17 Simple Ways to Be Happy Without Friends

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Can we all agree it’s a bit “challenging” to be human right now?

There is so much differencing of opinions these days, ranging from politics to the validity of vaccines.

Yet, as we debate truth, trends and who to trust… there is still one viewpoint we can all agree upon. The belief that every decision we make should help up to grow as individuals and, ultimately, find our true happiness and purpose… even if it means losing some friends along the way.  

Married or single, black or white, left or right… life is always better once you’ve found true happiness.

Sometimes that includes friends, sometimes it means going at it alone. And that’s okay.

In this article, I will touch upon what makes a true friendship… as well as offer 17 secrets for how to be happy without friends and happy in your own skin.

True Friends are Hard to Come By

If living in a world heavily influenced by social media has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t need a gaggle of fake friends once we learn to be happy with ourselves.

In fact, reading too much into the comments of those so called “friends” can often cause more harm than good… forcing you to second guess yourself and your core beliefs.   

Jim Rohn famously said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. It’s quite possible they may be the only five”. (Watch the video below to discover the five key lessons you can learn from Rohn's quote and how it can help improve your life.)

He may have been onto something. After all, my mother always said to count ourselves lucky if I could count my true friends on one hand. The ones that would be there to support me in a moment, without hesitation.  

But what if that isn’t the case? I mean, as we get older and our priorities shift, what we need from friendships changes as well.

Case in point, my friends without children, have no real idea of what it’s like to be in a friendship with a parent.  It’s hard for them to understand why I have to turn down invites to happy hour because my child has a soccer game and the other a scout meeting.

So isn’t it better to prioritize self-care, discover true happiness, and choose wisely in the friend department? Too many of us had to learn the hard way that choosing the wrong kind of friends can lead to a handful of heartaches.

Discovering happiness comes from finding balance in your life.

How would you determine if your life is out of balance? Would you like to learn how to re-align and achieve more peace, harmony, and happiness in your life? Trust me, it’s possible.  

Take Care of Your Body

Each day I make decisions that show how committed I am to care for the only body I receive in this life. Part of my happiness comes from the gift of being able to move freely. The other part comes from knowing that happiness is good for my health!  

Tip #1: Moves Like Jagger

My body loves exercise. Okay, when my internal clock gets me up at 5AM and it’s 16 degrees outside, my body may try to convince me to stay underneath the warmth of my down comforter.

But, when I exercise regularly, my body feels lighter and mentally sharp. I have the energy I need to embrace the challenges of life when I stay committed to my exercise routine.

Practice some affirmations about staying physically fit and watch happiness happen.

  • I love to make my body move.
  • I trip over my fitness goals by leaving my workout gear by my bed or by my front door.
  • I make time to exercise even if my usual schedule is out of whack.
  • I stay active between workouts by using the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the far end of the parking lot, riding my bike to work, or walking to speak with workmates instead of texting or calling them.
  • I go to the gym before work, during lunch, or on my way home.
  • I listen to my body and know when I need to rest and recover.
  • I prioritize training at home by designing a space where I can move freely, lift weights, do yoga, ride an exercise bike, or run the stairs in my apartment complex.
  • My workouts are safe, balanced, and effective because I keep my heart health, strength, and flexibility in mind.

Tip #2: Eat to Live for Happiness

I remember when I discovered that eating a clean, whole-food, plant-based diet made me feel a lot better than packing on the pounds with sugary snacks, fast food, and highly caloric menu options.

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Eating a clean, whole-food, plant-based diet will make you feel a lot better than eating unhealthy foods.

Fueling my body for nourishment instead of “comfort” gives my skin a healthy glow and flushes the toxins out of my system for ultimate health. Also, I have a bonus. Strangers never believe me when I reveal my age!

Tip #3: You Are What You Eat

May this serve as a happiness challenge for us all.  What we put in our bodies can affect our emotional wellbeing.

If you’re like me, you love how you feel when you’re in great shape. Self-confidence soars and moods elevate when we give our bodies the nutrition they deserve.

As we discover that our happiness isn’t dependent on our friends, we can consider the following questions about the health impacts of happiness.

  • Do I pay attention to what my body is telling me?
  • Do I watch my caffeine intake?
  • What can I include in my diet to increase happiness hormones?
  • What processed foods do I eat on a regular basis?
  • How can I add more plant-based foods to my diet?
  • How can I include more organic fruits and vegetables in my diet?

Tip #4: Make Time for Down Time

I take time to relax because it prevents my body from running down. I recognize that, like other machinery, my body needs down time to refuel and return to maximum operating capacity.

When asking how to reduce stress and make room for happiness, consider these feel-good movie greats.  

Tip #5: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

I’m the kind of person who desperately needs a solid 8 hours of sleep. Okay, maybe 9-12. But I digress. Without adequate daily rest, my happiness level plummets fast.

Our bodies respond in healthy ways to stressful situations when they receive sufficient rest.Do yourself a favor and equip your body with the energy it needs to make it through challenging times like we face today.

Tip #6: Eliminate Stress

Stress affects us physiologically and triggers biological changes in our hormones and blood pressure. When researchers maxed out the stress levels of psychology students, the hearts of the happiest students recovered most quickly.

Tip #7: Journal Your Joys

When participants reported how happy, excited, and content they were multiple times in a single day, they were 35% less likely to die over the next five years than their unhappier counterparts.

Choose Work You Love and Live Within Your Means

How to be happy without friends also has a lot to do with vocational happiness and financial freedom.

Life is too short to not do the things you enjoy… this includes your profession.

There were times in my life when money was causing massive headaches and career options were looking rather grim. That can be a real bummer on both fronts!

