To experience true happiness in life, it is important to take the time to better understand yourself and what brings you joy. Being alone lets you find out more about and develop a relationship with yourself. Prioritizing self-care, learning more about your interests, and practicing self-love can help you feel fulfilled and prepare you for future relationships–if you choose to pursue them.
Is It Okay to Be Alone?
Sometimes, people wonder if it’s okay to be happy and alone–and it absolutely is! Unfortunately, choosing to be alone often comes with negative stigma or judgment from society, family members, or friends. Many feel that a person cannot feel complete without first finding a partner in life.
However, being alone can expand a person’s differentiation of self and their self-awareness. They can develop a true understanding of themselves and pursue what gives them purpose. Not only does this benefit the individual themselves, but it can also help them be better partners in the future if they decide to be in a relationship.1
A person may choose to be alone for reasons such as:
- They are an introvert.
- They recently ended a co-dependent relationship.
- They have not had luck in previous relationships.
- They want to focus on their own needs and wants.
Being Alone Vs. Feeling Lonely
While people who are alone can experience loneliness sometimes, this isn’t always the case. Even people who are in relationships can feel lonely! Being happy alone comes from finding contentment and fulfillment in oneself. Loneliness often occurs when someone lacks this satisfaction, perhaps due to feelings of abandonment, the desire for validation, or the need for emotional and relational support.
15 Tips on How to Be Happy Alone
There are many ways a person can focus on remaining mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy while being alone. Setting concrete goals, making plans, and planning for the future can allow them to feel grounded in themselves and what’s to come. Developing self-love can help a person find happiness again and live independently.
The following are 15 tips for being happy alone:
1. Take a Social Media Break
To feel happy alone, it’s important to stop comparing your life to others. You may be tempted to do so when scrolling through social media. One way to combat this self-criticism is by taking a social media break. It’s a well known fact that social media impacts a person’s self-esteem, so consider taking a hiatus for a few days. This can help you stay present in the moment and focus on your own values. Being content with your own life comes from making choices that best suit you and your individual needs.
2. Try a New Hobby
Maybe you have always been interested in knitting–maybe pottery? Whatever the case, being alone provides you the time to start exploring your interests. Testing out new hobbies can help spark joy and creativity in your life. Consider finding an activity that you have not tried before. Sign up for a local class or start it on your own. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself!
3. Prioritize Self-Care
The most important aspect of self-care is focusing on doing things that YOU enjoy. There are several benefits of self-care and ways to practice this. This may include attending a concert or even nearby, participating in your hobby, or having a spa day. Do whatever truly allows you to engage in self-love.2
4. Have a Date-Night With Yourself
Date nights are fun with a partner, but who says you can’t have one on your own? Think about any activities you have wanted to do with someone else and do them by yourself. Take an opportunity to have a special night alone–whether it be dinner, dancing, movies, or even an arcade. Making time to ‘date’ yourself helps you understand what you do and don’t like–and you don’t need to consider anyone else’s opinion about what to do and where to go.
5. Stay Physically Active
There are many mental health benefits of exercise and staying active is especially helpful when living alone. Physical movement releases endorphins which boost mood and decrease stress. This may include lifting weights, taking a walk, signing up for a Zumba class, or playing a sport. When you start regularly exercising, you may be amazed at how good you feel.
6. Get Outdoors
The benefits of nature on mental health are numerous–getting outside and soaking in the sun is a great way to improve your well-being. You could start with a walk in your neighborhood or simply sit out on your porch. Vitamin-D and a little fresh air can help regulate your serotonin levels, helping with any loneliness or sadness you may be experiencing. Spending time outdoors can also ground you in your environment and feel more centered in who you are.
7. Try Volunteering
Learning how to practice gratitude encourages you to find joy in what you have and share this happiness with others. Consider volunteering within your local community or for a cause that you feel passionate about. Giving back is a great way to practice thankfulness and can also offer an outlet to learn even more about yourself.
8. Nurture Your Relationships
Whether you’ve chosen to be alone on your own or not, it is important that you still have connection with others. This means taking time to nurture the relationships you currently have in your life. Reach out to family, friends, or even coworkers. Keeping up with loved ones ensures that you continue to feel supported and happy on your own.
9. Make a Plan
If there’s something you’d like to accomplish, make a plan and stick to it. Being alone actually comes with the added benefit of limited distractions or interruptions. This means you can focus on achieving your dream at your own pace. There are many ways to set and achieve healthy goals, but only you can follow through with these. One way to practice this is to sit down and write out what you want to see in the coming weeks, months, and years.
10. Focus on Self-Love
Learning how to love yourself is essential, but certainly isn’t easy. Self-love comes from accepting yourself for who you are–including all of your faults. One way to practice this is to look at yourself from an objective viewpoint and offer yourself praise or compliments. Focus on saying kind things to yourself throughout the day!
11. Give Thanks
Sometimes it helps to simply take a step back to look at what you’re thankful for. This could include loved ones in your life, physical possessions, or even parts of yourself! Practicing thankfulness offers you the opportunity to find joy in the little things and fosters your ability to be happy alone.
12. Cook a Good Meal
Make an effort to ‘wine and dine’ yourself. Nourishing your soul doesn’t always need to come from trying new things or hobbies. Eating a good meal can also bring you a sense of joy and happiness. Learn a new recipe or test out a different wine with dinner. Not only are you caring for your needs, but also expressing your creativity and cultivating self-love.
13. Write It Down
When negative thoughts are clouding your mind, you may start to feel bad about yourself or your life. Taking the time to brain dump and journal every day offers you the chance to rid yourself of these feelings in a healthy way. Write down everything you’re experiencing (both the positive and negative) and reflect on your emotions. This self-reflection can help you identify what may be causing you stress or unhappiness in your life.
14. Get Lost in a Book
Adventure awaits in literature, no matter the genre or length of a book. Reading offers you the opportunity to escape to another world, learn new things, and expand your interests. If you are feeling down or simply looking for some mental stimulation, try cracking open a good read and start exploring!
15. Dance It Out
As the saying goes, “dance like nobody’s watching!” Take a break to dance freely and without judgment. Allow yourself the chance to destress and move your body in ways that you enjoy. Whether you rock out to smooth jazz, hip-hop, or some good soul music, make an effort to have a daily dance session.
When Therapy Can Help
If you are struggling with loneliness, therapy can help. It can be tough to determine if you need therapy, but seeking support can provide you with much needed guidance. A therapist can also help you explore if being alone is impacting your overall mental health or if your loneliness may be linked to a diagnosable condition. It is important to figure out what kind of therapy you need so you can choose the approach that works best for you. There are a variety of online therapy options available if you prefer the comfort of home throughout treatment.3
Experiencing true happiness while being alone often comes down to learning more about yourself. There are many ways to do this and cultivate a life in which you feel fulfilled. If you face challenges along the way, a therapist can help you stay focused on identifying your goals and intentions.