Loneliness kills, literally. According to a study done in 2015, loneliness can raise your risk of death by a whopping 29%! That’s a pretty high risk, in fact, it is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It makes sense though, I mean there’s a reason why prisoners fear being sent to the “hole” for complete isolation when they misbehave; it’s absolute torture! With that being said, it may not be as extreme as the “hole,” but it’s not pleasant either; I’m referring to living alone and single. Can one actually learn how to be happy alone?
As you can already guess, there are never simple answers in life; therefore, the answer is yes and no.
After going through my periods of extreme loneliness, which led to severe depression, I desperately sought answers on how I could be complacent by being alone. After all, I didn’t want a girlfriend. I was just too busy, and I just wasn’t ready to commit to anybody.
After much research, and 5 years of being single, I found the answer to be the following:
One can learn how to be happy alone but under very particular circumstances, and while doing all the right things. Miss a few of the necessary contingencies and the result will be depression.
In the following article, I will show you 10 different tips that if implemented correctly, can provide the support you need to be alone and happy. The tips I picked not only diminished my loneliness dramatically but also gave me the necessary boost to thrive in every area of my life!
Make sure you’re all alone for this one; you don’t want to miss a thing! (pun intended)
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 1: Have A Strong Why
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 2: Spend your time doing something meaningful to you
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 3: Get a pet
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 4: Set Time Apart For Socializing
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 5: Stop Comparing Your Life To Other People’s Life
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 6: Take On Some Spirituality
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 7: Avoid Negativity
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 8: Never Lose Hope
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 9: Eat Brain Food
- How To Be Happy Alone Tip 10: Get 8 Hours Of Sleep
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, I’m making this the first and most crucial point to handle.
You must have a rock solid reason for wanting to be alone. Just choosing to be alone because your partners have hurt you in the past is not a strong enough reason; that is a weak reason based on fear.
What will happen if you have a weak reason “why” is; You won’t believe it at your core. Your subconscious will realize you’re lying to yourself and that’s when the depression will arise. So how do you know if you have a strong reason for being alone?
Well, here are some “Why’s” which are powerful enough to override the need of needing somebody.
- 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 are based on intelligent decisions you made to ensure future success. The weak ones are negative, they are based on either fear, bitterness, or selfishness.
Having a strong “why” is 60% of the solution when it comes to how to be happy alone, that’s because now you have a clear understanding of why you made that decision. Now, let’s take a look at the other 40% which involves optimizing your happiness in every other area of your life.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 2: Spend your time doing something meaningful to you
Everybody has or should have a purpose in life, it is what wakes you up in the morning and gives your life meaning. Without that purpose or goal, you now 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 which you want to accomplish, or even traveling. This will make sure that you stay focused on what you want to achieve and experience in your life. It also brings you happiness in the form of accomplishments.
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 and overwhelming face licks. 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 total 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 are not as loving.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 4: Set Time Apart For Socializing
Remember it’s impossible to be happy while wholly isolated all the time. As people, we need a certain amount of human contact, or else the depression begins. For that reason, it is imperative that you set at least one day a week for some social interactions. This can be the following;
- Going to a bar with friends
- Going to a church
- Joining some sort of activity like a jiu-jitsu class
- Going on a date
If you do any of these activities while living alone and single, then the chances of feeling lonely will be that much lower.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 5: Stop Comparing Your Life To Other People’s Life
You know you’re guilty of it; looking at your friend’s Instagram profile and wondering “how come I don’t have a beautiful girlfriend like Rob does?” That’s when 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 from arising, just 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 past.
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 accept that your path requires that you be alone for a certain amount of time.
If just being grateful is too hard for you, and looking at your friends Instagram profiles brings you too much depression, then get rid of social media altogether.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 6: Take On Some Spirituality
Whether one believes there is a God or not is a personal decision, but what no one can deny is the correlation between spirituality and lower depression, and studies back up this claim.
Therefore, I’m not asking you to go out into the streets revealing your new found faith, but to research. Look into different religions or spiritual ideas, and 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 everything else seems dumb; it’s a huge help when it comes to how to be happy alone.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 7: Avoid Negativity
If you want to be and stay happy 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 are in is a negative one, then they will pick up that negativity and carry it like a virus.
I personally am one of those people that is susceptible to negativity. Whenever someone brings by me a negative emotion like anger or annoyance around me, I quickly pick up the feeling.
And it doesn’t stop there; I end up carrying that mood with me for the rest of the day. It can be quite annoying because I can’t shake off that negativity.
For that reason whenever those negative emotions come near me, I sprint out of the room! This action of evading the negativity keeps me happy and grateful. You should do the same if you want to stay satisfied alone.
How To Be Happy Alone Tip 8: Never Lose Hope
If you pay attention, you will notice that 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, then that works like a pain killer to their emotional pain.
But once a person loses all hope, and he or she has completely given up, then that’s a dangerous place to be in because it means they see no way out; none other than 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 for it, it will happen. Be patient in 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 called; Genius foods. While reading this book, I was surprised at 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 that there are two types of foods. Ones that affect your brainpower and moods negatively and the others affect it positively.
For that reason, 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, which 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 have been truly alarming.
In his book, Professor Walker talks about different studies in which they have found that sleeping less than 8 hours a night led to noticeable increases in depression. So to avoid this sleep caused depression and keep yourself happy while being alone, make sure you are getting proper sleep!
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 you’re telling yourself based on a negative emotion. Once you have that powerful WHY, then you can resume to maximizing the happiness in every other area of your life, which includes;