If you can learn to be happy alone, you would not get into relationships because of the need for dependency. You would enter from a need for interdependence. It is one of life’s greatest skills.
We don’t recommend trying to be happy all by yourself all the time, because after all, we are social animals, and the company of people we care about, who care about us, makes like happy and worthwhile.
However, there are times when we don’t find the kind of company we seek, and then we are forced to find happiness by ourselves and in our company. By all means, if you don’t find your kind of company- people you could respect and care about, you should not seek company for heck of it.
We need to draw a clear distinction here between solitude and loneliness. If you are choosing to be by yourself, then it is called solitude. If you are having to be by yourself because you could not find the company you seek, you have a long term loneliness problem to solve on your hand. I wrote an entire piece about the difference between solitude and happiness, which you can read here.
Let’s get down to it when. Can you be happy on your own? Yes, absolutely you can. Let us look at 30 ways to be happy when you are alone.
1. Be your best friend to be happy alone
Hey, you do not have to pretend to be your best friend. What is a best friend? A best friend is a person who is always there for you. Who is always there for you? You, yourself and no one else. There would be times when even people close to you wouldn’t believe in you, and you would be the only person you would find standing by your side. Become your best friend, and you will always have someone to enjoy life with.
2. Talk to yourself
I highly encourage you to have conversations with yourself. Do not talk to yourself aloud when there are other people around you. But, be talking to yourself multiple times through the day. Talk quietly inside, or talk aloud, when there is no one around you. When you talk to yourself and it becomes a habit, you almost never find yourself without someone to talk to.
3. Treat yourself
When you do something worthy, treat yourself. Treat the kid in you who craves for rewards when he/she does something right. Treat yourself with things you like-chocolates, flowers, whatever it is that you like. Make yourself happy with small things you like.
4. Dance like everyone is watching
They say dance like nobody is watching. I am not sure that makes sense. Dance like everyone is watching and have their eyes on you. Find a dance floor in your city, and go and dance. You don’t need company always to enjoy dancing. Just let yourself lose and enjoy your own company.
5. Travel solo to learn to be happy by yourself
Solo travel is one of the best ways to build a relationship with yourself. You get time to read, reflect and ask yourself some of the most important questions about your life. If you haven’t traveled solo, I would highly encourage it. Some of the best trips have been solo and will never forget them. I understand myself way more than a lot of people understand themselves just because I spent a few years traveling solo.
6. Do things you want irrespective of company
Tell yourself that you will travel, irrespective of having or not having company. Tell yourself that you will go to the movies, irrespective of having someone to come along. If you find company you like, great. Even if you don’t find company, make it a point to keep doing the things you want. It will reduce your dependence on anybody else for your happiness.
7. Make an ideal day for yourself to be happy alone
Create an ideal day. Plan the things you would do from morning to night. Then, live that ideal day. I already can’t stop thinking about the kind of day I would create for myself and fill it up with things I want. Create one for yourself.
8. Eat out
Go to a restaurant you like, and ask for a table for one. Order your favorite dish and enjoy it. Eat slowly and savor the taste. Quite often when we have company, we can’t give the food the attention it deserves.
9. Exercise and meditate to learn how to be happy alone
Make time for exercising and meditation. These are necessarily solo endeavors and improve the quality of your life. Exercise improves the quality of your physical body and meditation improves the quality of your mind. Make time for both, when you have time to spend with yourself.
10. Lie down on the beach
If you go traveling solo, lie down carelessly on the beach and stay there till you want. There is nobody to ask you to move, and you are your own boss. While you are there, make sure that you take care of your belongings since becoming your own boss comes with attached responsibilities.
11. Do some inner work to learn to be happy alone
Inner work means writing down the important things that matter to you in life and understanding your purpose for being here. When you are by yourself that is your best opportunity to think about your life and plan the kind of life you want to lead. Make use of that time. Who knows, you may not get it for a long time again.
12. Sip in some wine by yourself
This comes from one of the things I like to do when alone. May be, you would like to do it too, when you are by yourself. The great thing about wine is that it is a slow drink and warm to the body. It makes you relax and you feel good about life, when you drink wine-red wine. White wine is cold, and blurry and I have no idea what it means. Drink red wine.
