Best Ways to Be Your Own Best Friend
Would you like to know how to be happy alone? It is a fact that some people only feel some form of happiness when they are in the company of others, or when their actions are validated by others. On the other hand, some people are naturally happy alone. If you feel happy only when you are in the company of other people, then there are ways you can be happy alone (no matter how extrovert you maybe). Nothing’s as good as building a relationship with yourself. It is a worthy investment. Everyone spends a significant amount of time with himself or herself, so you might as well learn to enjoy it.
There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely
Before we share tips on how to be happy alone, it is important to distinguish between two vital concepts – being lonely and being alone. While there’s some overlap between both concepts, they’re entirely different.
Some people may be happy in solitude, perhaps you’re one of such. It doesn’t mean that you are loveless, or friendless, or antisocial. You are just happy spending time with yourself. You’re excited at the very thought of staying alone. That’s simply being alone. It doesn’t mean being lonely.
On the other hand, a person is said to be lonely when he or she is surrounded by people (friends and family) but fails to relate beyond a surface level, leaving the person feeling empty and disconnected.
Short-term tips on how to be happy alone
These tips will help you get the ball rolling on how to be happy alone. You might not experience an overnight transformation, but they will help you to be comfortable with staying on your own.
Some of these tips may be just what you had expected to hear. Others may seem strange and even senseless. But not to worry, just consider them as stepping-stones. Build on them and shape them to suit your personality and lifestyle.
Stop comparing yourself to others
This is easy to say, but difficult to implement. Yes! Many people are guilty of comparing their social life to that of others. You’re one of them? Then you have to stop it. Avoid comparing your social life to that of others. Happiness does not depend on the number of friends that you have or how many social outings you have in a month. It is what works for you.
Remember, there’s no way you can tell if the extrovert is happy. You can hardly figure out if the person surrounded by friends or who attends every social outing in town is as happy as he or she seems.
Reduce the time you spend on social media
This is a very important tip on how to be happy alone. Social media is not bad or problematic, but if you feel stressed or left out when you scroll through your news feeds, then you have to cut down on your usage. That news feed does not tell the entire story of your friend’s life.
You never can tell if those people are happy or whether they are just giving the impression that they are happy. Either way, it doesn’t reflect on you. Should I tell you what to do? Take a deep breath and let it slide.
Do a little test. Stay away from your favorite social media platform for 48nhours. If you feel better, then restrict your time on social media to a daily max of 10-15 minutes.
A phone break will help
Have you noticed something? Cellphone usage and social media addiction go hand-in-hand. There’s no doubt that both products have changed the concept of being alone.
Can anyone stay alone when they have their cellphone with them? Just pick it up and call or text someone right? Or check what your close friend is up to without any need to talk to them?
When next you are with yourself, switch off your phone and put it away for an hour. Use this time to relate with yourself and explore the true feeling of being alone.
Wondering how you would pass the time? Get your pen and notebook, and write down those things you might enjoy doing all by yourself (when next you’re alone).
Allow your mind to wander
Do you feel unsettled whenever you imagine having nothing to do? That’s because it’s been ages since you allowed yourself to just be.
You can try a short experiment. Set your timer to 5 minutes. Do absolutely nothing during this time. Its five minutes without:
Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes, make the room dark, or look out the window if you like. If it feels sedentary, engage yourself with a repetitive task, like dribbling a ball, washing the dishes, or knitting.
Allow your mind to wander wherever it like and see where you’ll land. Try not to be discouraged if it doesn’t take you far. It’s just your first time. With time, your mind will get used to it and you’ll truly understand how to be happy alone.
Go on a date with yourself
It’s a bit of a cliché, but self-dates can teach you just how to be happy alone.
Wondering what to do? Imagine you want to take someone out on a date. Where would you take them? What would you do to impress them? What would you want them to experience or see?
Here’s the thing – you’re that person. Now take yourself out. Do those things for yourself. It might seem odd initially, but you’ll be surprised to see a few people doing the same.
If you’re considering your finances, then you can make it not-too-big. Remember it is even cheaper paying for one than for two.
Still feeling daunted by the task. You can start by sitting for ten minutes in a coffee shop. Once that makes you comfortable, taking yourself out on a date won’t seem as unusual as you thought.
When you engage in physical activities, your brain release certain neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters make you feel happier. They’re called endorphins.
If you are not used to exercising, or maybe it is your first time, start with just a few minutes daily, even if its only morning stretches. Increase the time spent by one to two minutes daily. As your confidence increases, try aerobics, sports, or weight training.
But if you still feel uncomfortable going out on your own, then hitting the gym without a company can be a good start. Certainly an effective tip on how to be happy alone.
