Happiness and the Single Person; Changing Myth Into Reality

Does the expression "single and happy" sound like an oxymoron to you? Are you weary of others (especially other singles) reinforcing the belief that singles cannot be happy? Do you find yourself always planning for the future or putting things off until you "are married and settled? Do you often have a sense that the intense feelings of happiness and joy cannot really be experienced unless you "have someone to share it with?" Do you just feel there is not enough time and other necessary resources available to the single person to pursue experiences that can bring true happiness?

If the above resonates in your gut, do not despair. The following tips will offer ways to help you experience your present reality differently through changing behavior that is based on those negative (false) beliefs. Essentially, these tips will offer advice on how to live a joyful, fulfilling and balanced single life, which will also assist you in achieving a healthy, long- term, intimate relationship.

· Seek self-fulfillment as an individual.

Place emphasis on being truly alive and experiencing the things that bring you true pleasure. Do not let the feelings of peace and wonder slip from your life as you wait to share (beautiful sunsets) and other gifts of life with a future partner.

Do not place your focus on "getting there." Instead, learn to experience the journey of life. If you can only see the goal of a relationship - marriage, home, children, etc., you will not enjoy the experiences along life's way.

A good analogy for this is that of a person who bikes and sets (ie), a 40-mile goal for the day. They plan and prepare and off they go. The trip consists of thoughts about getting there, watching for problems in the road ahead, measuring the distance and looking forward to the sense of relief and accomplishment when the goal is met.

What about the sensory experiences missed along the way? This biker will not see the way the sun is reflecting on the river. They will not hear the sounds of the birds and other wildlife in the parallel world around them. The smells of fresh vegetation, moist soil and spring-drenched air will not reach their awareness. It is doubtful their mind will trip and play with thoughts of other (perhaps childhood) days like this.

In other words, they will not be IN the experience, just racing through it, and missing the magic available all around them.

· Do not put off important life decisions while waiting for that special someone.

If your desire is to own your own home, work towards achieving this now. Yes, it may be smaller than if you had a partner to share it with. Your list of must-haves with this first home may be different (as yours alone) than they would be if you were looking for a family. When that time comes, you can make the decision to remain there for a time, or sell/rent out your first place. In the meantime, you will have an investment that you can make into something that meets your needs now for comfortable and secure living. It will add stability and be a wonderful help at tax time.

If you are thinking about making a career change or going back to school for a degree, there is no better time than now.

Yes, this may involve re-working priorities, moving, giving up some income, etc. If this is something you have decided you want for your life, delaying it until you are settled in a relationship may make it impossible to achieve. Make that move now. Do not let this time in your life be placed on hold as you wait for things to happen in your life, instead of working to make them become reality.

· Pamper yourself

Do nice things for yourself now that you have been putting off until?

Go ahead and take that trip to the exotic place you have always wanted to visit. You can return there someday with your special someone.

Make it a habit to set the table for your dinner (for one). Use nice china and candles. Treat yourself as deserving of the things couples routinely provide to themselves as a unit. Ask yourself, am I less deserving because I am single?

Put care and love into how you decorate your home. It does not have to cost a lot of money or become another chore to accomplish this. Make it a comfortable nest and retreat from the world. You and your future mate can decide together what to keep, change or add to.

* Make a plan, not excuses

Make time for the things that matter. Do not let your job or other responsibilities take over your life. Set those priorities. Set limits on work and other functional tasks. We often cite work as our best excuse for not attending to our other needs and wants. This may mean making less money or not moving up as fast in the organization.

Without balance, there will be deficits in the emotional, spiritual, and social and leisure areas of your life. Write down your must haves.

Take time out each day for unwinding and relaxation. Keep a weekly inventory of how you are doing and make adjustments as necessary.

Learn how to productively "waste time". Turn off the blackberry and TV. Spend time alone with your thoughts. Reflect on your feelings and your life.

This is the season for new beginnings. Let this spring be your time for learning how to be truly happy and at peace within yourself. Immerse your senses in the many joys that the world around you has to offer. Don't shut out the beauty and happiness that is available to everyone, regardless of their relationship status.

Toni Coleman is a licensed therapist and relationship coach in private practice in McLean, Virginia. She specializes in working with singles that want to create lasting, intimate relationships. Toni has over 20 years of post-masters experience in relationship counseling and coaching with singles and couples. She is the founder and President of LifeChange Coaching and Consum-mate Relationship Coaching. She developed and teaches the Creating Lasting Relationships Training, a tele-workshop designed to help singles to define, implement and fulfill their life and relationship goals. She has also written numerous email classes for singles on all aspects of meeting, dating and relating. She is the author of the email newsletter, The Art of Intimacy, which goes out to thousands of subscribers monthly. http://www.consum-mate.com

In The News:


Forbes

Why Chasing Happiness May Leave You Feeling Unhappier Than Ever
Forbes
Although the pursuit of happiness has been a topic of discussion since the Declaration of Independence, the suggestion that everyone should feel happy all the time seems to be emerging as a new phenomenon in pop-culture. Movies, books and music lyrics ...