Whether employees or entrepreneurs, we spend most of our waking hours at work. Did you know a secret to happiness can be found in choosing work we love? It can also be discovered when we learn the lost art of living within our means.

Here are some areas to consider for smart career and money decisions. These can keep us on the path of learning how you can find happiness, regardless of your social status.

Tip #8: Prioritize Work-Life Balance

When my work and life are out of balance, it’s a lot harder to cultivate happiness. Regularly asking a few simple questions allows me to ascertain where I may need to make some changes in my work life.

  • Am I a workaholic?
  • Do I use work as an excuse for avoiding people?
  • Do I fully enjoy other activities when I’m not at work?
  • Do I accept work phone calls after hours?
  • How often do work worries keep me awake at night?

Tip #9: Find Financial Freedom

Living within our means is one way to find happiness. Studies show that most Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency. Talk about increased stress and sadness!

Here are some questions to consider about raising your happiness ratio in the money department.

  • Are my finances under control?
  • Are there any bills that I can eliminate?
  • What are some of my favorite enjoyable and affordable activities?
  • What do I spend money on that is non-essential?
  • Have I created my budget?
  • Are debt worries causing me stress?
  • How do I think my financial freedom is tied to my happiness?

We’ve all been there. Sometimes things are going great and life’s firing on all cylinders. And other times…

Well, let’s just say it’s okay to hit a few bumps in the road.

Be encouraged, dust yourself off, and get right back on the road to happiness.

Find Your “Why”

Spiritual happiness plays a big part in how to be happy without friends.

Concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl learned how to be happy without friends when everyone he loved was murdered by the Nazis. Developing his theory of logotherapy, Frankl shared how striving to find meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man.

Tip #10: Want What You Have

Another great happiness equation simply states that “Satisfaction (or happiness) = What you have ÷ What you want.”

The Dalai Lama put it like this, “We need to learn how to want what we have, not to have what we want, in order to get steady and stable happiness.

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Happiness does not depend on others, it depends on you.

Happiness isn’t dependent on others. Choosing to find joy can make life worth living.

Consider the following questions in your quest for happiness.

  • Which parts of my life are making me unhappy or limiting my happiness?
  • Am I living in my life’s purpose? If not, how can I start today?
  • How does my life compare to 5 years ago?
  • What will my life look like in 5 years?
  • What can I do today to start moving toward the future I desire?

Tip #11: Practice Gratitude

Pause throughout each day to consider everything you are grateful for. As you practice the art of gratitude, you'll feel happier almost instantly.

Stop Letting Your Thoughts Control You

Being happy isn’t dependent on other people. In fact, research suggests that 40% of people’s happiness comes from the choices they make.

Tip #12: Choose Joy

Happiness is a choice you make many times throughout the day. Happiness is more likely to occur when we realize the secret. We get to choose.

Will we choose lives of joyful happiness or not?

Tip #13: Harness the Power of Positive Thinking

We often forget a simple principle in human behavior. What we focus on gets bigger.

When looking for ways to increase happiness, we need to look at the ratio of positivity versus negativity in our lives. All over the world, self-help gurus suggest increasing happiness, prosperity, and health comes from mastering the power of positive thinking.

Ask yourself. How negative is my self-talk? What can I do to make it more positive?

Develop Positive Habits

Habits that relieve stress, promote harmony and harness happiness will help you be happy without friends.

Now that we know how our habits can influence health, harmony, and happiness, it’s time to consider the practice of daily habits that can keep us on track.

Tip #14: Out with the Old, In with the New

When my current habits negatively impact my health and mental tranquility, I need a reality check to invite new habits that will serve me better. While considering how to be happy without friends, it’s beneficial to clean out the closet of relationships that aren’t mutually beneficial.

Tip #15: Eliminate Negativity

Some days it seems impossible to stay positive. Before negative habits cause stress or disharmony, create positive placeholders that can immediately put you back on track.

On her radio show, Dr. Laura Schlessinger used to tell her listeners that before they could complain about what wasn’t going well in life, she needed them to think of five positive things to say.

If you want to have a life of happiness, remember this gem: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Tip #16: Fix Your Eyes on the Big Picture

If you adopted all we’ve mentioned so far, how much happier would you be?

Don’t get overwhelmed. Start with a habit that will be easiest to implement.

Stay focused on the ultimate end game. Happiness will follow.

Mindfulness is the art of being fully present with what’s happening right now. As you look at ways to increase your happiness without friends, it’s important to stop lamenting the past, don’t worry about the future, and find ways to be happy now.

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Tip #17: Prioritize Self Care

One of the positive habits noted for increasing happiness is good self-care. Explore some ideas for developing this habit below.

List 30 things you enjoy doing. And please don’t say “taxes.” Even if that’s true, let’s focus on a treat you like to give yourself or something you love to do — just for fun.

Make a commitment to do one thing on your list each day for the next two months. Most experts say it can take that long to form a new habit.

Don’t complicate it. The list should include simple joys like watching the sunrise, enjoying a bubble bath, or hitting balls at the driving range.

Final Thoughts on How to Be Happy without Friends

By reflecting on the level of happiness in my own life, I can regularly “check in” to see what needs to be adjusted on my happiness journey.  

What do I have plenty of? What do I seek more of? What do I look forward to most every day? What makes me sad in my life? What makes me feel stressed or negative? What gives me pure joy?

I urge you to regularly check in with yourself. This will help you reduce stress, find joy, and bring your happiness back in balance.

And, if you’re like me and need some inspiration when you get stuck, check out our article that shares strategies for A Month of Happiness.

Before you know it, you’ll be back on the happy track!

And if you're looking for more helpful resources, check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to increase your happiness and life satisfaction, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.

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