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How to be happy: 5 timeless principles!

If there is one existential question to which we all seek an answer, it is: how to be happy? This article covers 5 timeless principles on how to be happy.


Before we explore the answer to the question "How to be happy?", let me ask you a simple question.

Are you happy? Rate on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you?

Our modern society values fear, desires and pride. Although our overall standard of living tends to improve, people seem more and more unhappy today.

Whether at work, at home or outside, happiness seems almost inaccessible. That's why I took the time to compile 5 principles on how to be happy that will help you move forward in your quest for happiness.

# 1: Contemplate your negative emotions/ thoughts; do not repress them

Today, most of us do not know how to handle our emotions. Just see what we do when we are unhappy/ angry/ stressed/ frightened. Either

(a) we put him to sleep

(b) we eat (emotional eating)

(c) we drink (alcoholism)

(d) we smoke

(e) we put our head in the sand, working and/ or

(f) completely ignoring our emotions.

So what happens when we do not manage our negative emotions? Well, by not responding to our emotions/ thoughts, they end up repressed. We then have the impression that our negative emotions/ thoughts have disappeared the next day, but no, they are still there. They are only deeply buried in our unconscious.

It's only after a matter of time before they emerge again, usually when we face a situation that triggers these latent memories. At this point, we can either continue to ignore our feelings, and thus repeat this cycle again, or treat it immediately this time.

Now you must choose, will you continue to ignore the cries of alarm of your mind by anaesthetizing yourself in your daily routine, or will you have the courage to start living your life in full consciousness? It's up to you.

If you choose to ignore or repress your thoughts, it may lead to depression. Read what author Oliver JR Cooper has to say on this.

Can Repression Cause Depression

According to several studies conducted in the United States, at least 90% of your mental life is unconscious. That means your life is almost totally governed by your subconscious.

Negative tendencies are buried in the depths of our subconscious mind and have a strong influence on emotions and actions. The good news is that we have the ability to regain control of these patterns.

How can we manage our negative emotions/ thoughts?

1. The solutions begin with an understanding of how they work and where they come from. The first step is to know your subconscious minds and learn how to master your subconscious mind.

2. Secondly, by unloading your mind. Especially if the incident has just happened and you are facing a large influx of negative emotions. Meditation, or simply contemplating our situation from an outside point of view, is very useful for this purpose. You can also use what usually distresses you, such as playing a game, taking a break, walking a little, listening to music, etc. As long as you come back to your problematic situation after relaxing a bit.

3. Identify your source of unhappiness, wondering: "What makes me unhappy?". The answers can be very revealing, especially if you have never asked the question. This will push you in the right direction because rather than taking your emotions as they are, you are now making the effort to understand them. If you are already very aware of your emotions, it will allow you to go even further.

# 2: Act on what makes you unhappy

You might say that you are someone very happy. It's not because you do not feel negative emotions. Like everyone else, there are times when you feel unhappy. There are also times when you get angry or on the contrary where you are sad.

What should you do during these times? Should you let yourself sink into your negative emotions? No, that's not what you want. It's useless and it would waste your mental energy. The only way is to learn how to be happy.

If something bores you, take those out of your life. Your happiness must be your number one priority in your life. Here are some tips:

1. Fix your problem immediately. There is no point waiting. The longer you wait, the more unhappy you will feel.

2. Focus on what you can do, not what you cannot do. This includes (a) things in the present (b) your thoughts and actions and not (a) things in the past or in the future or (b) thoughts or actions of other people.

3. Remember that every problem has its solution. You are limited only by your mind. Only when you broaden the scope of your thinking will you find the solution that's right for you.

4. Once you've done everything in your power, let things take their course. You did everything you could. Now let others and the universe do their part.

# 3: Update your belief system

If a problem persists even though you have done everything to fix it, or if the source of misfortune is irreversible (for example, the death of a loved one or change the past) or something out of your reach (such as thoughts or the actions of others) is that you have limiting beliefs that prevent you from seeing the situation from another point of view.

It is very easy to believe that we are not in control of our emotions, this is how we say "he/ she annoys me", "you make me sad", "you tire me" ... it is the sign that we are wrong because our emotions belong to us. It is up to us to choose if we wish to live with irritation, sadness or joy. Yes, it's as simple as that.

