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Published on November 20, 2020

How To Be Happy Single And Live Your Best Life

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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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Reference

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Jacqueline T. Hill

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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