9 Ways on How to Be Happy (and Live) Alone
We all have different explanations and definitions of what happiness is and what it means to each of us.
No matter what challenges, crossroads, and lifestyle changes you come across in your life, at the end of the day, your happiness is what truly matters most.
Whether you’re in a relationship, have children, have a busy work life or whatever the circumstances are, it’s important to know how to be happy alone.
When you know what makes you truly happy, practice self-love, take care of yourself and step out of your comfort zone, you will be able to see how powerful being happy alone can be.
Being Happy Alone (a Visual Overview)
Here is a quick graphic to show you the habits for being happy on your own:
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Read on to see how to apply each of these habits into your life...
Habit #1 - Figure Out What Makes You Truly Happy
If you have recently gotten out of a relationship, or are simply not currently interested in anyone, then try not to look at this stage in your life as a negative thing.
Being single gives you a wonderful opportunity to figure out what truly makes you happy and gives you the perfect chance to get to know yourself better.
Being single grants you the time and freedom to do whatever you want on your own schedule and allows you to put your needs, desires, and ambitions above all others.
Not being in a relationship will help you realize and understand that your happiness does not have to depend on someone else’s presence.
You need to be able to be happy alone first, and love yourself in order to give your love to someone else and have a successful relationship.
If you don’t know what is going to make you happy, how can you expect someone else to? You need to know and experience what real love and happiness is like by yourself before you commit to loving someone else.
It might be scary at first but here are some ideas that can help you to feel more positive about being alone.
Get to know yourself by spending some time alone in solitude. Do something that will help you relax and focus on your mind, body and soul. Go shopping, take a bath, listen to some new music, have a glass of wine, watch a marathon of your favorite show and don’t feel guilty about treating yourself or making yourself a top priority.
Habit #2 - Give Yourself a Fresh Start
Sometimes we get stuck in monotonous schedules and our days feel like they merge together into a week that’s exactly the same as the last.
Maybe you have forgotten what it’s like to feel happy because you simply aren’t stimulated with what’s happening in your life. Perhaps it’s time to write a list of all the fun things and activities that make you smile.
Write down new places you would like to explore, games you would like to learn how to play, or books you would like to read.
Once you start making this list, you will look forward to trying these new things and you will start to get excited about the possibilities available to you.
Sometimes all it takes to feel refreshed and happy is to change something simple out of your daily routine. Maybe it’s time to rearrange your furniture or redecorate your house.
By changing something in your surroundings, it will help you start fresh and prevent you from feeling like your life is stagnant.
You can also look at moving, rearranging or redecorating your house to create an instant fresh start or renewal of your current stage in life.
Plan a cleaning or de-cluttering session. Get rid of things that are collecting dust or that you have been hanging on to because you’ll feel guilty if you throw them out.
Remember that it’s time to start living for you and no one else. Only keep things that make you happy, are important, useful and meaningful to you.
Habit #3 - Practice Self-Love
Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. [source]
When you stop thinking about how other people can make you happy and practice self-love, you will soon realize what it feels like to be happy alone and be able to learn to love and accept yourself from the inside out.
Here are some ways you can practice self-love:
Stop putting so much value on what others think and stop striving for perfection. Everyone has their flaws whether they tell you or not. Once you have accepted that being alone is normal and natural, you will begin to realize that it’s okay and be perfectly happy while alone.
Alone time will allow you to be mindful of your thoughts and surroundings. You will be able to feel happiness and peace and know that you have absolutely everything inside of yourself that you need to be completely fulfilled. You do not need to expect anything from anyone else.
A great way to practice self-love includes writing down things that you love about yourself. Focus on the positives; you are healthy, unique and have great hair, wonderful personality,nice legs, beautiful eyes, or whatever you decide.
You can also practice self-love by being aware of your negative thoughts. If you are constantly thinking with a dark cloud overhead then you will never leave room to let the sunshine through.
There is a positive side and a negative side to almost any situation. Train your mind to think of the positive outcome and, over time, this will start to happen naturally.
