough self-acceptance and love that she will stand firm on her own two feet, comfortably in her skin, and never allow any person or situation to place her "beside herself" again. 

3. She refuses to allow herself to be relegated to a self-esteem boost via text message

Regardless of how handsome he is and no matter how many emojis are included next to  that "Hey, how are you?" If he's not making a real, physical effort, she's not wasting her time.

4. She has a savings account

Whether it's a dream vacation, a home of her own, or an OTT dinner, she opens up a savings account for whatever she’s worried she will never be able to afford. She then puts something in there religiously, even if it’s only $10.00 a week.

5. She has a morning ritual

Instead of just jumping out of bed the moment she wakes up, she lays there for five minutes being grateful for the chance to experience a new day. She then stretches her whole body from head to toe, gets up and drinks an enormous glass of water with lemon, and has breakfast within one hour. This sets the tone of self-care and she will carry it with her for the rest of the day.


6. She uses her words wisely

She knows that what we speak stirs up our energy inside and creates ripples in the world around us.

7. She takes a real and meaningful interest in her own life and the lives of those around her

She turns off the TV when she's on the phone and puts the phone away when sitting across from someone. She asks how those around her are doing and waits for the answer. When it comes to her own life, she sits with herself to see how she feels about the direction she's moving and the choices she makes, from her eating habits to how often she's hitting happy hour.

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8. She reads two newspaper articles for every reality show she watches

Not because she wants to be pretentious, but because she wants to know what's happening in the world she lives in, beyond what's happening on E!


9. She learns how to take a compliment graciously, appreciating it as the gift it is

Deflecting is not only self-defeating; it's a rude response to someone who took the time to share their appreciation.

10. She stops herself from allowing a heartbreaking period to become a heartbroken existence

This isn’t a period drama. In reality, there is no honor in melancholy.

11. She purchases a journal and writes in it at least a few times a week

She knows that it will not only serve as a wonderful resource for her in the years to come; it will serve her in the here and now. Don’t believe me? Spend 10 minutes writing on a topic without thinking about what you’re going to put down and enjoy your A-ha! moment.

12. She downloads her happy song and has it ready

This is the song you will put on before stressful meetings, in moments when you feel overwhelmed, and when you need a little pick-me-up throughout the day. My jam? Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. It’s saved me from tears at my desk.


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13. She pays her own bills (on time)

She checks her credit report twice a year and she makes productive financial decisions with her future in mind.

14. She is grateful for her healthy body, regardless of its shape and size

Take note, ladies: Stop. Comparing. Your. Body. To. Other. Bodies. 

15. She keeps it real in the bedroom

She meets the consideration of faking an orgasm with the same reaction one would have when seeing a rat run across their bedroom.

16. She knows how to make at least one appetizer, one dessert, one amazing cocktail, and one showstopping meal

She's now equipped for all holidays and the dinner party for friends you will throw to catch up without being interrupted by strangers in the bar or on the TV.


17. She truly understands the difference between self-care and selfishness

There's a line and she knows what side to stand on.

18. She maintains a little mystery

Time has shown her that sending that half-naked photo to the guy she just met online may not be such a great idea.

19. She purchases a box of "Thank You" cards and a roll of stamps

She sends it accordingly.


20. She sees the "ignore it and maybe it will go away" mentality as what it really is

A useful tool for schoolyard taunts and a seriously detrimental way to handle anything of importance — especially pertaining to your health and financial situations. 

21. She forgives herself for the mistakes she's made and is grateful for the lessons they offered her

She is who she is now as a result of who she was then, and once more, she’s one hell of a survivor! 

RELATED: 10 Things Happy (& Successful!) People Do Way Differently

Brenda Della Casa is the author of Cinderella Was a Liar, former managing editor of Preston Bailey, a Huffington Post Blogger, and a contributor for Divalicous.