If you live in America, you’re probably working toward living a happy life. The movement toward finding happiness has grown so prevalent. We have dozens of Twitter accounts that dispense quotes about happiness. You can find T-shirts and home decor with happiness quotes. We even celebrate an International Day of Happiness. Happiness quotes remind us how we can cultivate peace and pleasant feelings in our lives.

Seeking happiness, however, takes more than reading quotes about happiness. It’s a journey, not a destination. According to a recent World Happiness Report, researchers conducted studies in which they ranked countries on their levels of happiness. These levels directly correlated to the country’s GDP, life expectancy, freedom, and corruption. Since happiness grows through our relationships, through giving and receiving kindness, and helping each other, cultivating happiness is within our reach.

Some of these quotes on happiness are backed by research. Current studies on self-compassion suggest that when we are kind to ourselves, we become happier, more resilient, and improve our mental health. In other words, when we feel compassion toward ourselves, we are more likely to express compassion for others. You may have heard the happiness quote, “Happiness is an inside job.”

In other words, we have the power to create our own happiness, but it takes work. We can increase our happiness and well-being through daily adjustments to our attitudes and habits (such as reading and retaining happiness quotes.)

Ten Happiness Quotes to Boost Your Mood

  • “The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are.” Goldie Hawn
  • “The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.” Woody Allen
  • “The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” Henry Ward Beecher
  • “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn
  • “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” George Sand
  • “Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.” Valerie Bertinelli
  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi
  • “The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” Dodinsky
  • “You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life you are excited about. Don’t let others make you forget that.” Lifehack
  • “A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.” Thomas Jefferson

Happiness is an inside job
Happiness quote

Although we all want to be happy, happiness is elusive for most people. People tend to believe that happiness comes from external factors, including material possessions, a high-paying promotion, or an exciting new romantic relationship. However, we hear repeatedly, especially from quotes about happiness, that it comes from within, and from focusing on the “little things” that exist in our lives. It’s one of the reasons people are encouraged to read and remember quotes on happiness, and perhaps to keep a gratitude journal. When you transcribe on paper all the things—food on the table, beloved family members, the morning sun—in your life you are grateful for, it boosts your mood. Recognizing and enjoying the little things can help lead to a happier life.

Another way to cultivate happiness is to focus on the present. One quote about happiness suggests that focusing on the past causes depression, focusing on the future causes anxiety, and focusing on the present causes peace. When you focus on what’s in front of you—a satisfying meal, a baby’s giggle, a dog inviting you to rub her belly—you are forced to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures. This takes time and focus (and sometimes work) but the priceless reward may be your own happiness. And don’t forget to read your happiness quotes!