How to make yourself happy when you are sad? You don’t have to be lonely if you spend time alone. Alone time may help you learn more about yourself, enhance your mental health, and accomplish things you like.
“Humans are social creatures that are predisposed to interact with others. At the same time, it’s critical to learn to endure and even enjoy lengthy times of solitude “Heather Z. Lyons, Ph.D., owner of Baltimore Therapy Group in Baltimore, Maryland, agrees.
How to make yourself happy when you are sad
Here are some methods to learn how to make yourself happy when you are sad, whether it’s choice or necessary:
1. Acquire new knowledge
When you’re alone, take the initiative to absorb and acquire new knowledge or practice a skill. “This might include tasks like reading or producing that need executive functioning abilities like attention,” Lyons adds.
“Think about doing something different than usual: this is a perfect opportunity to try something new or take a video lesson,” Tessina suggests to reply on how to make yourself happy when you are sad.
2. Establish a connection with yourself.
Being alone allows you to cultivate your relationship with yourself. However, doing so isn’t always simple.
“Alone time can be challenging for folks for a variety of reasons,” Lyons adds. “Make the most of the discomfort by learning more about yourself. When you’re alone, think about what comes up for you.”
You may accomplish this, for example, by pondering or journaling about your values, likes, dislikes, and present feelings.
3. Go on a date with yourself
While it may seem simple to pursue what you enjoy, you rarely get the opportunity to accomplish exactly what you want.
“The majority of individuals have never had a long amount of time to focus only on their preferences. During your alone time, give yourself permission to question yourself, “What do I truly want to be doing?” “Jeni Woodfin, LMFT, of J. Woodfin Counseling in San Jose, California, agrees.
Take yourself to a movie or a new museum exhibition. Alternatively, if you prefer to remain home, prepare your favorite dinner.
4. Become a volunteer
From 1996 to 2014, participants in a major 2020 research in the United Kingdom answered a survey every two years on their general mental well-being and volunteering activities.
Volunteering at least once a month was associated with greater mental health than volunteering seldom or never.
You may even do it from the comfort of your own home. Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., LMFT, a psychotherapist in Long Beach, California, suggests “volunteering to instruct kids through video or donating to a food bank.”
5. Take some time to meditate.
Meditating not only improves mindfulness but also increases gray matter in the brain, according to a 2010 study. Perspective-taking and emotional control are two functions of this region of the brain.
While the concept of meditation may be frightening, the actual practice is simple. You can meditate alone or with the aid of apps or videos on YouTube.
Being physically active can help you to be happier. According to Leela R. Magavi, MD, a psychiatrist and regional medical director of Community Psychiatry in Newport Beach, California, “taking a regular, thoughtful stroll or indulging in any sort of physical activity might reduce anxiety.”
Researchers discovered that those who exercised frequently had 43.2 percent fewer days of poor mental health in the preceding month than those who were sedentary in a major 2018 study.
7. Take a social media break.
While social media may appear to provide an opportunity to interact with people, it can also increase feelings of isolation to learn how to make yourself happy when you are sad.
Major research of students aged 18 to 30 years old published in 2019 revealed a link between social media use and feelings of loneliness. Users reported a 13 percent rise in feelings of isolation for every 10% increase in bad encounters on social media.
8. Adopt or foster a pet you like
Yes, technically, this would provide you with a friend, but a pet cannot converse with you, therefore it counts.
“Having an animal in your house establishes a bond that may offer you joy, laughter, and unexpected challenges that will keep you on your toes,” Woodfin adds. “Animals motivate us to get out of bed. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, having a pet who needs to go for a walk is a win-win situation.”
9. Spend time outside.
People who spent at least two hours in nature over the course of a week were considerably more likely to report higher well-being and health than those who spent no time outside, according to a major 2019 study.
The effects were unaffected by whether time was spent outside in little increments or in large chunks, and the advantages peaked at 200 to 300 minutes per week spent outside. Take a long stroll, read in the park, or simply relax outside.
10. Be grateful for what you have.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of your life.
“I tell my patients to make a list of things they’re grateful for physically, emotionally, and spiritually every morning and evening, especially if they’re feeling lonely around the holidays,” Magavi adds. “Creating appreciation lists and reading them out in front of a mirror might also assist target numerous sensory regions in the brain, maximizing the advantages of this exercise.”
When should you consult a professional?
If anxiety and sadness persist or worsen over time, professional help may be required. According to Woodfin, there are a few indicators that you should seek professional help:
- Taking your look for granted or not changing your clothing for several days
- Refusing invitations to interact with people on a regular basis
- Spending the entire day in bed or on the couch
- To numb or excite yourself, you may overindulge in alcohol, marijuana, or other substances.
“The warning signals of increasing isolation, increased drug and/or alcohol use, and a reduction in bodily care and maintenance are significant enough that contacting a mental health expert would be beneficial,” Woodfin adds.
It doesn’t have to be a solitary time to spend time alone. Instead, it may be a happy occasion. Nature walks, writing, and meditation are all good things to do.
It’s always advisable to get treatment from a mental health expert if you suspect you’re suffering from anxiety or despair and learn how to make yourself happy when you are sad.
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