Here's How You Live A Happy Life In Your Twenties

Photo by Olia Nayda from Unsplash

Happiness, much like success, is subjective to different people who come from unique walks of life. 
It’s a controversial term for everyone because when one talks about it, there can never be one universal definition. There is no definite value,  measurement of happiness, nor a reliable source from where we can get full and permanent access to it. It just doesn’t work that way.

Many say happiness is a short-term feeling that comes when you’re in a happy state of mind, like when you finish a task way before the deadline or when you buy the camera you’ve been saving for months, and slowly fades away when you no longer care about it. On the flip side, some would say that you would only experience genuine happiness as a long-term satisfaction only when you overcome the dark and lonely times of your life. Others say happiness is a feeling of contentment where you look over the brighter side of things even when in totality, it’s dark and lonely. Some would also say that happiness is temporary, fickle, and fake; it’s a myth. But no, happiness is real. It’s very real.



This question has been asked a lot of times by one type of people and answered by another type. The rich, successful people who practically bathe with cash in their bathtub would say no, while those who barely eat three times a day would strongly argue otherwise.

To answer the question, money, earthly and material possessions will never buy you happiness, in any circumstance. What it can do, however, provide you with a sense of security and safety. Money doesn’t buy happiness, per se. Rather, it buys instant gratification, fickle validation, and any form of positive, conditional feeling directly related to a person’s pride.

These satisfactions are temporary, so they don’t last very long. Since it’s directly tied to one’s pride, these feelings lose their value when you or the people whom you care about no longer find it important. It’s just a matter of time until your money will run out or you’ve just outgrown the idea of being truly happy when you have money in your hands. 






Setting boundaries is a secret tool to living a happy life because it keeps you away from all the clutter and pressures coming at you from different directions all at once. Therefore, these invisible lines separating you from the other side are keeping you safe and sane.




1. Protects your mental health. Drawing boundaries keep you away from receiving negative ideas, words, and actions. It allows you to operate in a healthy and optimistic environment by being confident about where you stand. 


2. Saves your time. Boundaries save you unnecessary time from pleasing everybody to doing things your way, without expectations. You wouldn’t consume any time doing favors for other people. 


3. Preserves your energy. When you’re aware that people won’t expect anything from you anymore, you wake up every day feeling fulfilled and energized. You know that you don’t have to impress or blindly offer your energy to others for their gain. 


4. Avoids unnecessary drama. If you don’t clearly state your boundaries with a person, people may take the advantage of trespassing that line. With closed boundaries, you’re scratching yourself off the list of victims any toxic person would target. 


5. People will not take you for granted. When people know your limits, they will not take you lightly. How they act and react around you depends on how you draw your boundaries. Those with bad intentions will not bother getting you into their messes because they already know where you stand. 


6. Helps you stay on the positive side. You won’t have to receive any negative feedback from troublemakers and toxic people which frees you from their terrible influence. Drawing boundaries steers you out of their radar because you showed them you’ve had enough with their vindictive tactics. Deep down, bullies are terrified of people who stand up to them. 


7. You become more productive. You’re helping yourself focus on what matters. By knowing where you stand and to what extent your responsibility is to someone, you can be more committed to your task scheduling and time management. 




Mostly, a lot of critical and serious people would say making jokes about your current situation is the worst mistake you will ever make. They would think humor is a waste of time because everything that’s on their mind is strictly limited to objective results and calculated progress, much of like a robot constantly fed with data.

Moreover, cynical people would say life is war and is supposed to be taken very seriously in everything you do, but they fail to realize that there’s a lot of things to laugh about in life. Irony. Coincidence. Mistakes. Innocent moments. Everything. There’s more to life than the finished product, and you begin to sense that when you let go of the definitions you imprison yourself in.




There’s nothing more heart-warming than seeing the smiles on the faces of the people you help. Whether it’s by helping a stranger or comforting a family member, the little acts of kindness you make ignite the faith of humanity that’s long been buried in every single one of us. Helping people makes you happy because it lets you do what you wouldn’t normally do. It makes you go out of your comfort zone and see where the light takes you.




By doing something that fuels your motivation to get out of bed in the morning, you are finding purpose in your life. Do something good for your soul because it will help keep you focused on what matters, and not on what’s wrong in the world. Moreover, it keeps you away from diving into a pool of doubt and fear.

When you do what you love, you don’t give up easily as these obstacles are not a big enough reason to let go of what makes you happy. It helps you become more persistent and grounded, and eventually, you will achieve long-term happiness. You would look back and realize you’ve gone through much adversity but you didn’t quit because the sacrifices you managed were worth it.




Many people fail to be present in their relationships and wonder why even being in a relationship makes them unhappy. It’s not the sound of having a relationship that makes you happy, it’s the journey of the ups and downs you go through with a person. You can be absent in a relationship even when you’re together all the time when you’re not appreciating them enough or not acknowledging their presence when they’re with you (like being too busy with your smartphones). Try to pay more attention to your boyfriends/girlfriends or your family and exert an effort to make them smile from a terrible day.




