What you’ll learn from this article:
- Learn the 10 principles to help you thrive, not just survive
- Discover effective ways to feel happy
- Understand the mental and physical aspects of happiness
- Read about how the people you surround yourself with affect your joy
- Find out how to receive a free trial of Ultimate Edge
Happiness is a state of being that many people want to achieve. Unfortunately, finding out what truly makes us happy and how to feel happier is not an easy endeavor.
The question of how to feel happy is very common. Though getting what you want and achieving peak states of performance may make you happy for short periods of time, they do not lead to lasting happiness. The true secret to lasting happiness is progress. As long as you are moving forward on your path to a higher state of being, you can feel good about yourself and your journey along the way. Though progress is at the core of having a happy life, there are five principles that Tony utilizes that will help you feel even more joy along the way.
Figuring out how to feel happy is no easy task. Do you find yourself in a depressed state, wondering what you’re missing? Are you thinking that there must be something else that you should be doing? Are you unsure of how to feel happy and fulfilled? Or maybe times are tough, and you don’t know what to do to make it through the challenges you’re currently facing.
First off, if you’re looking for ways to be happy, you’re not alone. Take Tony. He came up with the concepts behind 5 to Thrive after he’d been kicked out of his house by his angry mother on Christmas Eve. He was still in high school, had no money and going home was no longer an option. An action plan was born, one that Tony has used in his own life – a plan that you, too, can use to figure out how to be more happy.
Here we’ll cover the five principles to make you thrive, not just survive, and give you additional tips on how to feel happier. You’ll learn how to feel happy as well as become more focused and energized because as Tony says, where focus goes, energy flows. In fact, you’ll likely find that as you work toward becoming a more joyful version of yourself, your efforts will quickly spill over into all aspects of your life, making you happier and more fulfilled overall. If you’re asking the question “How can I be happy?” you need to incorporate these 10 principles into your life.
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1. Feed and condition your mind
The rationale: How to feel happy comes down to where you direct your thoughts. What are you thinking about most often? To take control of your focus, you have to feed your mind correctly. What you feed your mind is what you become. So to become the best possible you, you need to give your mind the most nutritious content possible. To put it another way, Jim Rohn said, “Every day, you have to stand guard at the door of your mind.” Why? Because the longer you hold things – ideas, thoughts, feelings – in there, the more you start to accept them unconsciously. And then you start to develop meanings that take over your life, likely in ways that won’t serve you. If you’re looking for how to feel happier, you must look internally first.
If you don’t feed your mind, you’ll just be living off the weeds that grow in the empty spaces. By weeds, we’re talking about information that’s constantly coming at us in today’s world with no rhyme or reason. This includes social media, violent news and the incessant chatter that fills the space but does nothing to fulfill us. It’s up to you what you decide to let in.
The plan: How do you refocus your thoughts on something positive? Read 30 minutes a day of something substantive. Scrolling through social media doesn’t count.
When looking for how to feel happy, try reading biographies of great people who have achieved amazing things and endured massive challenges. This will help you put your own life into perspective and gain insight. You can also read books about science and history as they’ll put your mind to work generating ideas. Read about concepts you’re curious about or areas you want to improve. You should be challenged and excited by what you’re consuming. Not much of a reader? Try audio books or even podcasts to provide the same level of brain nutrition. This will help immensely as you explore how to feel happier.
2. Strengthen your body daily
The rationale: No matter how much you feed your mind, it’s difficult to make an actual change in your life and find how to feel happy if your body is telling you it’s unhealthy. Your mind and body are one unit. What is happening to one influences the other. Whether you feel uncertain or fantastic, your physiology changes. When you are feeling physically strong and powerful, your mind follows suit. That’s why changing how your body works can change your mind and your general worldview.
- Adopt a sustainable, healthy diet. You must have the right fuel to push your body and increase strength and stamina. Many of those who wonder why they aren’t feeling happy are hurting themselves with food additives, sugar and other negative substances that affect their energy and mood.
- Exercise. Aim for five days a week minimum. Push yourself so your heart is racing for at least 10 minutes to get the full cardiovascular benefit. You’ll build both physical and mental strength this way. As for the activity, that’s up to you. Choose something that you enjoy and will not get bored with. Remember, the main goal is just to get moving!
- Create a daily ritual to help make you strong. Tony uses a cold plunge. The shock of jumping into cold water gets blood and oxygen flooding throughout the body, improving circulation and activating the body’s natural healing powers. Your daily ritual might be a daybreak run through your neighborhood or a session of yoga before you head into your normal morning routine. Your ritual should leave you feeling happy and ready to take on your day.
3. Get a role model
The rationale: Models give us templates for how to be better people as well as how to feel happy. Even Tony has mentors and role models who have helped him along the way. When we seek success and happiness, it’s best to look at how others have achieved the same thing. As Jim Rohn often said, “Success breeds clues.” If someone is repeatedly successful, it’s not just luck. Watch your role model work, see how they do it and then replicate to achieve the same result. The same rationale can be applied to feeling happy.
