So, you’re wondering how to feel alive again?
Well, you’re far from alone. It’s an unavoidable reality that we’re all going to reach a point in life where things seem boring and stagnant.
If you’re reading this, it’s possible you’re at that point right now:
Each day just feels ‘meh’. You can feel yourself just ‘going through the motions’ and making each day a carbon copy of the one before it.
You’re alive, but it doesn’t feel like you’re really living. You’re not enjoying and experiencing life, you’re simply enduring it and waiting for joy to appear again.
In order to get yourself out of this funk and get motivated again, you’ve gotta shake things up.
Routine is important, but only to a point —we need exposure to new challenges, new people, new places, and new hobbies to attain that sense of aliveness that we’re all looking for.
In this article, we’ll discuss various tips that will show you how to feel alive again and bring more joy back into your life.
How Do You Start To Feel More Alive?
Robin Sharma once said, “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”
Unfortunately, that’s what many people do. They spend their entire lives waiting to feel excited, passionate, and fulfilled, only to realize that they were the ones responsible for making that happen all along.
Learning how to feel alive starts with accountability. You’ve gotta realize that the only way to feel more alive is to take more action.
Now, that action can come in many ways:
- New Routines: New habits bring new insights. Implementing positive habits increases your motivation and helps you start to believe in your ability to change.
- New People: It’s entirely possible that some people you’re hanging out with are draining your energy. If you start exposing yourself to others who are naturally joyful and happy, the same effect can rub off on you
- Focusing On Your Physical/Mental Health: It’s important to keep your body and mind healthy to foster a sense of aliveness. Our body and brain operate at their peak levels when we’re physically active.
- New Hobbies: In order to feel more alive, we all need ways to de-stress. New hobbies offer a great opportunity to remove ourselves from the daily stressors of life and work.
These are the kinds of shifts that we need to make in order to feel alive again. There’s no secret — it’s just about making the things we already know how to do a larger priority.
How To Feel Alive Again: 9 Ways To Change Things Up
The following section of this article will cover how to feel alive again by suggesting nine different pursuits that will shake up your life.
#1: Try A 30 Day Challenge
30 day challenges are a great way to bring a sense of newness into your life. However, in order to get the most out of them, you’ve gotta go in with the right expectations.
A 30 day challenge is not the cure-all for your problems. You can’t just expect to be a radically different person because you go through a 30-day challenge that stretches your capabilities.
However, they are a great opportunity to prove something to yourself. Oftentimes, we don’t feel like we’re alive because we feel chained to our habits and routines.
We want to change, but deep down we don’t really believe that we can. Completing a 30-day challenge can serve as evidence that we can commit to a change and stick to it, which can inspire us to take on other challenges.
Start thinking about some of the old changes you’ve tried to make and make this your sole focus for the next 30 days.
If you’re looking for inspiration, I’ve included a blog post below that will give you some ideas on various 30 day challenges that you can start.
#2: Start A New Hobby
If you’re wondering how to feel alive again, maybe it’s time to consider taking up a new hobby. As we go about our day, it’s easy to get locked into our to-do lists and let the stressors of work overwhelm us.
We all need ways to relieve ourselves from this stress. If you don’t have an outlet that consistently gets your mind off of work, it can end up being all you think about (I’ve been there).
The best hobby you can choose is one that aligns with your general interests. If you like competition and enjoy physical activity, then maybe you could join a kickball team or start playing tennis with a partner.
If you value alone time and creativity, then maybe you finally kick-start that painting or drawing habit you’ve always wanted to start.
Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from burn-out and depression, so try to find a new hobby that puts your mind at ease.
#3: Get Out Of The House And Travel
When was the last time you went away for a weekend? When was the last time you took a trip with your friends/family?
A change in scenery might be just what you need to switch things up. You don’t have to go full-nomad and go backpacking through Asia for three months, something simple like a weekend get-away just a few hours away can be just as effective.
Traveling isn’t just cliche advice either, it has psychological benefits too. One study found that people who take a trip felt improvements in their mood and sleep quality just three days afterward.
Interestingly, these benefits weren’t just short-term. The study participants reported that these benefits were still present even five weeks after vacation.
#4: Start Exercising
Physical activity is such an important part of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle, yet so many of us fail to make time for it.
If you want to start feeling alive again, you should seriously consider making physical fitness a bigger priority in your life.
Personally, things feel a little off when I’m not exercising regularly. My energy levels dip, my overall productivity takes a hit, and I feel less motivated to get out of the house.
The research tells you all you need to know, as study after study has proven that exercise contributes to high life-satisfaction by providing the following benefits:
- Improved brain health
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Better mood
In other words, exercising is a keystone habit. When you start making it a priority, other positive changes begin to take shape.
#5: Attempt Some Comfort Zone Challenges
The comfort zone — it’s a beautiful place to visit, but a dreadful place to live.
Many people lack a sense of aliveness because they’re afraid. Afraid to take on new challenges. Afraid to face their fears. Afraid to plunge themselves head-first into discomfort because they’re afraid they’ll drown in it.
We weren’t meant to live in fear — our fears inform us of what we really ought to be doing with our lives.
If you’re struggling with how to feel alive, then comfort zone challenges are the perfect way to get comfortable with fear and become the best version of yourself.
