A large number of people live as singles. In 2012, 44.1 percent of Americans aged over 18 were single. That's 102 million people. Linda Waite's and Maggie Gallagher's book 'The Case for Marriage' suggests that married couples are happier and healthier. However, having lived as a happy and healthy single for decades myself, I'd like to share five daily routines for being happy alone.
- Wake up and exercise. I know it's hard and does not come naturally for most of us. But exercising first thing in the morning is one of the most energising and rewarding things you can do to boost your happiness. Your circulation gets going while endorphins rush through your body and fill every cell with life energy. And as if this were not enough reward, you get to treat yourself with breakfast afterwards which, like anything, is much more enjoyable when earned and deserved.
- Meditate. The simple act of sitting in stillness every day eradicates worries and brings you closer to yourself. Just 15 minutes in the mornings and 15 minutes in the evenings can bring great benefits and a higher sense of intrinsic peace and happiness to you. You can start right now with a 5 minutes meditation. Set yourself an alarm clock and find a comfortable sitting position. Now focus on your respiration. Capture every breath with your attention being aware of the sensations of every in- and out breath. Focus on the little area below your nostrils, abover your upper lip, and feel the touch of your breath on your skin. Your breath might go through the left nostril, the right nostril or at times through both the nostrils. Just be aware and observe the sensations. When your mind starts to wander, simply come back to your breath when you recognise it. This simple exercise done regularly, helps you being comfortable and happy within yourself.
- Be self-affirming. One reason many people struggle to be happy alone is because of negative self-talk. Repeating, 'I'll always be single', 'I hate being alone', 'I'll never be happy until I find someone', can only lead to discontent and unhappiness. Instead, cultivate an inner culture of joy and positivity - watch what you say to yourself, and if it's not affirming, don't let it stick around. Speaking out loud is a very powerful way to affirm yourself - phrases like, 'I'm excited about today and what it will bring', 'I love having the space to explore my interests', 'I am a confident, fun person that people enjoy being around' and similar statements are all great mood-enhancers. Create affirmations that are specific to you and make sure you've got your own back - after all, at the end of the day, you're the only one who can really make you happy.
- Get out and socialise. Being happy alone does not mean you need to be alone all the time. In fact, feeling connected to others is quite important to our state of well-being. All it takes is getting out there with the intention to meet people and being genuinely interested in finding their passions and interests. Everyone has at least one treasure - something interesting to tell, something to teach or some hidden talent for you to discover. Go out with the intention to search for peoples treasures and you'll make friends faster than you can count.
- Develop your passions. See being alone as an opportunity to find and develop your passions. To find your passion follow what is most fun - it's that simple. If you don't know what you're passionate about, try out the things others are passionate about until one feels right. Then commit to it with abandon. Develop it knowing that a passion takes time and continuous effort to fully blossom. View the time spent as an investment in your intrinsic happiness. And as you passion grows, so does the likelyhood that you'll attract people into your life who share your passion.
If you consistently follow these guiding principles, you have no choice but to be happy! Embrace your singleness and enjoy the simple pleasure that comes from being happy alone.