Unlock Happiness From Within With These Tips
Happiness is a balance between short-term pleasure and longer-term persistence toward goals. It can be obtained through various elements like positive emotions, faith, fitness, family and friends. You can find happiness in yourself, no matter your relationship status.
Happiness is a psychological concept of positive emotion that is deeper than a good brief mood. Happiness, in the field of mental health, is defined as a pleasant feeling such as joy, peace, a sense of involvement, and confidence. A 2016 cross-sectional study in the paper Journal of Clinical And Diagnostic Research conducted a survey among 500 people aged 18 -29 years and concluded that gender, income, married status, education level, job satisfaction, health, and increased knowledge are the main allegedly effective factors of human happiness. However, the definition and criteria of happiness is subjective and contributes to the happiness levels of society and the factors that influence happiness are 59.8 per cent, states a 2018 study in the paper Scite Press.
Sometimes happiness can be hampered by loneliness, where you feel alone and isolated despite being surrounded by people. A 2021 static report published in Personality and Behaviour shows that 43 per cent of Indians experience loneliness either sometimes or always.
Related story: How To Transformed Your Fixed Mindset Into A Growth Mindset
Do you think being alone and lonely is the same thing?
Loneliness is the phase of emotional suffering, a deep-rooted sense of fear, including envy, greed, and jealousy, and insecure affection to others, reveals paper Psychological Medicine, 2021. It is a feeling of sadness, disconnected, and empty despite being amid family, everyday chaos, or entertainment zones. According to a 2013 research article published in Annals of Behavioral Medicines, globally 80 per cent of people around 18 years of age and 40 per cent of adults over 65 years of age experience loneliness. This condition is common and it declines in middle age and then rises again in old age.
To be happy alone is to find satisfaction and contentment which includes curiosity and the ability to tolerate risk and anxiety to discover new passions. Based on a 2009 findings in the paper Journal of Experimental Social Psychology when someone is comfortable being secluded and absolutely values his/her privacy is considered alone. This does not necessarily mean that the individual is sad, anti-social, or friendless. It’s just how they operate–being alone, taking time for themselves, being happy without letting anyone know or posting about it on social media platforms.
That being said, one can learn how to be happy living alone. Also, a few like to bask in solitude and they aren’t bothered by it, but rather content. While others might find it challenging to be happy alone. Everyone wishes for an intimate companion, however, until getting one, it's possible to be happy by yourself.
Regardless of your feelings, it is important to take the lead on learning how to invest and find happiness in yourself. These are some short-term tips that can help get your ball rolling:
Short-term tips to be happy alone
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
A 2020 research issue in BioMedCentral reveals that simple satisfaction or happiness is more important than you might acknowledge. We often end up comparing ourselves to our friends or even strangers. This can have a negative effect on your mind, constraining you to think low of yourself.. On the contrary, we never know if the one we are envying is happy or not, the grass is always greener on the other side.
2. Take a break from screen time
Mobile phone and social media platforms have undeniably helped many reconnect with old pals and forge new relations. With time, technology is overpowering self-love and self-awareness in people. As per the 2018 review study published in Science News more screen time coincides with less happiness in people. The key to happiness is finding joy in small things like painting or learning a new language and incorporating it in your daily life.
Related story: Unlock A Longer Life By Being Optimistic
3. Meditate to find happiness and tranquillity in yourself
Meditation has a therapeutic effect on the mind. This is probably one of the finest ways to experience peace when you are alone. As per a 2010 study published in Psychiatry Research, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs (meditation), produces positive effects on psychological well-being. Participation in MBSR is associated with changes in grey matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective-taking.
4. Appreciate good things in your life
According to a 2019 research article issued in The Journal of Positive Psychology, gratitude is the appreciation of a gift acquired, happiness is the enjoyment of present good. And, practising gratitude increases present happiness and hope for the future. You can be grateful for your current feelings, position, or life or it can be as simple as your morning coffee.
5. Take yourself out on a movie or a lunch date
Time to step out of your comfort zone. Going out doesn’t mean you have to go in a group or with a partner. Purchase a ticket to a live concert or a movie that everyone’s talking about and go alone. Treat yourself to a fancy dish at a newly-opened restaurant in the town. Give yourself some time to try something new that you haven’t done before.
Related story: How Laughter Benefits Your Body
Long-term tips to be happy alone
1. Workout for physical as well as mental health
A 2018 cross-sectional study in The Lancet reveals that those who worked out daily encountered 43.2 per cent fewer days of poor mental health in the previous month than those who were inactive. Exercise helps release endorphins, those hormones in your brain that can make you feel happier. Hitting the gym alone is a good start.
2. Spend time with nature
According to a 2016 research study mentioned in Scientific Reports, 30 minutes or more a week spent in nature can lower signs of depression and lower blood pressure. Spend at least two hours in nature, go on a long walk, read in a park, or just sit outside.
3. Volunteer your time in service of others
A 2020 study published in Scientific Reports shows that those who volunteered at least once a month reported better mental health than those who volunteered infrequently or never. Volunteer to tutor students, educate girls or donate to a blood or food bank. Analyse volunteer options in your neighbourhood and find something that feels right to you. It can help you bond with others while still getting some quality alone time.
4. Draft future goals
When alone, consider where you want to be five years from today. Making plans for the future personally and professionally is a private affair and is something that will truly make you content. Keep track of your expenses, if you are planning to buy a house or a car. Revise this activity annually to ensure you are on the right track.
Related story: 6 Small Ways To Put Yourself First
When to approach a professional for help
Sometimes, all the self-care, exercise, and gratitude does not diminish feelings of sadness or loneliness. You don’t have to wait for a crisis point to go to therapy.
Reach out to a therapist if:
- You’re overly stressed and finding it challenging to manage.
- You develop signs of anxiety or depression.
- You have thoughts about self-harm.
- You feel you may have a troubled relationship with food or exercise.