If you wonder how to be happy alone, these fifteen research-proven ways to be happy will make you the most attractive single woman you can ever be.
There are many wonderful things that come with singleness. However, there are also many reasons why being alone can make us lonely. Unfortunately, for many of us, the loneliness becomes the center of our attention instead of the good things that are worthy to celebrate.
I was single for the first twenty-four years of my life. I was never in a relationship and there was barely anyone who was interested to get to know me.
Although I made the most of my single life, I was also very, very lonely.
In hindsight there were many perks of being alone, but during that time I was not able to appreciate those perks because I was focused on my unhappiness.
I had no idea that the deep-rooted unhappiness inside me was one of the reasons why I couldn´t attract quality men.
Did you know that happy people attract healthy, happy and confident people?
What I Learned From NOT Being Happy Alone.
While I was still single, I was preoccupied with the idea that I would be happy once I meet my true love and get married. But that thought was wrong.
Because happiness is not a destination, it´s a journey.
If we keep on delaying our happiness until we get married, we are missing on the happiness that the “now” can give.
If only I knew that I would be missing many of the great things with being single, I would have enjoyed them with all my heart. I would have cherished them while they lasted. Instead, I was too focused on the future. I couldn´t wait to be in a relationship, get married and settle down.
There are many reasons to enjoy life and be happy while single. For me, it included having a high-paying teaching job (which I had to give up to migrate and join my husband in Germany).
I also enjoyed having a close circle of girlfriends whom I could hang out with whenever we´re free (until now I still haven´t found my new set of girlfriends), having the freedom to forego cooking altogether (because I was not into cooking) and not needing to iron piles of laundry (which worsened after I had a kid).
But the best perk? It´s being able to do things without having to consult someone or not needing to consider how my actions and decisions would affect my husband and my child.
You see, there are many reasons to enjoy the now, if only we learn to live for now. But more often than not, we focus on what we don´t have.
What Happened When I Learned How to Be Happy Alone.
I don´t remember exactly what was the turning point in my life that led me to understand the importance of prioritizing my happiness but I think it had something to do with getting burned out from online dating.
Most of my free time was spent searching for love online but in the end I had nothing to show for it. My heart was only broken several times.
I got tired of being lonely. Tired of feeling not-good-enough. Sick of constantly feeling miserable.
I promised myself that I would devote my time for me. What followed was a long but fabulous journey to understanding myself and finding happiness in my life even without a man.
It took me hundreds of hours in research, tons of books, articles and researches, and a never ending getting-to-know myself and loving me.
Did it work?
You bet it did! It was like having a gigantic lighthouse telling people, “Hey, look at me! I am happy!”
Only that I wasn´t meaning it to be that way. My happiness wasn´t fake. I was genuinely having a great time with my life.
Soon thereafter I started attracting men. And not just any men, but quality men.
Two years after I pledged to make myself happy, I married the most wonderful man. As of this writing, we´ve been happily married for eight years!
So, from a happily married gal who is missing many of the great things of her single life, here are fifteen habits that I suggest you should develop in order to be happy alone … while waiting for “the one”.
Habit #1: Smile.
In the Philippines we have an idiom for fake smile; we call it “dog smile”. A dog smile applies to anyone who fakes a smile in order to look happy even if that person isn´t necessarily happy. She may forge a smile to look pleasant and polite but deep down she feels the opposite.
A fake smile is being smirked upon in our land.
But according to several scientific researches, one in particular was led by clinical psychologist James Laird in 1960 which triggered further clinical studies, forcing yourself to smile has direct effect to your feeling of happiness.
When you force yourself to smile, you feel happier.
If you frown, you feel significantly angrier. Your thoughts wander to things that make you angry.
Therefore if you want to be happy, smile as often as you can. Make it a habit.
Create a fun way of reminding yourself to do this by drawing two self-portrait of yourself wearing a huge smile. Make your portrait as fun and humorous as possible.
Draw one in an A4 paper and stick it somewhere prominent in your home such as on the door of your refrigerator. Draw another on a small paper and put it in your wallet or purse.
Habit #2: Enjoy your walk.
I`m not a runner but I`m a walker. I love taking long walks.
While working as a teacher in Bangkok I would walk around the city for hours … in high heels.
After I got married I still enjoy walking. I especially love walking with my husband.
However, my husband and I have opposite walking styles. He´s a strider. He takes long steps, walks with bounce, lets his arms swing back and forth, and holds his head high. Most importantly, he walks fast.
In the contrary, I´m a shuffler. I walk slowly, I take small steps, I often look down, and even if I´m not aware of it, I have drooping shoulders and my arms don´t swing.
When I walk, I tend to get engrossed deep in my thoughts, but they´re often unpleasant thoughts.
Generally, striders are perceived as happy people and shufflers as sad people. But are those perceptions correct?
Psychologist Sara Snodgrass from Florida Atlantic University found in her research that changing the way people walked influence the way they themselves felt. People who walk with long strides, swing their arms, and hold their head up high feel significantly happier than those who shuffle along.
