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Published on November 20, 2020

How To Be Happy Single And Live Your Best Life

How To Be Happy Single And Live Your Best Life

Are you struggling to be happy single?

Being single is seen by some as a state of loneliness. Because of how lonely it can be, many people stay stuck in loveless and unhappy relationships, they do not want to feel that emptiness that comes with being single.

First of all, that’s a lie that should not be held onto. Admittedly, getting out of a relationship can be hard. It is like falling off a boat you have been on for so long, right into the cold waters, trying to learn how to swim and navigate through the waters again. Of course, all of this would not matter if you can breathe underwater.

You Can Be Happy Single, and Live Your Best Life

You do not need to feel like you are drowning, or like the entire world is resting completely on your shoulders. Being single is not a bad thing. You have to start seeing singlehood as something other than the absence of a partner and start seeing it as a phase of personal rediscovery and self-love.

Yes, having a partner makes life beautiful, but being single does not make life any less beautiful, if anything it brings a sense of peace that you may not get from being in a relationship. At some point in your life, it is easy to be stuck wondering how to be happy single and live your best life. However, the first thing you need to understand is that you are completely in charge of your own happiness.

Putting the responsibility of your happiness on someone other than yourself is both selfish and a tad disturbing. Selfish because that is way too much burden to place on someone. When someone comes into your life, it should be that they are adding to pre-existing happiness, not bringing happiness to an unhappy life.

When you place that burden on someone, you are inadvertently making it difficult for them to do things that make them happy, which may make you unhappy. This means that if at some point in their life, they decide that the relationship is no longer working, and they want to move on, they can’t. They have to worry about you relapsing into a large hole of sadness. That is a very selfish thing to do.

It is disturbing because you are a living breathing human who should be able to be in charge of your life. Releasing the reins of your life, something as important as your happiness to someone else for whatever reason is not a good move. You should be able to handle things as important as your emotions without completely giving up that aspect of your life to someone else. Babies do not even depend on their parents for happiness, and they are unconscious of things.

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They find happiness in silly things like sprouting grass, a dot on a carpet, an animal painted on a wall, and the funny movement in the ‘Baby shark’ video. Now, as an adult where you are completely in charge of your life and decisions, consciously making decisions, it is disturbing that you will give up control of your happiness.

The Perks of Being Single

It is said that when you have been single for a long time, getting into a relationship is hard, because you have become so comfortable with being alone, and bringing someone into the mix suddenly sounds like a lot. As you read further, you will see how to be happy single; however, believe it or not, there are a lot of benefits of being single. So, before we go into how you can be happy single, here are some of the surprisingly amazing benefits of being single.

Your Support System Grows

As a single person, even though you do not mean for it to happen, you find yourself completely dependent on your partner. When something bad happens at work, they are the first one you tell. When something good happens they are the first you tell, too. You rely on them for support advice and help. They are always there, yes. However, what this does is that, when they leave your life, you are saddled with the shocking thought that you are all alone.

This is usually why individuality is preached to people in relationships. You should always be able to have people with whom you can lean on and share things. When you are single, you have a network of support systems, instead of being tied down to one person.

This also allows for diverse views when you need advice. More importantly, when you win, the applause of 10 people is louder than the applause of one. More so, statistics have shown that single people, while they have a group of close friends they can always reach up to, it is also easier for them to get help from friends, than it is for those in relationships.[1]

Your Time Is Yours and Yours Alone

When you are single, you do not make plans for anyone but you. Your time is your own. You could decide to go out, and then change your mind almost immediately, and no one will be mad at you for it.

There is also no one crashing into an already arranged schedule and making you change your entire plans. You also do not have to make time for anything that is not exactly beneficial to you. You don’t have to share your time with someone and explain why you need some time off. Not being in a relationship means you can just take your time off without explanations.

You Spend Money on Yourself Alone

Being single means that you have less financial responsibilities. Forget what Jennifer Lopez said; love does cost a thing. It costs a lot of money. It costs money for dates. It costs money on gifts for Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries.

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Love requires money. When you are single, you do not have those financial responsibilities, which means your credit card is yours to max out alone. Or not.

