How to: Be happy alone

Monday, 8 February 2016

how-to-be-happy-alone

For some unknown reason, the world prefers people to be paired off. And while being in a relationship is positively lovely, it can be pretty difficult sometimes too, what with the grass always being greener and all. Being single is generally not a state you are in forever, so it’s wise to make the best of it and enjoy it while you can, because soon you’ll be picking up socks and driving kids to school and that is a whole other world.

There is, of course, a world of difference between being alone (yay!) and being lonely. So the key is to cherish the aloneness, and keep the loneliness at bay. How? I hear you cry. Here’s how:

1. Stop trying to be fabulously single
Why do singles have to be fabulous, and partnered people don’t? You don’t have to go out every night and pretend that you’re in Sex and the City. You are not obliged to regale your coupley friends with your sensational adventures as a single, fabulous woman. You are allowed to stay at home and watch House of Cards if you want to. In fact, that’s one of the (many) brilliant things about being single: you can do whatever you want, when you want – you are answerable to no one but yourself.

2. Work out what makes you happy
And then do those things. Doing things that make you happy will, uh, make you happy. And happiness is attractive to others. I’m not talking about doing this as a round-about way of getting a mate, I mean that when you are happy, others want to be around you and a vibrant social circle is going to make you even happier. Who has time for a man when you’re so busy having fun and being with your lovely friends?

3. It is better to give than receive
Seriously. Look out for others who seem lonely to you, and include them. Host dinner parties. Do some volunteer work. Phone your mother. When you think about others, in a weird way you begin to feel better about yourself, so it’s a win-win situation – our favourite kind!

4. Remember that you can CHOOSE to be happy or sad
You have greater control over your mind than you think. If you choose to plug into the negative loops going round and round in your brain, then guess what? That’s how you will feel. And that’s what you will believe about your life. If you refuse to listen to that negative chatter, and instead, start a new loop of positive and compassionate thoughts, then that is what you will feel and experience in your life. You are the only one who can make you happy – if you are waiting for a man (or woman, obviously) to make you feel loved and worthy, you will wait a long time because only you can truly do that for yourself.

5. Exercise
Yes, really. It makes you feel proud of yourself, releases those feel-good endorphins and it’s good for you.

6. Make a nest
Spend time looking after your home. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking: oh well, nobody sees it so what difference does it make anyway? YOU see it! It is your safe haven so make it work for you and a place that makes you feel happy and relaxed the minute you step through the front door. When you are living with the Man Of Your Dreams you will have to negotiate the position of every picture and cushion and knick-knack and make space for his hideous boy stuff. So now is the time to have everything where you want it and to be as girly and pink as you want. And then go out and enjoy yourself!

Other articles you may be interested in:
Single but ageing well
Five tips for creating a better work / life balance
In praise of hibernation
Train your brain to be more positive
The art of attraction

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  1. Shivani Keshav

    Absolutely a good read for any female! especially if you are recently single

    2 years ago •

  1. Cookie Nandlall

    You often hear the words ‘I am so alone’ and ‘I needed to be surrounded with others to make me happy’. My personal opinion is that if you are never happy within yourself and your own time, nothing will bring you that joy from within. It’s your choice whether to be depressed or happy. Surround yourself with positive people and thoughts. Distance yourself from small-minded people. You then will be amazed in the change within yourself.

    2 years ago •

  1. Kamiela Abrahams

    thank you for this article

    2 years ago •

  1. Ray-Jessie Hendricks

    This is such a wonderful, feel-good article. When all your school friends around you start getting married, even at an age you want to build a career first instead of looking for the one, its easy to question if being single is okay. And then its easy to forget the benefits of being single

    2 years ago •

  1. Kirthi Rampersadh

    so I should exercise to feel even better …ahem okie looks like I need to join a gym …lol the only thing I’m exercising is my mouth haha!!!

    2 years ago •

  1. WAFIQA ABBAS

    There’s nothing wrong with being on your own, in fact its then when you learn so much about yourself.

    2 years ago •

  1. Leigh- Christyn

    I’ve been single for 2 and a half years and I have grown so much as a person in this time! Life does get lonely at times (especially cause I live alone) but its also great to live so freely and independently. Another point I would add is use the time to spend with your friends, create memories with them cause once you all have partners it becomes much harder!

    2 years ago •

  1. Tanya Lawrence

    Being single ….means you never have to check his mood, you have constant peace of mind. Being single means you get to choose the restaurant nothing wrong with enjoying a meal by yourself. You get to choose the movie – no disturbances or comments. You can sleep in, dress how you want, do what you want – when you want and nobody to answer too. I enjoyed being single, done all of the above and loved it.

    2 years ago •

  1. Salmaa Moosa

    great article!! remember even if you are in a relationship, always make time for yourself, its extremely healthy to do so.

    2 years ago •

    1. Kirthi Rampersadh

      I agree I’m married but I still enjoy moments by myself

      2 years ago •

  1. AndreaM

    Thanks for this article. I’m still coming to terms with being alone and it really is not that bad.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    There’s nothing wrong with being alone. In fact, I’ve been in a relationship for 7 years yet I always make time to do things alone and just for me, whether it’s a little shopping spree, spending 4 hours at gym or just going out for a long drive. You need to make time to take care of yourself, regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not. Enjoy the single moments because that’s when you can be selfish.

    4 years ago •

  1. Bean

    Love this article – it’s positive and uplifting and makes you think a bit beyond your comfort zone. People often “sympathise” with my single status, but I must confess, I don’t mind it nearly as much as they do! :) Seriously, does having a partner make you feel so much happier? I’m not that sure as I’ve had several and they’ve pretty much all let me down in some way or another and are no longer around for obvious reasons. Once you ‘tie the knot’ (or noose, as it were), you can’t just walk out if it doesn’t suit you anymore. Scary thought. So, girls … pick well! Make sure that he’s exactly (or damn close to) what you want and don’t settle for a life of mediocrity. Live it up while you’re alone – your space can become a sanctuary if you want it to (instead of the place you hide out from the ‘coupled world’) Embrace whatever you’re doing and good things will surely follow.

    4 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    I love this article. It highlights some good points. Being single does not have to be fabulous, you can quietly enjoy your single-dom. Also,it is not unheard of that people in relationships feel lonely. Just because you have a partner, it does not automatically mean you are happy and settled. And yes to choosing to be happy of sad. I feel like too many people are sad and scoff at the idea that it is a mind over matter thing. You can’t choose what happens to you, but you can decide how you handle it.

    4 years ago •

    1. Pseudo_kate

      I love this :) Completely agree, being with someone doesn’t necessarily guarantee happiness.

      4 years ago •

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