At first it took me conscious efforts to be aware of the way I walked and to remind myself of the way I should walk in order to feel happier.
In a matter of four weeks I was able to change the way I walk. I now walk straight and take long steps. I smile and bounce and I enjoy swinging my arms. I often think of myself silly, but I couldn´t stop smiling to myself until I reach my destination.
Habit #3: Stop Your Negative Thoughts.
One of the reasons why many women hate being alone is that the fact that being alone triggers negative thoughts.
Once their girlfriends aren´t around and the curtains are down, their negative thoughts start to party:
- you must be unattractive because you can´t get a man
- you must be unlovable because you´re still not in that perfect relationship
- you must be ugly because nobody wants you
- you´re a failure because you´re still not married
Oh, my! How are you going to battle against such terrible thoughts that are too effective in putting you down?
But thoughts are just that … thoughts. Once you realize that you are not your thoughts, it´s easier to step back, remove yourself from the thought and manage it properly.
I covered this in detail in my article how to stop negative thoughts about yourself.
Once you stop believing those negative thoughts, you will be happier alone. In fact, you will appreciate more being with yourself.
Habit #4: Happy talk.
Did you know that you can talk to yourself and make yourself feel happier? Have you ever tried it?
I guess you´ve tried more talking to yourself and making yourself feel worse.
We know that we have this critical, unforgiving side of our self who tells us, “you´re ugly”, “you´re stupid”, “you´re not good enough”, “you´re a loser”, “you´re worthless”, and so on.
That´s the bad girl in us, she often defeats the good girl if we just stand there watching and doing nothing.
But there´s a way to be proactive. You can reinforce positivity to back up the good girl in you. You do that by talking to yourself positively and giving yourself positive affirmations.
Some Christians raise objections to positive affirmations because they claim that these positive affirmations urge us to focus on ourselves and not to God. But as a matured Christian you can learn to find the right balance.
Here are some examples on how to talk to yourself happily. It will feel odd at first but with practice it will come naturally.
- I feel surprisingly good about myself today.
- I am beautiful. I´m a beautiful creature of God.
- I think that I can make a success of things.
Habit #5: Laugh.
Did you know that laughter is the best medicine?
Proverbs 17:22 says that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”, and it´s safe to assume that laughter is number one on the list on what makes a cheerful heart.
According to medical researches, laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemicals), and protects the heart.
We have all the reasons to laugh our way to good health, yet at the same time, laughter can make us feel happier.
And if being happy attracts happy and healthy people, why not laugh as much as you can? It just means being happy increases your chance of finding Mr. Right by threefold.
Charles Schaefer from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey conducted a research on the effect of laughter to happiness. His research concluded that while smile makes a person happier, laughter makes a person elated. Thus, laughing works better in making you happier than smiling (although smiling is easier to do).
Schaefer´s research influenced the birth of laughter clubs. When group members meet up, they form a circle and they spend around twenty minutes performing laughter exercises.
Are there laughter clubs in your area? Why not attend one? Maybe you´ll find your Mr. Right there. How fun would that be!
But if there´s no laughter club in your area, the best approach is to learn to tell (clean) jokes. Be funny, make friends with funny people, and watch funny movies:
If you´re alone, tickle yourself to laughter. Chant out loud … Ho-Ho, Ha-ha!
Habit #6: Dance.
Dr. Peter Lovatt from the University of Hertfordshire carried out a research into dance. His research was based on the hypothesis that happy people like to dance. He ran a ten-week dance experiment to examine the effects of dance on mood.
He gathered a group of willing volunteers whom each week had to learn a new dance move. From foxtrot to flamenco to salsa and swing, everyone had a good time.
The results proved that behaving as if you are happy makes you feel better. Non-competitive dances with easily learned repetitive structure, such as Scottish country dances and line dances, are especially effective.
Have you done Zumba exercises? It´s an aerobics fitness program featuring Latin American music and dances. I had done it and it made me felt wonderful after an hour of dancing. It makes exercising so much fun.
Now I´m a person who grew up in a totally strict Christian home, dancing was never allowed. One night I shook my hips to the beat of the music coming from a neighbor. I was ten years old. Thinking I was alone in the dark I let my guard down and swayed my hips gently. To my suprise, my dad saw me and I got scolded.
Seductive and dirty dance moves are not advised in most Christian religions such as the Seventh Day Adventists. If you came from a strict, religious home, it shouldn´t stop you from dancing. There´s an array of easy-to-learn folk dances that are more effective in making you feel happy and relax than vigorous, seductive dances.
Habit #7: Have fun.
The best way to journey in life is to have fun. No matter how busy, how tough and how challenging life is, we should never forget to have fun.
In order to level up the fun in your life, list down all the activities that you enjoy doing. Which friends and colleagues do you enjoy hanging up with? What hobbies, interests or sports do you really enjoy?
Do you like travelling? Do you like helping people? What are the things you used to enjoy when you were a child?