There Is Less Anxiety

See, when a random friend texts you and says “Hey, we need to talk.” You think of the last time you both talked, shrug, and decide that it is mostly not important anyway. Chances are you might even forget you got that message as time goes on.

However, when you are in a relationship and your partner texts you with that, best believe you will spend the entire day with an abnormal heart rate, trips to the toilet, and sweaty palms.

Because even though the both of you were really good before you left the house for work, that message sends a lot of thoughts spiraling out of control in your mind, and they will continue flying until you have the conversation.

These benefits seem small and rather inconsequential, but do you really not want to live your life with fewer anxieties, financial constraints, more time and a larger support system? Now, let us love the right to the important part, how to be happy single and live your best life.

Do All the Fun Things Alone

It is funny when people walk up to people who are at the bar alone and ask them “waiting for someone?” Who gave the rules that people could not go to bars alone? You can go to bars alone; you can go to movies alone, you can go to a restaurant alone.

Fun things are better enjoyed alone; maybe you will need to drink a little more responsibly so you can drive home, but yeah.

When you do all these things alone, you learn how to appreciate the little things of life that come from enjoying alone. On a lighter note, if you are a crier, you need not be ashamed when you want to cry out your eyes when watching a cheesy movie. When you can go from movies to clubs to parks alone, you will realize how exhilarating it is.

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Go on a Vacation Alone

Still, on doing things alone, that place you have always wanted to visit, take your passport, save up for it and take that trip alone. Meet beautiful people, take pictures, kiss a random stranger, laugh loudly, eat strange foods, be happy, dance with locals, simply do all the wonderful things that you can do while traveling alone.

Make Friends

You are not an island, you need a support system, create one. Meet new friends of both genders, take pictures, have sleepovers, get drunk too. This is an important way to make sure that you can always get the help you need.

When you are in a relationship, it might be difficult to foster a relationship with other people, because you may not have time for them, as it can be exhausting to split your attention like that.

But when you are single, you do not need to split your attention, you just need to focus it on people who are there for you. Also, be there for them too, be the person they can lean on, you may not believe this, but a certain sense of fulfillment and happiness comes from being the one who makes others feel better.

Give Yourself a Break

It is easy to beat yourself up over small failures and mistakes, there is also the part where you begin to think that your inability to keep relationships is why you are single. It is not true. Be easy on yourself, forgive yourself, be happy with the strides that you have taken, look at the good stud you have done alone, and be proud of yourself. When you are too hard on yourself, depriving yourself of self-love, care, and forgiveness, you find yourself being continually happy.

You will notice that you are seeking validation from another person to show you the good in you. You need to understand that when you do not see and appreciate the good in you, no one else will.

If by some stroke of luck, someone decides to remind you of your awesomeness, you will be dependent on that person for approval, and when you do not get it, you will sink right back into unhappiness. How to be happy single is by telling yourself that you are an awesome single.

Get Involved in Activities

Do not spend time brooding over what has been lost, that is pathetic. Get involved with activities and immerse yourself in them. Enjoy getting involved in these beautiful moments, bask in them, relish the experience. Chase your goals, do all the things that you never used to have time for. Take that online course that you never seemed to find time for before now.

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Bask in the opportunity to be a better person. Join the team in your neighborhood to volunteer at the dog shelter. Visit kids at the hospital and hand out balloons and stuffed animals. Doing this will increase your chance of finding that inner happiness. When night comes and you want to reminisce, it would not be of your failed relationships, it will be of the fulfilled life you are currently living.

Do Something Unusual

What is that thing you say you will never be caught dead doing? Do it.

If you are often the prim and proper type, do something crazy and adventurous. If you are often the crazy type, it might be time to wear a formal outfit and attend an event where you have to consciously try to not unleash your crazy.

Does that sound hard? That is exactly why you should do it. stretch yourself and unleash that person that your friends and family can swear never existed. The silliness of it will make you laugh, cringe, laugh again and marvel at the things you can do when you feel unhinged.

Final Thoughts

Life is beautiful, and while it is enjoyed while coupled off, it can also be enjoyed to the fullness while alone.

You do not have to be unhappy because you are alone; there are so many things to find happiness in.

How to be happy single and live your best life? Live like the world ends today and there will be no tomorrow.

More on Self Love

Featured photo credit: Şahin Sezer Dinçer via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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