Friends and family are an essential part of your happiness and mental health. However, it’s also vital to learn how to be happy alone.
The Washington Post found that around 27 million Americans live alone.
Being happy alone isn’t an impossible task. Many people do it daily and there are a lot of ways that you can manage it.
Alone time can be an excellent thing for our mental well-being. Let’s show you how to be happy alone because you deserve to be happy.
Is Being Alone the Same as Being Lonely?
Loneliness isn’t the same as being alone. Loneliness is when you feel isolated and unable to connect with others.
Feeling lonely can be deeply unpleasant and have many adverse health consequences. According to Campaign To End Loneliness, chronic loneliness can:
- Lead to early mortality.
- Increase your blood pressure.
- Put you at greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
If you feel lonely every time you are alone, it’s a sign you need to work on your relationship with yourself.
In contrast, alone time is time you set aside to spend with yourself. This time is an excellent opportunity to do some soul-searching, self-reflect, and improve your relationship with yourself.
While spending time with new and interesting people is a lot of fun, alone time is integral to self-care. You should be able to spend time with yourself and enjoy it.
Sometimes we use other people or work to distract ourselves from the challenges of being alone. Our thoughts can be scary, and it’s easy to distract ourselves and get caught up in a busy life.
There are many ways to spend time with yourself. Sometimes it can be as simple as curling up on the couch to watch a series, or it might be trying a fun solo hobby.
How Much Time Alone Is Healthy?
You must put aside enough alone time to take stock of how you’re feeling.
The amount of alone time you need can differ from person to person. Some people need more time, while others may need less. For example, introverts might need a lot more than extroverts.
To live a fulfilling life, you need to be comfortable with yourself. Time spent focused on your happiness is essential. So, make time for being alone.
Unfortunately, people don’t always set time aside for self-care. Being alone allows us to connect with ourselves and understand what’s going on in our brains. Self-reflection like this can make us uncomfortable because we aren’t used to it.
Learning to be happy alone also means being comfortable in stillness. It means consciously taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just being still and present.
How to Be Happy Alone: 7 Steps to a Happier You
Now that you understand the value of time alone, let’s look at some ways you can include it in your daily life.
Step 1: Prioritize Physical and Mental Health
For optimal well-being, you must look after all aspects of your health.
Spend your alone time eating healthily, getting regular exercise, and ensuring adequate sleep. This will not only improve your physical health but also help you manage stress and improve your mental health.
Make sure you take breaks during the day, as this allows your physical and mental energy to recharge.
Step 2: Spend Time in Your Own Company
Set aside time to be alone with yourself and make it a priority. Make today great by learning to live in the moment.
What you do with this time is entirely up to you. Maybe you want to go outside into nature and get some fresh air while walking, or perhaps you want to do some reflective journaling. Either way, being by yourself is a healthy thing to do.
Your relationship with yourself is your most important relationship. Yes, it trumps even a romantic relationship. It’s great to be with someone who makes you happy, but it’s way more important to be your own best friend.
Sometimes you can find happiness by saying, “It’s just me for now.”
When you return from being alone, you’ll have more mental energy to take on the world. Your friends and family members will appreciate the new, happy you.
Step 3: Take a Social Media Break
Avoid social media for a while and stop comparing yourself to others.
Social media is one of the main ways we distract ourselves from the present moment. How often have you spent hours mindlessly scrolling on Instagram or TikTok?
Social media can be very damaging to our mental health. In fact, a recent study found that people who use 3 or more social media platforms are more at risk of depression and anxiety than those who used only 1 or 2 platforms.
Social media stops us from sitting quietly and reflecting. We spend valuable time keeping our minds busy. Often, this is a way to avoid dealing with any uncomfortable thoughts or emotions.
Turning off your phone and leaving it behind can help you to work on your relationship with yourself.
Step 4: Take Yourself on a Date
A date night or solo outing with yourself can be a wonderful experience.
We often think of dates as something we do with other people, be it friends or a romantic partner. You don’t need another person to go out on a date!
Watching a movie or having dinner alone is a great way to prioritize your interests, spend time with yourself, and improve your well-being.
You could also turn it into a daytime activity and take yourself to a coffee shop. Maybe you can catch up on an old hobby, or you could journal or simply just people-watch.
Going on a date alone is a great way to do something you want but can’t find anyone else to do with you. If you want to go to a painting class, there’s no reason to wait for someone else to do it with you!
This could also apply to going on a solo trip if you are feeling up to it. There is something uniquely magical about exploring a new place by yourself.
Living your own life, doing the things you want to do, will put you in control of your own happiness.
If you’re not sure what you can do for fun, read this article on how to find what makes you happy.
Step 5: Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill can be a great way to spend time with yourself and step out of your comfort zone.
Having a creative outlet is a precious experience. It means you have something you can turn to when you feel lonely.
Stepping out of your comfort zone gets your heart pumping. It releases adrenaline and all those essential, feel-good hormones.
Doing fun things in your alone time also helps you associate it less with being lonely. This is especially true when you use your solo time to challenge yourself to master a new skill.
Watch a YouTube video about a new hobby and try your hand at it. Perhaps, try to master a new language. This will make you a more interesting person, help you develop self-confidence, and most likely lead to new, positive relationships.
Going out and trying new things alone can be very daunting but can lead to a significant self-esteem boost. It shows you that you can exist in the world as a single person, and that is a powerful feeling.
Step 6: Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude and having a positive attitude can be a great way to feel happier and more fulfilled in your alone time.
You can spend this time reflecting upon the things in your life that you are thankful for and writing them down.
Over time, compile a list of 100 reasons to be happy. These can include all the wonderful traits you have and happy moments you’ve enjoyed.
Creating a list like this will help you remember what truly matters in life, and it will remind you that there are plenty of reasons to be thankful. Going through your list every now and again can be a wonderful way to practice self-love and show gratitude for what you have.
When you develop a grateful mindset, you can truly learn to appreciate and enjoy the experiences of being alone.
Step 7: See a Mental Health Professional
You might benefit from seeing a psychologist if you struggle to spend time with your thoughts. Sometimes feelings of loneliness come from deeper issues with your mental health.
Seek professional help if you’ve ever thought, “I don’t deserve to be happy.”
Most of our time spent with people involves holding mental space for everyone’s emotions, which is an integral part of relationships.
Getting professional help allows you to have room for your own emotions so you can understand them better and learn to accept who you are.
While staying connected with our friends, family, and support network is essential, learning how to be happy alone is also important.
Rebuilding your relationship with yourself can be a necessary journey of self-care and self-love. Learning how to be happy on your own can bring you closer to achieving true happiness and fulfillment in life.
Remember, it takes time and patience to feel comfortable being alone. So, take your time and practice these steps until you find the perfect balance between being alone and spending time with others. With some effort, you’ll be able to enjoy the true peace of solitude.
For more resources on how to be happy, check out the a little dose of happy blog. We’re here to help you find happiness from the inside out!