The more you lean into fear, the less of an impact it has on your life. Your ideal self is the type of person who has the courage to take action in spite of fear.
And when action becomes your default response to fear, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
Here’s an article that lists out a bunch of comfort zone challenges that you can try out:
#6: Start Talking To Strangers
Without an abundance of social connection, you may find yourself feeling like you don’t belong.
And it’s hard to feel alive when you lack a sense of belonging. Even for those of you who are self-proclaimed introverts, the bottom line is that consistent social connection keeps you happier and healthier.
If you’ve been feeling like this is an area of your life that you’ve been neglecting, then get out there and start making some new friends!
Exercise your social muscle by talking to new people every day. If you’re a natural introvert (like I am), this will be a little scary at first.
Take it from me though, eventually that social fear will pass. You’ll become desensitized to the initial wave of anxiety that comes with talking to new people.
As a result, you’ll get better at making small talk and having engaging conversations. Making friends will become much easier as people begin to gravitate towards you, thus expanding your social circle.
#7: Deepen The Friendships That You Do Have
This suggestion for how to feel alive again goes hand in hand with the last one. Now you may be wondering, “what’s with all the focus on personal relationships?”
Well, deep personal relationships are the single-biggest predictor of overall life-satisfaction.
The evidence for this comes from a study conducted by Robert Waldinger. The study, which has been running for over 80 years, has tracked the lives of hundreds of men since the Great Depression, as well as their offspring.
Over the years, the researchers have studied every detail about their lives — their health trajectories, their triumphs and failures, their career paths, and more.
They found that out of all the characteristics of happy people, deep personal relationships was the most common trait that linked them together..
Close personal relationships kept these participants happy and healthy. They slowed down mental and physical decline, and acted as a protective shield from the stressors of daily life.
What this study proves is that no matter what we’re trying to achieve professionally, personal relationships need to be near the top of our priority list.
Maintaining friendships isn’t about grand gestures. It’s more about the daily, private work of showing others that you value them.
- A quick facetime or check-in text
- A surprise act of kindness
- A quick meet-up for coffee/lunch
- Sharing good news and bad news
- Providing encouragement and having honest conversations
These are the kinds of actions that are completely within your control. They’re not sexy or exciting — no one’s gonna write a news motivational story about you because you sent a check-in text to one of your close friends.
However, these seemingly insignificant actions compound over time and result in a strong support system that you can fall back on when things get tough.
#8: Quit The Job You Hate (Or At Least Put Plans In Motion)
Do you feel like the job you’re working is crushing your spirit? Well, you’re not alone.
According to a study conducted in 2017 by Deloitte, only 13% of Americans feel passionate about what they do for a living. Furthermore, the study also concluded that only 34% of employees feel engaged in their daily work, which means roughly two-thirds of Americans are “mentally checked-out” of their work.
If you’re wondering how to feel alive again, perhaps your career is the first item that you really take a hard-look at.
At the end of the day, when you remove the eight hours that you sleep every night, work is going to take up a significant portion of your life.
If you’re just living for the weekends, then something needs to change. In order to figure out what kind of work is going to put you on fire, start asking yourself these questions:
- What am I naturally curious about?
- What’s the kind of work that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life?
- What specific tasks can I work on for hours on end without stopping?
- What job would I choose if I was independently wealthy already?
These questions will get you thinking about the kind of work that’s intrinsically motivating to you.
Now look, I’m aware that the idea of following your passion isn’t always practical. You may need to stay at your current job in order to make rent, put food on the table, and pay bills.
However, just because you have bills to pay and mouths to feed right now, doesn’t mean you can’t set aside an extra 1-2 hours a day to plan out your transition.
If it’s important enough to you, you’ll make time for it. You may not be able to leave your job after 3 months, 6 months, or even a year.
But if you continually make forward progress, eventually that day will come.
So start polishing up your resume and exploring your options. Start cutting back on expenses and build up a financial safety net. Start setting aside some time each day to work on that side-hustle that you want to turn into a full-time career.
If you really want something, you’ll make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen.
#9: Do Something Kind For Someone
Sometimes, the best way to bring more joy into your own life is to do something for others.
When we perform an act of kindness, our brain releases serotonin and dopamine, which are two neurotransmitters responsible for imparting on us a sense of well-being.
If repeated over time, acts of kindness can rewire our brain to become more genuine, more friendly, and less stressed.
Seems to me like that’s a pretty good recipe for a happy, healthy life. So ask yourself: “What’s something I can do today that will make someone else’s life better?”
Maybe it’s paying for someone’s meal behind you, or buying breakfast for someone who’s clearly in need, or giving your parents a call to let them know you love and appreciate them.
Whatever it is, just make sure you give without expectation. You’ll start to feel much more alive when you realize you can make someone else’s day at any given moment.
Final Thoughts On How To Feel Alive
If you’ve been struggling to reinvent your life, I hope that you got some value out of the suggestions in this article.
Too often, we tend to overcomplicate things. When we feel like something is missing from our lives, the answer is typically right in front of us.
It’s not about some secret hack that we haven’t tried yet. It’s about the simple, non-sexy things that we already know how to do.
It’s likely you’ve already felt the urge several times to do some of the things outlined in this article. Make a commitment to yourself that going forward, you’re going to listen to this urge and start acting on it.
If you follow through on that commitment with action, then it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually get unstuck and create positive momentum.
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