Can one learn how to be happy alone?
According to a study done in 2015, loneliness can raise your risk of death by a whopping 29%!
That’s equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
I mean, there’s a reason why in prison, being sent to the “hole” is a form of punishment; it’s absolute torture.
Being single and lonely may not be as extreme, but it’s definitely not pleasant either.
After going through periods of extreme loneliness myself, I desperately sought answers on how I could be joyful by myself and not get depressed.
After all, I didn’t want a girlfriend, I wasn’t ready to commit to anybody, I was too busy.
After much research and 5 years single, I found the answer to be the following:
One can learn how to be happy alone, but under very particular circumstances. Miss a few of the necessary contingencies, and depression will result.
In the following article, I will show you 10 tips that can provide the support you need to be happy while alone.
The tips not only diminished my loneliness dramatically, but also gave me the necessary boost to thrive in every area of my life!
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 1: Have A Strong Why
There are many reasons for wanting to be alone, but some aren’t powerful enough to override your need to be with somebody.
For that reason, this the first and most crucial point to handle.
You must have a rock solid reason for wanting to be alone. Choosing to be alone because past partners have hurt you, is a weak reason; a reason based on fear.
The problem with a weak reason is, you won’t believe it at your core. Your BS meter will know you’re lying to yourself, and depression will follow.
So how do you know if you have a strong reason for being alone?
Well, here are some “Why’s” that are powerful enough to override the need of needing someone.
- Religious reasons
- Focusing on career
- Already having a long-distance relationship
- Not settling for the person that doesn’t fit you
- Fixing your issues first
- Still getting over a breakup
Reasons not strong enough for wanting to be alone;
- Scared of being hurt
- Still bitter about your past relationships
- A belief that all women and men are untrustworthy
- You don’t want to share your achievements and belongings with someone else
Do you see the difference between the strong reasons and the weak reasons?
The strong ones are positive; they’re based off of intelligent decisions made to ensure future success. The weak ones are negative, they are based off of fear, bitterness, or selfishness.
Having a strong “why” is 60% of the solution when it comes to being happy alone. This is because now you have a crystal clear understanding of why you made that decision.
Let’s take a look at the other 40%, which involves optimizing the happiness in every other area of your life.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 2: Spend your time doing something meaningful
Everybody has or should have a purpose in life; it is what wakes you up in the morning and gives your life meaning.
Without a purpose or goal, you have enough time to think about the things you lack, in your case, companionship.
Therefore, find something to focus your life on, like a career, or a distant goal you want to accomplish. This will ensure that you stay focused on achievements and life Experiences. It also brings you happiness in the form of feeling accomplished.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 3: Get a pet
There’s a huge difference between, coming home to an empty house, and coming home to a wagging tail. Getting a pet is a great way to diminish the feeling of loneliness.
In fact, Studies suggest that getting a dog can alleviate depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. This is due to the oxytocin released when you interact with the animal.
It’s like having a best friend that provides you with unconditional love and around the clock companionship!
Preferably, get a pet that is highly affectionate, like a dog.
A cat will also do, but avoid pets like birds or reptiles, since they aren’t highly affectionate.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 4: Set Time Apart For Socializing
It’s impossible to be happy while isolated 24/7. As people, to avoid depression, we need some human contact.
There is no way around it.
For that reason, it is imperative that you set at least one day a week for social interactions.
It can be:
- Going to a bar with friends
- Going to a church
- Joining some sort of group activity, like a jiu-jitsu class
- Going on a dates
Participate in any of those activities at least once a week, and your chances of feeling lonely will greatly diminish.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 5: Stop Comparing Your Life To Other People’s Life
You know you’re guilty of it,
I’m talking about looking at your friend’s Instagram profile, and wondering
“how come I don’t have a beautiful girlfriend like Rob?”
Then you get sad, and you think about how much better your life would be if you were in Rob’s position.
In order to avoid these kinds of thoughts, think about the stuff you do have.
Even though Rob might have that beautiful girlfriend, he might not have the great career that you have, or all the travel experiences you managed to fit into your memory bank.
