Can you learn how to be happy alone? Whatever the reason you want to learn how to stay happy alone, these tips will help you learn how to live alone happily.
Why do we need to learn how to live alone? Because at some point in our lives, we’ll be alone and will have to learn how to be alone and happy.
Our society makes living alone seem like a bad or undesirable thing and people who enjoy being alone are often seen as weird loners who are not as mentally healthy as extroverts.
However, this is an unfortunate and misunderstood stereotype. Think of it this way. Wealthy people buy acres of land around their homes because they know the value of privacy and solitude.
In a world full of noise and fake connections, privacy and solitude are precious commodities that few people have access to. There are many well-adjusted people who enjoy being alone because they know the difference between being alone and being lonely.
Deciding to be alone is a conscious choice. Being lonely is a state of powerlessness where you crave connection, but don’t know how to get it.
Except for monks who choose solitude to connect to their source of spiritual guidance, most ordinary people have never really learned how to be alone. From the day we are born to the day we die, we live amongst other people, never really knowing how to enjoy our own company.
For some people, being alone can bring up distressing or traumatic memories that they would rather not think of. For others, trying to learn how to be happy alone after breakups may not work.
If you’ve experienced trauma or are depressed or anxious, or have suicidal thoughts, you should definitely not be alone. If you need professional help, you can get online counselling free on the AskSHEROES free online counselling chat helpline for women.
But if you don’t want to be alone simply because you have never learned to enjoy the pleasure of your own company and don’t know how to learn to be happy alone, this article is for you.
Why learn how to stay happy alone?
In recent times, isolation has become something we dread, not only because it has come to be synonymous with illness, but also because being alone is seen as sad and pitiful. Here are some reasons why you must learn how to be happy being alone.
1. Alone time is good for mental health
In an always-connected world, it has become even more important to learn how to be happy on your own. This is especially true for women, since we have a longer lifespan on average than men, and tend to outlive our spouses.
I see a lot of self-help gurus offering pithy advice, such as meditating, finding a hobby or volunteering, to stave off loneliness. But this doesn’t work for most people who are learning how to be alone and happy because it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem – our inability to enjoy our own company.
In fact, as long as you buy into the misconception that being alone is sad or weird or unhealthy, or only for monks who go off into the wilderness, your mind will not allow you to be comfortable alone.
If you want to learn how to be alone and enjoy it, you must accept that being by yourself, at least for some time each day, is a healthy choice. In fact, “Alone Time” is now highly recommended as a self-care practice for good mental health.
Being by yourself teaches you how to truly listen and pay attention to what’s going on inside of you. It will help you get in touch with yourself so that you can make conscious decisions instead of reacting to emotions.
Only when we are alone, do we have the space and peace we need to think without being outwardly influenced. It makes it easier to make important decisions as well as identify the feelings building inside you.
2. You’ll learn self-love and self-acceptance
In my 30s, despite being an introvert and enjoying my solitude, I was often lonely and felt a sense of disconnection, even when I was with other people.
Years of introspection and spiritual learning taught me that the disconnection I was experiencing was actually a disconnection from my inner self. I realised that I lacked self-love and self-acceptance and was seeking validation through the eyes of others.
All those years of going within taught me to how to reconnect with my inner being and how to be happy on my own more and more. But first I had to learn how to love and accept myself and how to be a better friend to myself.
From personal experience, I can tell you this is no easy task, and that there are no ’10 steps to learn how to stay alone and happy’ that works for everybody.
In fact, given our societal conditioning, it often takes nothing less than a paradigm change to go from being unable to tolerate being by ourselves, to learning how to make yourself happy alone.
You may think it’s easier for introverts to be alone, but even introverts feel the pressure to be with other people in a society that is better geared to serve the needs of extroverts.
3. It will improve your relationships
Another reason we must learn how to be happy alone is that it helps us build healthier relationships with others. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, learning how to stay happy alone will improve the quality of your relationships with others.
When you learn how to become happy alone you get to know who you really are, without having to adjust to the emotional needs and demands of others. You’ll learn who you really are in the absence of external influences, and will be free to make choices based on your true preferences, without having to compromise on your needs.
This is even more important for mothers because we’re so tuned into our children’s and family’s needs that we often ignore our own. Like most moms, I had to learn that self-love, self-care, and mental health are all connected and started practising these self-care ideas for moms.
Relationship experts will often tell you that the key to a happy relationship is to learn how to be happy alone and single so that you don’t feel the need to be with someone just to avoid loneliness.
In fact, once you know how to get happy alone and truly begin to enjoy your own company, you’ll choose better friends, lovers, and partners, for the simple reason that you’re not needy or desperate to be with them. When you know yourself, love yourself and accept yourself, you’ll make healthier choices in your relationships.
If you know you can be alone without being lonely, you’ll be less willing to tolerate abusive or disrespectful relationships and be more willing to leave a relationship that is no longer fulfilling or satisfying. You’ll begin to hold your companions and your relationships to a higher standard and find it easier to let go of those that are not good for you.
How to live alone happily
There are no quick fixes for learning how to be happy alone because, like any new skill you learn, it takes time and practice. But there is one easy step you can take to get you started on your journey, and that is to find something that makes you happy and learn to enjoy doing it on your own.
It doesn’t matter what that activity is or whether it involves fun hobbies and interests like painting, crafting, listening to music, reading, watching a movie, dancing, exercising, gardening, going for a walk in nature, travelling, or starting a practice like meditation or yoga.
The key to success in learning how to be happy with yourself alone is to choose something that you already enjoy doing alone. Because if you don’t enjoy doing it, you won’t be motivated to continue with your “alone time” practice.
If you don’t have a solo activity that you enjoy, then choose a group activity you enjoyed and turn it into a solo activity. And no – spending time with family doesn’t count, nor does volunteering, because you’re not alone while you’re doing them.
For a movie buff like me, learning how to go to the movies alone and take myself out for a nice meal was a life-changing experience. It taught me that I could learn how to get rid of loneliness and become happy just by enjoying my own company.
To learn how to live a happy life alone, you must have an activity that gives you a sense of purpose and that you can do in the absence of other people. You don’t have to sit cross-legged on a yoga mat to learn how to be happy alone at home.
If you’re a pet lover, you may find it easier to learn how to be happy alone without friends, because pets are great companions who don’t demand much from us and give us the unconditional love we need to give ourselves.
But to learn how to always be happy no matter what is happening around us, we must first be at peace with ourselves internally. Happiness comes from within and the inner contentment that survives the roller coaster ride of life has its roots deep within our being.
The only lasting source of happiness comes from finding yourself, embracing who you are as a person, and living a life with purpose and meaning.
As you begin to unlearn your conditioning, learn to enjoy your own company, and be content with your own thoughts, you’ll begin to expand the time you spend alone to other activities in your life and eventually learn how to be happy alone in life.
Learning how to live a peaceful life alone is as simple as that. To learn how to live alone and happy, you must get more comfortable with the concept of being alone, and with doing something that makes you happy.
Take it slow and go step-by-step, and you’ll soon learn how to find your own happiness, how to learn to live alone and be happy when you are alone.
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- 7 Mindset Changes You Need To Leave A Bad Relationship
- 10 Healing Practices For Letting Go Of Someone You Love
- 5 Relationship Tips To Get Over One-Sided Love Or Unrequited Love
- 21 Days To Recreate Yourself And Design A Life You Love
About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.