Whenever you say the word alone, people associate it with loneliness. In most cases, that is not true. Being alone and being lonely are two different things.
Being alone is nothing but solitude – a peaceful and happy state that we experience by doing the things we love all by ourselves.
Is it possible to be alone and happy? Of course, yes. At the end of this article, you will know how to stay happy alone.
If people ask you, “What is the use of being alone?” (I am sure they would), tell them these.
The Psychological Benefits of Being Alone:
1. You will know yourself better when you are alone.
How many times you did something because everyone else around you was doing it?
People tend to do things because of peer pressure and end up not knowing what they like.
When you are alone, you are free to do things your way. Only when you start doing things you like, you will start exploring deeper into yourself.
Being alone gives you room for trial and error; to try new things without facing any embarrassment.
2. Being Alone Helps you Make Meaningful Relationships.
It might sound ironic, but that is true. If you are wondering how being alone helps you make meaningful relationships, here is the key.
As we have learned in the above point, being alone helps to get to know yourself better, agreed?
When you understand yourself better, you will automatically know the right people who vibe with you. You will not make unnecessary friendships for the sake of it.
When you are genuine with yourself, you will befriend genuine people who will add beauty and meaning to your life.
3. Solitude Enhances Creativity
It doesn’t matter if you are an artist or not, you will come across new ideas. The solitude brings peace that makes things clear.
Just like how you can see under the settled water (sedimentation); you can see under your thoughts with more clarity.
Eventually, your level of focus can go above your normal average and do things you always wanted to do. You will have a clear-cut vision of what habits to build and what habits to break.
Without realizing it, slowly you are becoming the best version of yourself.
4. You Don’t Care What Others Think.
At one point in time, when you know how to stay happy alone, you don’t care what others think. This will take some time because we are so accustomed to the idea of people liking us.
Be it our family circle or social media, we are designed to crave attention from others. But after being alone, you will notice you don’t want others’ approval.
Their thoughts don’t define you anymore. You know your worth and understand the difference between constructive criticism and stupid advice. At this point, you will taste a different freedom.
5. You will be Kind to Yourself and Others
Once you are comfortable with yourself, you will forgive yourself more. If you mess up something, you will correct it without being hard on yourself.
If you fail, you take it as learning and not as a defamation. With that mindset, life seems easy.
If someone does a mistake you tend to forgive them easily, because your thought process has changed. You go the extra mile to help someone because you have become more empathetic and kind to yourself and others.
“Self-love is the first step to loving others. Solitude is a way to reach self-love.”
How to Stay Happy Alone – Things you Must Try Doing Alone:
Sometimes it’s hard in the beginning to find out how to stay happy alone. But there are a lot of things you can do alone to get yourself to enjoy your company.
Here are a few things you must try alone to have a wholesome experience alone.
1. Solo Travel
Packing your backpack and getting out of your town is a must for anybody who wants to explore solitude. Be it public transport, long drives or going to another country; travelling alone will make you much better.
You will experience many things even if the trip is just a day or two. This will hugely change your perceptions and you will learn a lot.
Also, you will meet many strangers where there are possibilities for beautiful things to happen that you never imagined in your wildest dreams.
Solo travel is not always a pretty thing like how it’s in the Instagram feed. There are a lot of challenges, especially pickpockets and theft. You have to take precautions but don’t get anxious.
Just take care of your belongings, everything else that happens is a lesson you needed to learn.
2. Movie Time
Go to theatres alone. Go to dramas alone. Go to concerts alone. See what you like, whenever you like. It is one of the greatest pleasures.
Don’t worry about the stares of the crowd. You have a high chance of enjoying what you are going to see because it’s your choice.
The best part – nobody will disturb you and no one will complain about how the movie was their waste of time.
3. Go to Subway (Or your Favourite Restaurant)
The good thing that happens when you go alone to eat in Subway is that you can choose your Subs and the ingredients that go with them without any confusion or the fear of not being tasty enough.
If it doesn’t taste good you don’t need to apologize to anyone, just clean your hands and come out (after eating it). Nobody is there to belittle you.
4. Volunteering Alone
Volunteer for something – cleaning, planting saplings, blood donation drive, scribing – anything that comes your way. Make sure that adds value for somebody and not for a political party.
You will feel so good after doing that volunteering activity. You will also meet some great like-minded people.
5. Singing or Dancing Alone
Don’t tell anybody, but do this – Dance or Sing when nobody is around you. You will be smiling for the rest of the day. You don’t need to be good at doing this; that is the point of doing it alone.
Throw your shyness away and dance or sing to your favourite tune. Move your body, let your voice out. You will feel bliss.
6. Join a Workshop or a Community:
Learn things that you are passionate about. Be a part of some community or a club that does something wonderful. Yes, it will involve you being together with people but those people will be from different walks of life.
This will help you connect with different people and outgrow yourself, which you probably wouldn’t do when you are with the same age group of friends.
7. Involve in Hobbies
Reading, Writing, Painting, Journaling, and Meditation are a few of the best hobbies anybody can have. But most people won’t. Nobody knows why. You can do this only when you are alone. By being happy alone, you have an advantage now.
Inculcate a few life-transforming hobbies in your life. Maintain a habit tracker, discipline your self and get things started.
8. Workout Routine
Take care of your body. Do something to stay healthy. Don’t depend on others to go to the gym or starting to practice yoga or running every day. Let others look at you with wonder, let them be inspired by your actions.
Just do it and stay consistent (most important). When you are alone you won’t be affected by someone else’s absence.
9. Take a Walk
Simple it may seem, but try walking alone in the evenings or the early mornings. It will help you relax and make you feel good. While Walking and Talking with several people, what I realized is the power of walking, especially on people’s mental health.
No matter how bad your mood is, go for a walk and you will feel better.
“If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.”Hippocrates
Before you go and stay happy alone, here is something you need to know:
I would like to end this article, with two of my favourite quotes that every solitude lover must be aware of.
The first is from Alexender Supertramp aka Chris McCandless – an American Hiker and explorer whose solo life was made into a book and a movie named “Into the Wild.” It’s a must-watch or must-read for everyone who loves to be alone.
The quote is as follows:
“Happiness is only real when shared”.Into the Wild
The second quote is from one of the greatest authors Charles Bukowski who lived a huge part of his life alone. The quote is as follows:
“Being alone never felt right, sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.”Charles Bukowski
The reason why I share these quotes is, it doesn’t matter how good we feel being alone, it’s always better to be around the right people who love us and whom we love.
I do not advocate that you should always be with people, I don’t advise that you should get married and fall into the constitution of society. Either way, it’s your choice.
What I wish to say is, do not become a complete loner in life. Have a portion of your life for the wonderful people you will come across during your lifetime. Love intensely and be loved.
I thank my roomie Prannes Raj for inspiring me to write this article by his acts and letting me dig a bit deeper into the world of solitude.
I hope you enjoyed the article and have gained a few insights. Do share your ideas on how to stay happy alone in the comments.