Moving from the "I will not get anything in my life" mentality to "I can overcome anything that happens to me" can produce huge changes in your life. In one case you self-sabotage and in the other you have confidence in your abilities to find solutions to your problems.

That's why it's important to review our "beliefs" and clean them up. Keep only those that help you and allow you to move forward. And if something makes you unhappy, it is useless to constantly rehearse it, because you are only making your life miserable. This is the signal to introspect and update your belief system, which will allow you to dissolve these limiting beliefs and replace them with helping beliefs.

# 4: See the glass half full or half empty

How to be happy: 5 timeless principles!

Surely you have already heard the quote “After the rain cometh the fair weather”. This means that even if a situation seems negative or dead, there will always be positive sides to it.

For example, here is a list of things that most people would consider negative, especially if it happens to us.

Stuck in a Rush Hour Traffic Jam?

• Miss a job interview

• Being fired from work

• Breaking with a spouse

• Living a difficult situation (financial, professional, family ...)

There is always a positive side to each of these situations above?

A situation perceived as negative -> The positive side of the situation.

Stuck in a Rush Hour Traffic Jam?

(1) You now know that there are limits to be met in order to arrive on time.

(2) Your delay has taught you the importance of being punctual.

• Being fired from work

(1) This will give you time to think about what you want to do in your life.

(2) You can now embark on new opportunities. Whether it's working for new companies, choosing other roles or embarking on a new career, or starting your own business.

• Breaking with a spouse

(1) Being released from a relationship that did not work. If your spouse was not happy in this relationship, then you could not have been happy in the long run either.

(2) You can now meet other people, and most likely find someone who will match you better than your ex.

• Living a difficult situation

(1) Managing this situation will help you develop your coping skills. You will gain in wisdom and strength of character.

(2) What you learn will help you grow and improve as an individual and more than if you had never experienced this kind of situation.

Some may say that I am too optimistic with what I wrote above. But this is not the case. What is written there are facts and not fictions. Many people missed their job interview, ultimately getting the jobs they wanted at another company.

Many people have broken with their spouse, to live a fulfilling relationship with their half.

Just as I'm sure you've had some difficult times in your life that have helped you become who you are now.

All that can happen in our lives has a positive aspect. Once you understand this, then you can see each problematic situation as a positive experience that allows you to go further in your life.

# 5: Drop your expectations (and focus on the intentions)

Focus on your intentions, not your expectations. It's hard to be happy when we have very specific expectations of how things should be. That's why focusing on what we really want, rather than the "how" we would like it to happen, makes us happier.

For example, you want to have a job in this sector with suitable pay. This is more likely to happen than if you think that you should definitely be taken by company X, with a salary Y to be happy at work. It is not a question of making concessions on our "ideals", but of realising that what satisfies us is not necessarily linked to conditions that we have determined in advance. Again for the same example, it is possible that a company Z offers you a lower salary, but by informing you a little, you realised that it increases quite often its employees and that the working environment is pleasant.

Make It Happen

Understand that every goal we have in life is linked to an intention that we want to see happen, but at the same time, there are thousands of ways to make it happen. So do not stay stuck in your goal ideal. Continue to have goals and pursue them, while staying focused on your intentions behind them. Once this is done, you will realise that you can progress much faster than you thought and that your ideals simply prevented you from doing the right thing to move towards your goals.

So, what do you think?

Is the Pursuit of Happiness an Illusion or a Worthwhile Goal?

Well, you have the answer…

“Do not set aside your happiness. Do not wait to be happy in the future. The best time to be happy is always now.”

                                                                                                          ― Roy T. Bennett

Content Research and Acquisition Specialist

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We all want to become better, happier people, and we work pretty hard at it. The marketing world keeps reminding us that we are not even close to our potential and holds up endless images of perfection that reinforce that idea. The solution advertising offers is a better appearance, more friends, accomplishments, public recognition, power, etc. We are programmed into being defined by external factors.

Additionally, self-help resources are everywhere. There are seminars, healers, books, lectures, and retreats, much of which can be helpful. The message is “if I had more of ‘___________’ I would be a happier person.” This includes wisdom, the tools on this web site, less pain, etc.