Spending time with nature may sound like another cliché, but it is a very effective way of being you’re your own best friend. Don’t stay indoors all day. Go outside! Stroll through the park, lounge in the backyards, or seat by the beach. Absorb the smells, sounds, and sight of nature. Allow the breeze to hit your face. It is a wonderful experience, isn’t it?
Studies have shown that spending at least 30 minutes per week with nature can lower your blood pressure and improve symptoms of depression.
Consider the perks of being alone
Some people think it is impossible to be happy while alone. They have valid reasons though – it might be too quiet, and there’s no one to talk to after work.
But staying alone has its perks. You can take advantage of the mental and physical space that comes with staying on your own:
- Use up all the space
- Have a dance party
- Spread out: trying to resume an old hobby? Spread out your materials on the floor and decide what you’d like to use for your next project. Can’t make your decision in one day? There’s no need for making a fuss about it. Leave it out until you are done. Even if it takes an entire week.
You can volunteer your time in the service of others. Helping other people makes one feel good. Also, it connects you to others while still spending some quality time on your own.
Look out for volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood. It feels right to find something that appeals to you. Make sure you can fit in with their needs.
A random act of kindness is certainly a helpful tip on how to be happy alone.
Take note of those things that you’re grateful for
Studies have shown that gratefulness makes one happier and hopeful.
We easily take a lot of things for granted as we get immersed in our daily activities. Take time out to reflect on those things that you’re grateful for.
Male a physical or mental list of the things that you appreciate in your life. And when next you’re alone, glance through this list. You’ll be happy for everything that goes right in your life.
Take a break
Self-reflection is nice. Self-judgement isn’t. When the spirit of self-criticism comes calling, turn your attention toward the positive voice that resides in your mind. It is always in there you know.
Never condemn yourself or judge yourself more harshly than you’d judge another. We all make mistakes, so try not to beat yourself up over them. Always remember your good qualities.
Cook yourself something nice
Another tip on how to be happy alone. Yes! So you have no one to sit at the table with? Well, eating alone doesn’t mean sitting in front of the TV with prepackaged food. You may as well prepare a fabulous meal for yourself.
Make your table, turn on the candles, get a cloth napkin, and do all you would do if you were to have a party. You deserve it.
Learn something new. Be creative!
What are those things you’ve always wanted to do, but have to put off? It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not. Just get yourself involved in something new & different. It will help you out of your comfort zone.
Learn a home improvement project. Try playing an instrument, write a story, or paint a landscape. Everything will work out for good.
Plan alone outings
Find things that are worth doing and put them on your calendar. Always look forward to doing something. Anticipating something is new is fun on its own. It is an important tip on how to be happy alone.
Travel to someplace new and stay in a bed and breakfast. Attend a local farmers market or a festival. Attend a concert or an art exhibit. Plan for an interesting event and make it a reality.
Long-term tips on how to be happy alone
The following tips will help you dig a bit deeper as you become more comfortable with being your own best friend…
Shake up your routine
Sometimes, even a well-planned routine can morph into a rut. Think about your daily routine and your environment. Take note of what is working for you and what has gotten dull.
If you are unsure, take a shot at it. Get things freshened up. Paint a wall or rearrange your furniture. Just do something to get yourself out of the rut.
Enhance your coping skills
Life is stressful, and things go awry once-in-a-while. It is a fact! Recall when something awry happened to you and you were able to figure out a way to deal with it? Well, you can develop that skill. It is a long-term tip on how to be happy alone.
Now you’re becoming more comfortable with being your own best friend. You’ve mastered how to be happy alone. However, you maybe somehow, no longer interested in socializing with others. It isn’t bad, but there’s still value in close relationships.
Pay a visit to a friend, or your family member. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long while and engage in a fun conversation.
Forgiving others takes a load of stress off your mind. And while you’re forgiving others, forgive yourself too.
Your health is important, take good care of it
The state of your physical and emotional health are interconnected. Paying attention to your health can make you happier. Also, it helps you build a good relationship with yourself.
You can occupy your alone time with worthwhile activities like eating a balanced diet, sleeping well, and exercising regularly. Also, make regular appointments with your doctor.
Put the future in your plans
Where would you like to see yourself in 5-10 years, financially, professionally, academically??? What are those things you should do to achieve these goals? Write it down on your note. It will guide your decisions.
Revisit these plans annually to know whether you are on track or not. Planning for the future can help you feel more optimistic and hopeful today.
How to be happy alone? Ask for help
Sometimes, all the tips in the world may not be enough to stay happy alone.
You can seek out the services of a therapist if:
- You’re too stressed and cannot cope
- You are experiencing anxiety symptoms
- You are experiencing depression symptoms
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.