It’s possible to be alone AND happy; here’s how!

It’s possible to be alone AND happy; here’s how!

As do many others who promote the principles of positive psychology, here at The Happiness Institute we're often talking and writing about the benefits and importance of positive relationships for health, wellbeing and happiness. 

And it's true; there's no doubt that one of the most significant contributors to happiness and success in life is feeling connected, like you belong, and having good quality relationships in your life. 

That being said, I'm often asked a very good and important question…can you be happy and single or alone? 

And the answer, of course, is…of course you can!

And this Huffington Post article outlines 13 great ways how…

by Tyler Tervooren

As you read this, I'm flying back to The U.S. from China. Alone. While I was there, I ran a marathon. Alone. I stayed in a hotel room alone (mostly). I wandered around Beijing alone. I sat down to eat at the local restaurants alone.

This is normal for me.

Sometimes, people ask, "Tyler, wouldn't you have more fun traveling if you had someone to go with?"

And my answer is always both yes and no.

Traveling with a friend or someone close can be a really rewarding experience. You don't truly know someone until you travel with them, and getting to know someone like that can be a lot of fun (or not!).

But I have just as much fun traveling alone. It's a different experience, but no less enjoyable. When I travel alone, what I learn about is myself. I learn about my own strengths, and I learn about my own weaknesses and insecurities. I've never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.

Traveling isn't the only time being alone is a valuable experience. It can be powerful in any aspect of life.

The World As An Introvert

It seems today — at least in the U.S. — there must be something wrong with you if you're alone. We praise the extroverts — those who know how to handle themselves in a crowd, the ones with vast network of friends. We think working in groups and on teams is the only way to find the answer to a problem. That two heads are better than one. That collaboration is the only way of the future.

But the truth is almost half of the world doesn't agree. I don't feel that way. Sometimes, the rhetoric gets so loud I wonder what's wrong with me when I don't feel like going to parties, or working on big teams, or being the center of attention.

I see my friends going out and wonder what's wrong with me when I want to stay in. I see them collaborating on business projects together, and wonder if there's something wrong with me because I prefer to work alone.

But there's nothing wrong with me. I'm an introvert. And, according to some statistics, there's about a 50 percent chance that you are, too.

If you're an introvert, welcome to the club. There aren't any meetings because we prefer to work alone, but you can at least take some solace in knowing you're not the only one who feels the way you do.

For me, being an introvert doesn't mean I don't enjoy going out or having friends or being the center of attention once in a while. It only means that it's not where I get the most value from my life.

Being "turned on" and in social mode is fun for me, but I can only take it in limited quantities. When I organize an event, I purposefully leave my calendar empty the next day because I know I'll need to rest and recover.

If I'm working on a team, don't ask me to brainstorm — I won't come up with anything useful. But if you leave me alone to think awhile, you might be surprised at what I accomplish.

If you want me to come out with you and your friends, invite me somewhere quiet where we can talk. I get value from my relationships by getting to know you much more than just being around you.

And if you're an extrovert, don't assume there's no value in this for you. In the same way I can enjoy myself in a big group, you may find you can also enjoy yourself… all by yourself. There is great value in being alone. And handling it well is a beautiful thing.

At the very least, it's a useful life skill. You can't always control when there will be someone there for you, so being able to happily conduct yourself alone is an important part of being alive.

13 Rules For Being Alone And Being Happy About It

The following are 13 rules I try to live by when it comes to being alone. They add enormous value to my life.

Whether you're an introvert trying to make your way in an extrovert's world, or an extrovert learning to become better at being on your own, I hope they add some value to your life as well.

1. Understand you're good enough all by yourself.

You're a valuable person, and you don't need the approval of anyone else for that to be true. When you're alone, remind yourself that it's because you choose to be. It really is a choice.

It's very easy to find someone to spend time with, but when you have high standards for the people you allow into your life, you're telling yourself that you're better off by yourself than with someone who isn't a great fit for you.

2. Value others' opinions, but value your own more.

Don't ask for advice unless you truly need it. Instead, ask yourself for advice. If you knew the answer to the problem that you have, what would it be?

That's your answer. The more time you spend asking yourself for advice, the less you start to need input from others. When you trust yourself to solve problems, you become a much stronger and more confident person, and you take on challenges that you wouldn't have felt capable of before.

3. Learn to be an observer.

I've always held the belief that if you aren't able to take interest in something, it says more about you than whatever it is you find uninteresting.

To truly enjoy being alone, learn to look at ordinary situations in new and unfamiliar ways. Go to the park and watch people play with their children or their dogs. Go to the grocery store and watch how people shop for their groceries.

Everywhere you go, make an effort to understand the other people around you. Learning how people operate when they think no one is watching will make you feel more connected to them…

…keep reading the full and original article HERE