Another way to get out of the negative thought clouds is to surround yourself with positive things and people.
If you are at a low point, you might not even want to get off of the couch and reach for the phone but it’s important to get out of the house and be around friends and family who love you and who will help you take your mind off of whatever it is that’s bringing you down.
If you tend to avoid the phone or make plans, then try committing to something up front. If you commit to something, then you will be less likely to back out when the time comes to actually do it.
Here’s an example: Pre-pay for a 10-week kickboxing class or sports league. Once you have made that up front long-term commitment, it will be much harder for you to say no to these plans, even when you are having a bad day.
Habit #4 - Exercise and Build a Healthy Lifestyle
Maybe it’s time to reconnect with yourself on a physical level. Start a new exercise program that will help you get into shape, feel good about your body, and even reap the numerous benefits of endorphins.
Working out shouldn’t always seem like a chore, there are some great programs like spinning, zumba, or even Xbox games that will allow you workout with others in a fun way.
If you commit to joining a class and have a friend that signs up with you, you will be less likely to quit and you will have double the fun while you workout.
If you do not wish to make a big commitment, then start out small and check out some different types of workouts in free workout tutorials on YouTube to see which ones fit you best.
Make these new exercises a part of your morning routine so it will keep you refreshed during the day. The best part about morning workouts is that you won’t be thinking about having to workout for the rest of the day because it’s already done!
If you have a dog, you should have no problem going for a daily 20-minute walk or run. Your dog will love you for it and will help keep you committed by reminding you that it’s time for your daily walk; how can you say no to those cute little puppy eyes?
What’s eating you; or more like, what are you eating? Sometimes our diet can affect our happiness and bring our mood down. Take a look at what you have been eating, and look for healthier alternatives.
A great way to do this is to use an app or diary for one week and write down everything that you have consumed. You might be surprised at just how much unhealthy food you are eating and when you review your journal at the end of the week, you will be able to see where there’s room for improvement in your diet.
In addition to the quality of the food we eat, the quantity of the food we eat can also effect our moods and happiness. Often people turn to food when they begin to feel sad and depressed.
Eating can give some quick relief but it is always followed by self-recriminations if you eat too much. Not only that but consuming large amounts of food can lead to lethargy. Simply by controlling portion sizes of the food we eat, we not only help to keep ourselves healthier, but also happier.
Sleep is also extremely important in order to keep you energized throughout the day and it even has the added benefits of helping you lose weight and keeping a healthy lifestyle, mind, and heart. [Creating good sleep habits]
Go to bed early and sleep in once in a while, but make sure you find a balanced schedule. One of the best benefits of being alone is that you can take up the whole bed without getting kicked or nudged in your sleep!
Habit #5 - Find Your Passion and Cultivate It
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting it off? What’s wrong with trying it now?
When you’re alone, you no longer have to consider other people’s plans.
Choose to do something different that will be a challenge for you. It doesn’t matter what it is. It just needs to be something that you’re passionate about.
If you love animals, why not volunteer once a week to help out your local shelter?
If you’re stuck on ideas, then there are many fun websites that can help you out with this decision; local dance classes, art classes, photography classes, acting lessons, cooking classes, day trips, guitar lessons you name it, you can find it in your area.
Sometimes we don’t truly find our passion in life until we have tried and experienced many different things.
You should keep in mind that there is never any harm in trying something new and experiencing something new can actually be quite fun. It will get you out of the house, allow you to be around new and positive people and help you renew your confidence for learning new things.
Habit #6 - Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Try doing things that you’ve never done before. Try not to have your guard up and be open to all possibilities; you don’t know that you won’t like something until you’ve tried it.
A great way to step out of your comfort zone is to go somewhere and do something new and fun each week. Another great thing about being alone is that no one is there to say no or disagree with your plans.
When you start experiencing new things, places and events, you will probably be meeting new people and make some new friends. This may seem difficult at first if you are shy but putting yourself in other people’s shoes might help.