See, we all have to sacrifice something, it is quite rare that someone has it all.
Therefore, come to the realization that you are on a different path. And if your path requires a bit of time alone for the greater good, then so be it!
If being grateful is too hard, and looking at your friends Insta profiles brings you depression, then get rid of social media altogether.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 6: Take On Some Spirituality
Believing in God personal decision, but what no one can deny is the correlation between spirituality and lower depression, studies back up this claim.
Therefore, I’m not asking you to go out into the streets revealing your new found faith. However, I am asking you to research.
Look into different religions or spiritual ideas. Find something that resonates with you.
Even if it’s just meditation and learning how to control your mind. Having something is better than nothing.
Once you find a spiritual meaning for your life, making a big deal about anything seems dumb.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 7: Avoid Negativity
If you want to be and stay happy, while alone, you need to avoid negativity like it’s a killer virus.
Many people are ultra sensitive to their environments, meaning that, if the environment they’re in is a negative one, then they will pick up that negativity and carry it like a virus.
I am one of those people. Whenever someone brings by me a negative emotion like anger or victimhood, I quickly pick it up.
And it doesn’t stop there, I end up carrying that mood for the rest of the day.
It can be annoying because no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to shake off that negativity.
For that reason, whenever those negative emotions try to come near me, I sprint out of the room!
Evading that negativity keeps me happy and grateful.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 8: Never Lose Hope
If you pay attention, the one thing that most suicidal people have in common,… is that they have lost all hope.
You see, no matter how bad someone’s situation is, if that person has faith that something better will come in the future, that belief works like a pain killer to their emotional pain.
But once a person loses all hope, and he or she has completely given up, that’s a dangerous place to be in. This is because it means they see no way out, none other than maybe death at times.
Therefore, if you are single and alone, and you feel like your current situation is really shitty, just stay hopeful.
Realize that life is very unpredictable, and even though your current situation might not be the best, a year from now, your life could do a complete 180.
You must stay hopeful, and have faith that what you want will come, as long as you work hard for it. Stay patient and hopeful during the middle of the storm, for that is real strength.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 9: Eat Brain Food
A couple of months back, I read a fantastic book by Journalist Max Lugavere. The book was called Genius foods.
While reading this book, I was in awe, I couldn’t believe how much of an effect the food we eat has on our moods and brain power.
I highly recommend you read the book for yourself, but the basic gist of it is;…
there are two types of foods, ones that affect your brainpower and moods negatively, and others affect it positively.
If you want to be happy while alone, you’re going to need all the help you can get! And food can be of significant help, so you must eat well.
Below, are some of the brain foods that Max mentions in the book.
These foods have the purpose of regulating your hormonal system. This system is in charge of your happy chemicals.
- Dark leafy greens: strong antioxidants that keep your brain from rapid aging.
- Eggs: Yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin which have shown to boost cognitive function
- Extra virgin olive oil: Lowers your chances of attaining Alzheimer’s disease, and it one of the most prominent fighters of inflammation. (Inflammation may cause depression, studies suggest)
- Avocados: Is a superfood that protects and enhances your brain. Also, it may feed good bacteria in your gut, reduces inflammation, and prevents diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
- Blueberries: Have been found to improve brain function and memory. One of the top antioxidant foods available.
- Dark Chocolate: Instantly boosts your mood. Increases happy chemical serotonin in the brain. Reverses brain aging.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 10: Get 8 Hours Of Sleep
A couple of months after reading genius foods, I read another book called Why we sleep, by Professor Matthew Walker. Professor Walker is one of the top researchers on sleep, and his findings on the effects of sleep are truly alarming.
In his book, Professor Walker describes different studies in which they have found that sleeping less than 8 hours per night, led to noticeable increases in depression.
So make sure you are getting proper sleep to avoid this sleep caused depression. Doing so will help keep you in a good mood and happy while alone.
Remember, to be happy alone you must first have a strong enough reason as to why you want to be alone. Not some bullshit story based on a negative emotion. Once you have that powerful WHY, you can resume to maximizing the happiness in every other area of your life.