Write down all the things that you enjoyed from the past and the things that you always dreamt doing but never found the time or the resources. Make time for them. Save up for them.
Make time to have fun, make time to play, and make time to be happy.
Habit #8: Practice Gratitude.
Did you know that there are many married women with kids who would give up anything just to get a good long sleep?
Don´t get sold out to that stunning dad-mom-child selfie you see on your Facebook or instagram feeds. There are more stories behind it untold.
The next time you go to bed be thankful that you can enjoy a long, uninterrupted sleep. And most importantly, be thankful that you can enjoy peace.
(As a mom to a super active toddler I am speaking from experience here. Enjoy your peace while it lasts.)
What other good things can you be thankful for in your life right now? What are the things that bring you joy — a fulfilling job, a new promotion, a small but comfortable apartment, a few loyal friends?
Focus on those things.
Practicing gratitude will help you appreciate life as it is, and will make you happier.
Habit #9: Take Care of Yourself.
Some women have it wrong. They take care of their looks and grooming if they have a crush or if they´re dating someone. But if they´re not seeing anyone, they let their self go.
Interestingly, once they get married, they also tend to let their self go.
It shouldn´t matter whether you´re alone, in a relationship or married (and with kids), you should always take care of yourself. No one will take care of you but you. The more you invest on your health, personal style and grooming, and overall well-being, the happier you will be.
If you´re happy, people around you will also be happy.
Make him commit and surrender his heart to you, learn how to be “the woman men adore and never want to leave”.
If you´re single, fit and happy, men are going to be attracted to you. And if you´re in a relationship, fit and happy, all the more that your partner will fall in love with you.
So don´t forget to take care of yourself.
Habit #10: Cultivate Friendship with Other Single Women.
If your girlfriend (suddenly) gets a boyfriend or gets married, it will affect your relationship. She will start missing on your girls` night outs or weekend get-togethers. Although it will initially make you upset, remember that she´s moving to a direction that you are not yet ready to go.
So take advantage of this time to make new friendships with other single ladies.
Why do I recommend cultivating friendship with other single ladies if you´re single? Because it´s just easier that way. You can dress up, go out together and make the most of the cheer-leader effect — a smart strategy when it comes to how to find a man.
Who knows? You may be the next to get a boyfriend.
But on the more serious note, we women are very social. We need that close circle of friends for our happiness — married or not married.
Habit #11: Develop a Hobby.
Shortly before I met my husband, I was dealing with a heartbreak. It was that heartbreak that made me pivot from focusing on finding a guy to finding a hobby — one of the greatest decisions I had ever made.
The hobby? Blogging.
After discovering Blogger.com, I put up a personal blog where I shared my random thoughts and my personal style. I wrote on my blog late at night after my day job and after-school tutorials. I also spent my weekends writing on the blog.
I was so addicted to blogging that I didn´t care if I was in a relationship or not. It was like being sucked into a happy, newly discovered world. Finding a man and having a romantic relationship became the least of my concerns.
The funny thing was, because I was happy and occupied with my new hobby, I had no room for neediness which, unknowingly, made me more attractive to men.
The next man I met saw me as a happy and complete person, and he was determined not to let me go.
Finding a man was just the bonus; the main thing was I was happy with my life.
Habit #12: Get a Pet.
As I´ve mentioned earlier, I was single for the first twenty-four years of my life. One of the things that helped me stay happy in spite of me not being in a relationship were my pets.
I usually had pets — from dogs to cats and bunnies — not all together at once, but one or two pets at a time.
Pets are known to help their owners relax, provide companionship, and in their own ways, give unconditional love.
When I moved to Germany after marriage, I succumbed winter depression. My husband got me a cat which helped a ton in overcoming my depression.
Habit #13: Build a Close Relationship with God.
If you have a spouse, you have someone to share your burdens. If you´re single, there are only a handful of things you can share even to your closest pals. Thankfully, you have God.
He is our loving Father in Heaven who watches over us, who walks with us when we´re to cross stormy seas and turbulent rivers, and who wipes our tears at night when no one sees.
If you´re single, and if you believe in God, cultivate a close relationship with Him. You will never feel alone if you have God.
Habit #14: Maintain a Close Relationship with Your Family.
One of the things that happy people have is a close relationship with their family, especially their immediate family. Don´t cut your connections with your parents and siblings. Find time to visit them, and connect with them.
Family is great in giving you sense of belonging. And for most parts, they stick like brothers and sisters do.
Habit #15: Keep Your Heart Open for Love.
Don´t forget to open your heart to love. Sometimes, the less you look for it, the more it finds you. You may not be aware that you´re already touching shoulders with your soul mate. So keep smiling, and keep opening your heart to possibilities.
But if you feel that you´re ready for a committed relationship and love is the only thing that´s missing in your life right now, then give yourself permission to make finding love a priority.
Never kiss dating goodbye because … once true love finds you, you will never regret living happily alone. And you can continue living happily with a partner.
Learning how to be happy alone is probably the best thing you can do to naturally level up your love success.