What we really mean when we say that we want to be happy is that we would like to experience less anxiety.

The “Abyss”

Many, if not most, of my patients would test out just fine on a psychological test. But chronic pain will still take you down anyway. It creates extreme anxiety and frustration. I define “The Abyss” as:

                                                      Anxiety x Anger x Time

The Abyss represents an unspeakably dark area of your brain. My patients can’t express it with words. I spent over seven years in a severe burnout. My experience also included chronic pain in several areas of my body. I experienced an intense burning sensation in both of my feet, tinnitus, multiple areas of tendonitis, migraine headaches and crushing right-sided chest pain.I didn’t know why I was having all of these symptoms and all the testing was normal. I eventually lost all hope. I “pre-tested” every millimeter of the pathway outlined on this website, mostly by trying multiple approaches that didn’t work. Suffering from chronic pain is far removed from happiness.


The DOC process is paradoxical. The harder you try to get enough of the tools to “fix” yourself the less likely you are to be successful in becoming pain free (or happy). It is critical to understand that you have to enjoy your day with the idea that your pain or your life circumstances may never improve. In other words you must learn to enjoy life with what you have—NOW!

If you are waiting for more wisdom, more re-programming tools, more money, a nicer spouse, better-behaved kids, or less pain before you can fully engage in your life, it’s never going to happen. It is life’s ultimate paradox. The harder you try to “fix” your life and yourself, the less likely you are to enjoy it.

We also forget how illogical it is to think that all of the variables in our lives are going to align so well that we are going to finally be fulfilled. And if it could happen, how long do you think it would last? Think how much energy we spend trying to control so much. Yet, we don’t give up trying.

The Reverse Paradox

Then there is the other side of the paradox. The more you can enjoy your day in light of your current life circumstances; you will then possess more energy and creativity to create a life that you desire.

Enjoy Your Day-Today

An Exercise

I often do an exercise with my patients. I look at my watch and point out that the time is X and you have Y number of hours left in the day. I ask them to make a decision to enjoy the next number of hours regardless of their circumstances, including the pain. A major key to solving your pain is to step fully into the life you want, with or without the pain.

When I was in the middle of my own intense burnout about 10 years ago, I had to make ongoing decisions to just enjoy the next 15 minutes. I’m serious. I had to make a conscious effort every 15 to 30 minutes.

My ongoing challenge to myself and to my patients is, “Enjoy your day—today.”

Enjoy Your Day-Today


Quite some time ago I came across a post on social media where someone was basically lamenting the fact that although they were there for their friends during tough times, their friends were not there for them when they were going through a tough time. From what they said, it would be easy to see them as a victim.

This person is then going to be caring and supportive, yet the people in their life are the complete opposite. After reading this post, it would be easy to feel sorry for this person and to want to offer them a few supportive words.

Another Angle

However, while it would be easy to feel sorry for this person and even to see them as a victim, it could be said that there is a lot more to it than this. For one thing, one doesn’t have to stay friends with these people.

Therefore, if they are only taking from them, they can cut their ties with these people. What this clearly shows is that one is not powerless; they can do something about what is taking place.

An Important Question

As they haven’t done this, it will be a good idea for them to reflect on why they haven’t moved on from these people. One way of looking at this would be to say that even though they are angry about this, another part of them feels comfortable with what is taking place.

Consciously, one is not going to be getting anything from this, but unconsciously, it can be a very different story. So, the reason why they don’t realise this is probably because they are not aware of this other part of them.

A Closer Look

If they were to go beyond what is going in their conscious mind and to go deeper within themselves, what they may find is that they feel worthless. Thus, even though one part of them will get angry at how these people treat them, another part of them will believe that they deserve to be treated in this way.

This will be the reason why they tolerate this behaviour, as opposed to drawing the line and finding people that are willing to be there for them. It might be hard for them to accept this, but at least they will be able to see that they are not a victim.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, this is just one of the many ways that someone can victimise themselves. What this emphasises is how vital it is for someone to develop self-awareness as this will stop them from having a victim mentality.

​Along with this, having an internal locust of control will also help as this will stop them from getting caught up in what takes place externally. This doesn’t mean that this will allow them to have complete control over their life; what it means is that they will see that they do have an effect on their life. 

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