Some people say that happiness is best shared, but I believe the saying, "It's better to be alone than in bad company" fits more with my personal experience. I'm not saying that sharing moments with friends and other people isn't important.
But I am saying that you can be genuinely happy forging your own path. If you can't be happy alone, who or what could ever make you happy? Quiet your mind and be open to the realization that your happiness isn't dependent on external circumstances. It's all up to you.
When you can learn to be your own best friend, you will never feel bored or lonely. Whether you end up traveling alone, spending a Friday night at home, or eating at a restaurant by yourself, you'll have an amazing time without having to worry about anyone else.
Plus, when you learn to spend quality time alone, your time with friends becomes even more valuable.
1. Get to know yourself as if you were someone else.
It often feels like very successful people complain about being depressed. And often times, this surprises us. But those who over-extend themselves — whether by chasing career goals, studying, and/or cultivating a packed social life — can deprive themselves of alone time to re-charge.
Without adequate time alone, we can start feeling lost and ungrounded. Without enough time to "listen" to what our minds and bodies are telling us, it's difficult to reconnect with our inner selves, to assess what our present needs and desires are.
So next time you find yourself facing "alone time," and don't know what to do or feel anxious about it, use the time as an opportunity to ask yourself questions. Do I want to relax? Do I want to read? Engage with yourself as if you were your family member or close friend.
If you want to relax, don't hesitate! Light a candle, draw a hot bath and indulge yourself. If you want to keep yourself busy, it can be incredibly helpful to find a passion you can spend time on alone — whether it be yoga, meditation, playing or listening to music, reading, and so on.
Whatever helps you focus on yourself and makes you happy is important. Recognize that, and believe it!
2. Really accept that you're not perfect.
While we should be (and can be!) our own best friends, we can also be our own worst enemy who kicks us when we're down. But feelings of self-hatred don't get us anywhere; in fact, they drag us down.
Plain and simple, the sooner you fully accept yourself, the happier you'll be. If you can find time just to focus on the unavoidable fact that you are not perfect and will never be perfect, letting go of perfectionism will be easier.
The beautiful girl you may idealize walking down the street beside you has an inner life — and she may not be happy. Or even if she is, she struggles with other insecurities, issues and questions. Everyone has fears, complexes and personal issues to solve.
Put your own doubts in context — that is, everyone has them! Just as you wouldn't hate on your friend for his self-doubts, don't judge yourself.
3. Don't overanalyze! Other people care less than you think.
Do things that you like, whether you have company or not. You'll appreciate the taste of your food more in a restaurant and you'll be able to focus during movies and concerts more than you could ever hope for with a guest.
Don't overthink or care about what strangers think of you. Understand one thing: you don't have time in your life for judgmental people! Most of the time we try guessing what other people think about us. But people live in their own reality and that doesn't leave much time for criticizing strangers. Don't let egocentrism and overanalyzing get the better of you.
4. Travel alone.
Traveling alone may sound scary, but it's an opportunity to meet new people and step outside of your "comfort zone." Even if it feels scary at first, the challenging aspects can actually help you find potential resolutions to personal problems you may be facing.
Things become clearer from a distance. And remember, you don't have to backpack and travel solo for half a year (however I highly recommend doing this at least once). You can be a tourist even in your hometown!
The main idea here is to make a concerted effort to go somewhere new and explore. It will help you explore your thoughts, needs and desires, and figure out how to be a better friend to yourself.
Remember that you can do whatever you would usually do with other people. Period. But enjoy the fact that you only have yourself to please and you can spend as much time as you like anywhere you want
By actively cultivating a healthy relationship with your inner self, you'll not only be happier — but your positive energy will spread to all the people that you allow into your world.