13. Read alone to be happy alone
Reading is another great solo activity. You rarely read in groups and therefore, when by yourself, one of the best things you can do with your time is to read great books. It is one of the finest ways of spending solo time, anywhere in the world.
14. Get yourself a massage
You are by yourself and there is every reason you should indulge yourself. Find a spa around you, and take an appointment and give yourself some mental and physical relaxation, post which you can enjoy a nap.
15. Talk to strangers
16. Try new stuff that you have never tried
Every time you do something new, you grow. Unfortunately, after we become adults, life becomes too fast and predictable that we hardly try new things. If you have got the time to be by yourself, try new stuff that you have never done before. Who knows you would pick up something that stays with you for your entire life? Experiment with life. We only get these opportunities a few times.
17. Indulge in your hobbies
May be as a child, you loved sketching, but then life took over and you forgot that thing about yourself. When you get the time to be by yourself, indulge in your hobbies and rekindle them to be happy alone, by yourself. In fact, never let go of your hobbies.
18. Create mirror time
19. Practice mindfulness in everything to be happy
Mindfulness is the art of being totally present in the current moment. You including your physical body and mind is present where you are, totally involved in what you are doing.
Eat mindfully. Walk mindfully. Do everything mindfully. It is easier to practice mindfulness in your own company. Otherwise, you need someone who respects mindfulness as much as you do.
20. Start a 30 day challenge to learn to be happy alone
A 30 day challenge is a great way to acquire a new habit or get rid of a painful one. It is way easier to be disciplined by yourself than it is with someone who doesn’t understand your need for discipline.
Start a 30 day challenge to learn music, hit the stage, run every day or quit smoking. Do something you care about for 30 days at a go. Once you complete one challenge, start more challenges. This one habit may transform your life.
21. Make a to-do list for a year or a month
When you choose to be by yourself, you have the time for solitude. Take this time to write things you would want to do with your life, and the kind of life you would want to lead. Break it down into goals and into to-do lists.
I have used my solo time and travel to envision the life I want to live quite frequently. Although I haven’t yet achieved my vision but the freedom I have experienced working for myself in the last 5 years after having quit my day job has been unprecedented. I am sure all this would not have happened if I didn’t spend the time with myself and look at the kind of life I wanted to live.
22. Find peace alone
You will find what you look for in life, sooner or later. Look for peace. It is quite possible to find peace when you have time and opportunity to reflect. Not a lot of people seek peace, and hence they do not find it. Seek peace. Spend time in silence and experience peace like you have never experienced before.
23. Buy yourself something you would cherish
Buy something you value. The curious thing in life is that it doesn’t have to expensive. There is nothing wrong with expensive gifts too, but trying to find happiness in money leads to superficiality and hence I do not recommend it. Buy something you care about. That’s more important.
24. Strengthen your belief system
Think with depth. Depth is a rarity in our superficial society. You rarely find people who take the time to think deeply or understand themselves. People are living on the surface. When you are alone, you have the opportunity to make your thoughts firmer and stronger. Work on them and question yourself, till your thoughts make sense to you.
25. Push yourself to learn to be happy while alone
Push yourself to be a better version of you every day. It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of you. Your goal in life is to rise higher by your standards. Define what those standards are, and try to create a life that lives up to those standards.
26. Let go of FOPO (fear of other people’s opinions)
27. Make yourself someone worthy of good company
Isn’t that intuitive? Make yourself the kind of person you like, respect and love so that others may want to spend time with you. Who knows, in the process, you will become the kind of person who people would crave to be around with.
28. Do not seek company for the heck of company
There is something absolutely sinister about seeking company for the sake of having company. There is no reason you should be with people you don’t like just because you want to have someone around you. Be extremely careful about who you choose to spend your time with.
29. Try minimalism
Experiment with minimalism. It is a thought I want to park in your mind and my mind. Our world is too full of clutter physically and metaphorically. Try and see how little can you live with. May be it will help you in realising what truly matters and what’s just fluff.
30. Find gratitude for life
The fact that you have your company and you are alive is beautiful. Feel grateful about life every day. Millions of people around the world spend time with people they don’t like and respect just because they must have company for the sake of it. You are not doing that to yourself. You are in the company of someone you like, and that’s how you want to keep it.
Thank you for reading.
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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.