Boston Herald

Yankees buy happiness
Boston Herald
Their respective paychecks reflect that, but so does their respective performances. Money usually fails to buy long-term happiness in baseball, and the Yankees have all kinds of payroll woes waiting around the next corner. The Red Sox have no such ...

and more »

Happiness and Its Discontents
New York Times (blog)
Over the past 30 years or so, as the field of happiness studies has emerged from social psychology, economics and other disciplines, many researchers have had the same thought. Indeed this “life satisfaction” view of happiness lies behind most of the ...

and more »

NPR (blog)

Book News: Happiness Study Says Library Trips Are As Good As A Pay Raise
NPR (blog)
Book News: Happiness Study Says Library Trips Are As Good As A Pay Raise. by Annalisa Quinn. April 24, 2014 7:57 AM ET. Pedestrians walk past the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York City i i. hide captionPedestrians walk past the ...

and more »

Is Alvin Wong, 2010's 'Happiest Man In America,' Still Happy?
Huffington Post
In 2011, The New York Times asked Gallup to dub "The Happiest Man In America" based on its 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The answer, as the Times reported at the time: “a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, ...

and more »

ReadWrite

Are Tech-Savvy Countries Happier?
ReadWrite
Guest author Kim Gaskins is the director of content development and lead writer for Latitude, an international research consultancy. In the developed world, even the most passionate technology proponents sometimes find themselves wondering if being ...


Medical Xpress

Researchers study happiness of children in different family compositions
Medical Xpress
In a major UK study on wellbeing, researchers from NatCen Social Research analysed data from the Millennium Cohort Study on 12,877 children aged seven in 2008 and found no significant difference in their reported happiness. Whether the children lived ...
Secret to happy kids - a bit of TV and the odd takeawayBBC News
Eating your greens will not make you happy, finds Government-backed studyTelegraph.co.uk
Children who live with a single parent are 'no less happy than those who live ...Daily Mail
gulfnews.com -Parentdish
all 15 news articles »

Stanford University News

Cultivating happiness often misunderstood, says Stanford researcher
Stanford University News
Cultivating happiness often misunderstood, says Stanford researcher. Stanford research explores the concept of maximizing happiness, and finds that pursuing concrete "giving" goals rather than abstract ones leads to greater satisfaction. By Clifton B ...


Yahoo News

Study in Europe eclipses notion home in the sun equals happiness
Yahoo News
The sun lovers scored 7.3 out of a possible 10 on average on a "happiness" scale while the stay-at-homes came in at an average of 7.5 percent, according to the study released on Wednesday by Dr David Bartram, a senior lecturer in the Department of ...
Sunny climate no guarantee of happiness - studyOtago Daily Times
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at homeThe Independent
Ex-pats who move to the Mediterranean are less happy than those who moved ...Daily Mail

all 18 news articles »

7 Go-To Happiness Tricks When You Just Need A Boost
Huffington Post
We can't be joyful all the time -- but luckily there are ways to add a little pep to our step when we need it most. We asked our Twitter community to share their go-to happiness tricks when they're feeling a little blue, and some of our favorite ...

Google News

Being Happy

How can one be happy? Is it a tough question?... Read More

Are You Hooked On Love?

When you're in love your eyes and your face light... Read More

Acts of Kindness Benefit Everyone

Do you really want to be happy? Everyone says yes,... Read More

You Can?t See Your Own Eyes

My friend called me this morning from her favorite coffee... Read More

Quick Steps On Being Happier

Want to be happier?Edward W. Smith, motivational speaker, author and... Read More

Design Psychology: How to Create Happy Homes Using Scents

Our sense of smell elicits strong emotional reactions and trigger... Read More

The Voiceless

WE count the broken lyres that rest Where the sweet... Read More

Are You Doing What You Love Each And Every Day?

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day... Read More

Helping Happiness Along

Happiness is worth helping along.The benefits of being a happy... Read More

Divining Your Karmic Number

Your karmic number interpretation tells you what you need to... Read More

Sweeten Up Your Life

Sometimes life experiences can be like a lemon-flavored Tootsie Roll... Read More

Letting Go of Anger and Awaken to Lifes Grand Aventures

Anger can make us feel good and enlivened for a... Read More

Ode to Chocolate

Chocolate delays reality. When I am eating chocolate, everything is... Read More

What Does It Take To Be Happy?

What does it take to be happy? In our age... Read More

Impractical Magic

Witchcraft is a messy, expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient way to... Read More

Happiness and Keeping Ahead of the Joneses

Imagine that the Internal Revenue Service in your country claimed... Read More

Simplify - and Be Happy

People's lives today are jam-packed with great projects, ideas, to-do... Read More

Choosing Happiness

Did you know that it's up to you?It's actually your... Read More

Where is Your Happiness? Past, Present, or Future??

Achieving a level of personal happiness previously unknown is closer... Read More

It Costs Nothing To Smile

I like to be around positive people, people who tend... Read More

Laughter and Your Health

Did you know that according to research, children laugh about... Read More

Laughter

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."... Read More

Looking In The Eyes Of Happiness

From what you see around you in your daily lives,... Read More

5 Keys to Understanding Why Your Life (probably) Sucks # 4

We are in constant competitionIf we take evolution seriously, then... Read More

Happiest Person In America: Whats Sex Got To Do With It?

Who is the happiest person in America? USA Today featured... Read More