Being happy is a matter of choice, not circumstance, contrary to popular belief. Although most people don’t need a formal definition of happiness to know what it is, we still need experts to define it so we can determine the causes and effects. As it turns out, the most common cause of happiness is perspective.
While some researchers define happiness as having feelings of pride, joy, gratitude or contentment, those emotions can exist without the person feeling truly happy. Therefore, happiness is simply a form of subjective well-being that’s based on how the individual sees themselves in contrast with the world around them. This is very good news, especially for individuals who live alone.
Although modern society would have us believe that happiness is only attainable if we have people in our lives, true happiness is a state of mind and not a popularity contest. In fact, there are at least 5 ways for a person to be happy even if they exist without another person confirming their happiness.
The Top 5 Ways to Be Happy Alone
Joy is often accompanied by fleeting emotions, but true happiness is feeling a deeper and more permanent sense of contentment and purpose. To be a truly happy person, regardless of whether you’re alone or not, it merely requires a willingness to discover purpose and derive contentment from it. Usually, this can be achieved by simply examining the things you already have.
As cliché as it may sound, taking inventory of the good things in your current circumstances is always the first step to experiencing true, long-lasting happiness. Once that’s achieved, it will be much easier to understand and appreciate the ebb and flow of life. Below are 5 surefire ways you can harness happiness despite having no sidekick.
1. Get a Rewarding Hobby
It’s very difficult to be unhappy when you’re busy doing something you love. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself because you’re alone, use the quiet privacy to your advantage. Solitude often breeds creativity, which thereby promotes excitement and purpose – two emotions that are essential to true happiness. In addition, hobbies give you something to do with your mind and hands while also providing you with tangible evidence regarding your talents.
2. Fill Your Time with Productive Activities
Aside from finagling with a rewarding hobby, spending your time working on productive things is a great way to achieve happiness without anyone’s influence. Being industrious can make a person feel confident and accomplished, not to mention it helps intensify focus and relieve stress or anxiety. According to recent studies, those who engage in satisfying and/or productive activities not only live longer, healthier lives but they’re also happier people overall.
3. Work on Yourself
There’s no better time than the present to start improving yourself, whether mentally, physically, emotionally or financially doesn’t matter. Being alone has many advantages that those who are coupled up simply cannot obtain, like the freedom to mess up, start over, and be selfish. There’s no law stating a person can’t be happy if they’re alone; it’s a trick of the mind that’s perpetuated by constant reminders from clever marketing teams. Long before you knew anything about friends or lovers you were content playing by yourself and exploring this wonderful world without any company. That doesn’t have to change just because you’re an adult now.
4. Tackle a Goal
Even if you don’t have many hobbies and regardless of whether you have a bunch of personal projects to work on, you can still remain happy while you’re alone by simply concentrating on a goal. Personal goals can be anything, from losing weight or practising better patience to finishing that home improvement project or visiting with relatives. The details of your goal are not what’s important. What matters is that you spend plenty of time focused on something that will improve your life instead of being constantly worried about the things that are missing.
5. Start Giving Back
After a while, being alone can seem sort of fruitless, even if you regularly work on hobbies, tackle goals, and improve yourself. To complete the picture of true happiness and singular wholeness, it’s important to give back. Not only is this a great opportunity to meet new people but it can also boost your confidence by making you feel needed, appreciated, and worthwhile in your community.
Unfortunately, even people who have plenty to keep themselves busy end up feeling unhappy or depressed from time to time. The trick is to let those emotions teach you the necessary lessons but then let go of them as soon as you can. Negative thoughts and emotions can ruin your progress and serve as a significant set-back, especially when you’ve got nobody to cheer you up. So, to achieve happiness and keep it, you must be willing to permanently change your mindset.
Understand that there are going to be times when having a partner or friend would make things much easier. Those difficult circumstances can make you feel more alone than ever. Because everyone always wants what they can’t have, you will likely look at those seemingly happy couples like they’ve got everything figured out. However, it’s important for you to realize that even people who have someone special in their lives crave solitude from time to time.
In short, it’s only when we stop letting mainstream society dictate what happiness is that we can finally find it for ourselves. Happiness is merely a chosen state of mind, not a set of circumstances that may or may not have any baring on the way a person feels. We see people with fame, fortune and fan clubs admit their depression openly every day. Obviously, happiness has nothing to do with what we have but how we see ourselves and choose to live our lives. Put simply: you have to make a conscious decision to be happy regardless of your lifestyle, or else all you’ll ever have is a temporary good mood.
More on the psychology of happiness here: Are You Trying Too Hard To Be Happy?