There shouldn’t be a contest on the idea that happiness is a choice. It comes from within us. Sure, a lot of things may trigger happiness, but at the end of the day, we can never deny that it is us responsible for it. Even if it doesn’t seem so.

Now, that road to happiness you’re at, or have just chosen, comes with some little habits. Yes, they’re habits of happy people. They’ll be like your guards of happiness that may already have existed before you realize. They may have been in you for so long they may just be sleeping, only waiting for you as you march on towards everyday life.

Happy people know how to focus on their ability to become even happier than they could have ever imagined, and enjoy life to the fullest. For now, forget about all external joys and concentrate on what’s inside you. Feelings of joy, wonder and gratification from the inner self are where true happiness comes from.

Here are ten habits of happy people you can definitely steal today.

1. Just seize every moment.

Stop dwelling on the past.

And worrying about the future.

Both will only drain your energy and keep you from focusing—and enjoying—what’s there right now. Today is here, today is now. Why waste your time thinking about things you don’t have control over? You can’t control what’s going to happen three hours from now. Three minutes, maybe? I bet you absolutely can’t either. You see, dwelling on the past and worrying about the future won’t bring you something better than what is in the moment.

Take for example the small details that complete your day—sipping that perfect cup of coffee you made, or hanging out with your family. Whatever it is, take it to heart. You can be happy with it and you will be.

2. Be thankful for each second.

If you think it’s hard to “enjoy every moment,” concentrate on being grateful for what every moment represents—good health, a cozy home, a good memory that makes you laugh, friends and family who are just a call away whenever you need them.

Being thankful has always been one of the most effective habits of happy people. Appreciate each moment. There’s a good chance you’ll attract even more great things, too!

3. Stay in your “happy place.”

Your “happy place” could be anywhere you want to be so you can feel a lot better about yourself. This could be a quiet place where you are alone, or a busy one where some of your interests are. This could be the beach, your favorite spot in the park, or any place with your close friends where you feel you need to just waste the rest of the day away. If you can’t stay in your “happy place,” you can imagine you’re there.

In any case, relearn happiness in those places you love and from there, bring that feeling wherever you go.

4. Take care of your thoughts.

It is the only thing you have complete control over!

Do other people really provide you with what you need? Why worry then? Don’t attach yourself too much to what they can or can not give. Since you can rule your thoughts, it would be wise and healthy to harness it to have yourself the happiness you deserve.

Control your thoughts and visualize the perfect reality for your life as you see fit—and believe it!

5. Get excited like a toddler does.

Getting dragged at by life’s serious side lately? Why not stop for a moment and imagine how a child would get excited about the rain, toys or treats? Why not mimic them? Yes, mimic them. Try to change your perspective about the world for a while. Be silly on the normal activities that get you through the day—all for the sake of it.

Toddlers are naturally happy. Did happiness need to leave too as you left your childhood? If you have let it leave, you know you made a mistake and you can bring it back.

Try this: Just go outside the house, lie on your back, and look up at the trees and sky! Bring back that happy toddler in you!

6. The next time you walk your dog, let him lead!

You know your dog is an instant mood-booster—admit it. Take him out but for a change, let him walk you! Let him go wherever he wants to. Follow him. Get out of your senses by seeing the world through his. Does he like the wind that passes by? Does he head to the nearby river?

7. Give your time away.

One way to instantly feel happy is to give your time to others. Go out and give time to any causes you’re passionate about. Let that pleasing demeanor out and interact with the people you meet or help. Talk to them. Ask questions. Be involved as if they matter dearly to you.

Center on the difference you are making in other people’s lives. Commit on a regular basis if you can—that would be great.

You’ve probably heard that giving is much better than receiving. Looking from an angle, think about it this way: You make a difference in the lives that cross your path; those lives make a difference in yours.

Try it. You’ll understand precisely why giving your time away is among the habits of happy people.

8. Finger paint.

Yes, like what children do—painting with the hands!

This is yet another way to manifest the toddler, or simply the young at heart, in you.

Merely follow your instincts. Do it with how you understand the principles of finger painting, and in no time a piece that becomes an expression of your well-being is finished! Don’t dwell too much on the “rules” of finger painting. Just let your hands freely move.

Let it go.

9. Write your heart out.

Are you stressed? Here’s what you should do: Write out a mock letter, which you will never ever send to anyone. Write your mind out. Write anything—don’t censor yourself. This is to prevent the unnecessary negativity that’s blocking your happiness. After you’re done with the letter, read it out loud and throw it away.

10. Learn more about where you came from.

Look for someone in your family, especially an old relative like a grandparent, uncle or aunt. Talk to them and ask them anything about their early life. Maybe they can recount an important part of history they have witnessed firsthand. You will discover views that you may have never known, perhaps partly because of the difference in your lifestyle now and theirs way back then.

This is a great way for you to broaden your perspective on the world in general, making you appreciate what are already imprinted in your senses. Why wouldn’t you be happy with that?

Think About It

Your happiness depends on how you generate it and how you see things through it. Try these habits of happy people, one at a time—learn them. When you’re already practicing them all, don’t be surprised to realize that you have the power over your own happiness, that you are indeed a happy individual, and that you are ready to claim your purpose in this ever-changing world.