Gratitude can be practiced in several ways; some write it down on a bullet journal while some take action of their gratitude by paying it forward. When one is grateful, he is contented. You are grateful when you know you don’t have it all, but you see life like it’s yours. You’re content about what you have because you know nothing on this earth is truly yours. Being grateful for your good health, safety, complete family members and more of the blessings you have shows how appreciative you have about the things you’re given. This is a wonderful trait that should be learned by many. Being grateful is a quality that will stand to the test of times.




One of the biggest obstacles from being truly happy in life is keeping vendettas against many people inside your heart. These grudges will keep you pulling you back from walking on the path of contentment and peace. Moreover, these grudges will go far as to affecting you physically because stress will likely destroy your emotional and mental state. Eventually, your entire lifestyle will be disturbed by an event that’s already years old. Your anger and hatred trap you inside a box filled with fear, and these qualities have no room on the other side. If that person doesn’t bother you anymore, then what’s the use of holding that grudge against him? Isn’t a peaceful life more important than your pride?




During the day, we put off the work by executing our plans, and sometimes, the pressure gets so much that we refuse to take the necessary time to rest. Getting enough sleep will not only keep you recharged but will also keep you feeling motivated and ready for the day. This will also refrain you from being cranky early in the morning which often leads you to being rude with the people around you even when you don’t mean it. It will help you keep track of your schedule so that your execution is efficient and your productivity is maximized.




There’s something about the outdoors that makes your heart flutter even when you don’t like to go out very much. Being mindful of your surroundings makes you more connected to nature, to the soil, to the beginning of everything. Somehow, no matter how aesthetically-pleasing and organized your house is, you will always be looking for fresh air. You will always want to hear the chirp of the birds. You don’t have to travel miles outside the country to be happy; spending a few hours outdoors is more than enough. While you’re at it, you can also grab the opportunity to relive family traditions or try new enjoyable activities as a group. 




The main reason people insist they are unhappy in their lives is that they measure happiness according to the number of material possessions they own. They think being able to buy and own expensive things is tantamount to being happy because it makes you feel special and rich (since not everyone has the means to buy them). The moment you forego this idea is the time you feel peace.

Once you detach the idea of happiness from these material possessions, you wouldn’t be overwhelmed with going above and beyond to buying things you can’t afford. You will slowly realize that happiness never comes from shiny things nor does it come from the applause of people when they see you driving a fancy car. Happiness is found when it’s what you feel inside your heart, regardless of the absence of gold.




People would argue that you can’t possibly choose to focus on the good, especially when there’s no good at all. Those who think this way believe that you can’t be happy if you’re going through a tough time at the moment and that you will manifest happiness only after the bad days but that’s just not true. It’s a matter of perspective like looking at a glass half full, not half empty. If your first plan didn’t work, instead of dwelling on your mistake and your failure, think of it as a learning opportunity.

Frame the angle of the situation in a way that your first attempt is a wrong idea or a path that’s not meant for you. It’s better that it’s crushed out among your list of alternatives now so you would know which the right one is for you than having to deal with that problem later in the future. Think of the failure as a big chunk out of the pie; if your plan didn’t fail, you would’ve eaten the entire rotten pie, and the effects would’ve been severe.




A harsh truth that no one wants to admit is: your twenties is that time of your life when being happy is more like a chore rather than something that’s supposed to be natural and free. In your twenties where everything is constantly changing, being happy is the hardest thing you can do because unfortunately, there’s not enough reason to be.

Beneath the ambition and summit of success we all want to manifest in our lifetime, deep down, what we truly want is to be happy. All we want is to return to what we consider home and be thankful that we are alive and breathing. When everything falls down, what remains is our very nature as humans to yearn for emotional connection and social interaction.  And when we’re left with nothing but our loved ones, we realize material possessions have nothing to do with happiness.



“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”

Denis Waitley 

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

19 thoughts on “Here's How You Live A Happy Life In Your Twenties

  1. Drawing clear boundaries of what you want is so important, and I've started to notice that in life you have to sometimes remove yourself from harmful people if their attitudes cross your boundaries. I love this post, thank you for sharing x


  2. Although it's been a long time since I was in my twenties, most of this advice is applicable no matter how old you are. Boundaries are always important as is he ability to find humor in life


  3. This is such a lovely post with great tips Monique. I am not 20 yet. I am 18, will be turning 19 this year and boy! I love the idea of setting boundaries. Boundaries are important and they let people know what you want and what you do not want. I set my boundaries all the time and due to that I receive less insults and negativity, it helps me protect my mental health, I hardly get taken for granted, it helps me avoid unnecessary drama, it helps me preserve my energy and it gives me peace of mind. Boundaries are very very important and necessary for a happy life.


  4. I love this post! I really feel the pressure in my 20s to be happy and to both enjoy and build my life while I'm young. This is a really helpful post that shares lots of tips, thanks x


  5. I'm turning 20 this year so this is really helpful. Definitely agree with do something you love and being grateful. Great post!


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