The plan: Find someone who has overcome obstacles to achieve what you want. One of Tony’s major role models for how to master money is Sir John Templeton. He started with nothing and decided to save 50% of every dollar he earned. Since he started this practice young, it quickly became a streamlined habit. His life also showed Tony that the best time to make money – whether through investments, real estate or in business – is during pessimistic times. You can use this method in the pursuit of how to feel happier, too. Think of someone you admire who is wildly happy. What mindsets or beliefs do they follow that allows them to be happy?
You might also consider getting a results coach who can provide you with tips on feeling happy as well as how to increase fulfillment in your personal and professional life.
4. Proximity is power
The rationale: Many of us stay around people who are at our level of feeling happy or below it, partly because it makes us feel good about ourselves and partly because they don’t present a challenge. When we stay around people who are comfortable, there’s no impetus to grow. As Tony says, who you spend time with is who you become.
If you put yourself consistently in environments that are larger than you’re used to playing in, something will rub off. Think of sports: If you play a game with someone who’s better than you, you’ll improve quickly. But if you play someone at your level or below, you never stretch yourself. No stretch, no improvement. If you hang around people who are consistently negative and only look at the downsides of life, chances are you will, too. Opt to surround yourself with those who are abundantly grateful instead and see how much easier feeling happy becomes.
The plan: How to feel happier leads to a more fulfilling life, and you must surround yourself with those who support it. You need to be around people who do what you want to be doing. If you keep putting yourself there, something will happen. If you want to know how to feel happier, spend time with others who share your passions or who can teach you something new. Having multiple models means you’ll make decades of process in weeks, not days. Yes, staying in an environment where you feel like you’re not good enough can be tough, but hold on. It’ll pay off in the long run.
You should also work on your ability to make new and meaningful connections. The more people you connect with, the more likely you are to find how to feel happy.
5. Give more than you expect to receive
The rationale: Giving will change your state of mind in ways you can only imagine. In fact, Tony says that giving without expecting anything in return, and just trying to be a blessing in the lives of everyone you meet, will give you the energy to do the previous four things and will inevitably lead to feeling happy.
The plan: No matter how bad things may seem, find someone who’s worse off than you and help them. You can give them food, have a conversation or help them solve a problem. Whether it’s large or small, offer something to others and don’t expect anything in return. Remember: the secret to living is giving. When you’re grateful for what you have and always on the lookout for how you can improve someone else’s life, you’ve truly discovered how to feel happy.
6. Spend more time outdoors
The rationale: Living near green spaces and regular exposure to fresh air is associated with a better mindset and feeling happy. Sunlight produces vitamin D, which is important to fight depression, and nature sparks curiosity and wonder.
The plan: Schedule time to spend outdoors. You should enjoy nature with your family and friends as well as spend time alone outdoors to process thoughts and reconnect with yourself. Regular exposure to fresh air, green grass and the sounds of water is a sure path to how to feel happier.
7. Get plenty of sleep
The rationale: We all know how difficult it is to put a smile on our face when we’re exhausted. Feeling happy is much easier when you’re well-rested and able to face the day with optimism and energy.
The plan: If you have trouble sleeping or if you’re so overcommitted that you don’t take the time for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, you need to make some changes. Create some healthy habits that help you power down in the evening and prepare your brain and body for sleep. Say no to commitments that keep you from adequate rest.
8. Listen to upbeat music
The rationale: Music activates the brain’s reward system. This explains why we start feeling happy as soon as one of our favorite tunes comes on. Music can act as medicine, a mood enhancer and a powerful form of self-expression.
The plan: Slip on your headphones and crank up an upbeat playlist. You can do this while you work out, as you’re making dinner or anytime you need a boost.
9. Practice letting go
The rationale: One reason so many people struggle with how to feel happy is the inability to let go. Whether you can’t let go of traumatic experiences in the past or can’t let go of an imagined slight from a co-worker, holding on to negativity leads to unhappiness.
The plan: Decide how you want to live your life and identify emotional patterns that are preventing you from letting go and feeling happy. You can then examine and change your habits to support letting go of a painful past and embracing a new life of feeling happy and taking everything less personally.
10. Practice self-care
The rationale: Those who continually do for others without taking care of their own needs often end up wondering how to feel happy. Practicing self-care on a daily basis is the key to how to feel happier because we cannot live a full life unless we treat ourselves well.
The plan: Take some time every day to do nice things for yourself. It can be as little as getting an espresso at your favorite café or taking a 30-minute nap before going out to meet friends. Then, schedule bigger self-care activities like massages or vacations on a weekly or monthly basis. When you start taking care of yourself, you’ll find yourself feeling happy and better able to help others.
There are no huge secrets when it comes to how to be more happy. It’s all about taking care of your body and mind, focusing on the needs of others and looking to role models who have already walked in your shoes. When you put these 10 principles in place, you will experience more fulfillment in every part of your life and have meaningful experiences on a regular basis.
Need help creating your own action plan to thrive?
Uncover the areas of life that require the most improvement with Tony Robbins’ Wheel of Life assessment. Achieve your true balance and begin learning how to feel happy.