Remember that it may be hard for someone else to make friends too and you could be that one person that could help someone else out.
Remember to do things that benefit your inner-self and not for the purpose of finding “someone.” There shouldn’t be any pressure to look at people romantically.
Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things can lead to new friends and amusing experiences. It all starts with you smiling and saying hello to someone else.
Try saying hi with a smile when you’re at the grocery store, while you’re walking down the street, when you’re meeting someone for the first time at a party, etc.
Whatever the situation is, just try to put yourself out there and you’ll gain more confidence over time, eventually this will turn into a new habit.
Seeing other people smile is also contagious so if you start the smile train, others will reciprocate and you will both be in great moods.
A good way to keep yourself out of your comfort zone is to try a 30 day habit every month. Make sure to try new things, experiment and do things you might not do otherwise. You may even find some great habits you want to keep forever.
Habit #7 - Use Your Alone Time Wisely
Many people might think that the answer to being happy is a simple one: just do things that make you happy.
However, due to psychological attachments, this is not true at all. You may enjoy chowing down on a quart of Rocky Road ice-cream. You may enjoy watching an entire season of Dexter in a single sitting. But in the long run these things will not bring you the happiness you desire and are quite likely to bring you guilt and remorse.
There are many things you can do when you’re alone and watching meaningless TV shows or eating your favorite comfort food might seem like a great idea at the time, but for purposes of happiness they are often counterproductive.
I am not saying to never enjoy mindless tasks or have a treat, these can be okay once in a while, but why not use this time wisely and get to know yourself better, learn something about yourself or challenge your mind.
Read a great biography, watch an inspirational documentary, start a new business or create a new website. Lose yourself in your art, music, woodworking, cooking or any other meaningful work.
Need some inspiration? Spend all day at a gallery or museum and let your mind experience different reactions and emotions to these art pieces or educational experiences.
Choose your time wisely and make sure that at the end of the day, you were happy and satisfied with what you accomplished.
Remember, at this point in your life, you are alone so you are able to create something meaningful and spend as much time as you like doing what you love to do. When you lose yourself fully into your work, you will become proud of what you have created and this will leave you fulfilled and happy.
Creating smart and realistic goals attached with a timeline will help keep you motivated.
Start off small and focus on your most important tasks first. Once you get into a routine, you will not even have to think about your daily to-do schedule because you will have programmed your mind to just do it and get it done.
Another great advantage of being alone is that your goals do not need to involve any outside influences. You can be, do, and have whatever you dream of. You can create an amazing future for yourself, and by yourself.
Why not take this time to focus on one or two aspects of your life that you have wanted to improve. Whether this involves your health, career, spirituality or finances, don’t let these wants and aspirations continue to be pushed to the side.
Think about how you would feel and why it would be beneficial to have all aspects of your life in order and under control and you will be able to envision a brighter future, which will help motivate you to pursue and stick with your goals.
Habit #8 - Learn to Appreciate the Present
We are who we become because of our life experiences from the past. Forgive yourself and acknowledge your mistakes from the past. Remember that the past does not always dictate your future.
We all make mistakes and your mistakes do not define whom you are or whom you could be. Learn from mistakes, but celebrate the small wins of the present.
Think of the person that you were 5, 10, or 25 years ago. There will be many challenges, situations and obstacles that will come and go our way during our lives.
If you had never made any mistakes or harbored any flaws, what type of person would you be now? What types of experiences would you have had and how happy would you really be if you were striving to be perfect for your whole life?
Life can be busy and hectic enough, sometimes just having the time to sit back and enjoy a nice cup of green tea could be something that can refresh and revive you.
Don't think of the things you do not have but live in the "now" and appreciate the small things in life that help you relax and enjoy what you have in life to it's fullest.
Habit #9 - How to be Happy Alone
Now that you know how to be happy alone, it’s time to accept yourself for who you are and be positive and optimistic about whatever comes your way.
You are normal, and your quirks are what make you unique from the others. Once you accept these thoughts, your world will become brighter and the opportunities will be endless.
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