Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 09-29-2017 Comments: 0
When you’re single, people tend to assume you’d be happier if you were coupled up. You probably get unsolicited advice and fruitless offers to set you up with a cousin’s friend’s nephew. While friends and family might have your best interests at heart, happiness is accessible to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.
While being in a relationship can understandably bring a certain level of joy and excitement to your life, ultimately, you can cultivate those feelings yourself. In fact, even after you’re coupled, whether or not you are happy is entirely up to you, not the person you’re dating.
That’s right, the “happily ever after” scenario isn’t dependent on your Prince. It’s up to you to create your own happy life.
Here are some ways to cultivate happiness in your life right now:
When you don’t have to check in with someone, you can structure your free time however you please. Want to catch a late movie with a friend, or take a last-minute trip to the country to go backpacking, or meet your work colleague for a happy hour at a new bar? All of these spur-of-the-moment decisions are one of the benefits of being single. So take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Practice gratitude every day.
I take this one seriously, because when I’m in a bad mood, sometimes the only thing that lifts my spirit is remembering what I’m grateful for. This includes the little things. I’m thankful for that cup of coffee at my favorite neighborhood spot, or the fact that I can take a yoga class or go on a hike. I remind myself of the people who are most important, and give them a call or send an email. When you express gratitude, it changes your perspective.
Spend time with friends.
Friendships are sacred no matter your relationship status – they are with you through good times and bad. Spending time with them, scheduling brunches or movie night or whatever you’re in the mood to do, can fill your heart. Keep your friends close, and nurture those relationships. If you’re lonely, it also helps to widen your social circle and meet new people if you’re feeling bored or stifled. Friendships develop when you are putting in the effort, too.
Make time for your own peace of mind.
We all need a little down time to recharge, and sometimes it’s hard to do when you’re in a relationship. Both you and your partner have separate obligations that can take up extra time for both of you. When you’re single, you can take an evening off to unwind, or spend a weekend in nature, or just take a break and walk your dog or take a hot bath. When you know you can make time for yourself and do, you have more peace of mind.
Take charge of your life.
Instead of waiting on someone else to take you on a trip, or suggest a plan for the weekend, or make you a four-course dinner, you do it yourself. This means you don’t have to wait, or do someone else’s version of what you really crave. It also means conquering your fear of the unknown, of making a mistake, of trying something new. There’s much excitement and adventure to be had when you’re single – the trick is actually encouraging yourself to do it. Be fearless.
Cultivate happiness on your own terms. What does happiness look like for you? Share your thoughts in the comments!