The Alphabet of Happiness: S

I hope you found yesterday’s post regarding Radical Acceptance to be helpful. If you just joined this journey, be sure to take the time to go back and read from the beginning. Without delay, let’s get to it and discuss the letter “S”.


Socializing, Sleep, Solitude

Socializing

It’s true that sometimes in our life we don’t feel like socializing. We don’t want to entertain, or leave the house, and talk to others. That is ok. Just be sure that those moments don’t interfere with your ability to function nor contribute to a poor quality of life. However, if you purposely avoid social interactions on a regular basis, then it’s time to reconsider.

The fact is that everyone needs to feel loved and supported. This is a basic need we all share. Conversation, sharing, and being in touch with others gives living a purpose. It’s also true that socializing can mean one thing to you and something entirely different than another person.

socializingThe definition of socializing is,”to talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way.” That doesn’t mean you have to participate in activities or with groups of people where you don’t feel comfortable. It also doesn’t dictate a specific number of people to spend time with. You can have one very close friend and experience all the positive benefits socializing has to offer.

If you experience any type of social anxiety, taking that first step towards being around other people is going to be difficult. I know how it feels. But you need to approach the process as you would if you were trying to learn how to build or make something for the first time. Take small steps, stay away from negative self-talk, try not to compare yourself to others, and most importantly, don’t give up.

If you’re stepping out for the first time or need a change, here are some ideas for socializing with others.

  • Clubs & societies
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Hobby groups & clubs
  • Reading groups
  • Gym & exercise facilities
  • Rotary, American Legion, Eagles, Red Hat Society
  • Seasonal sports activities
  • High School & University Alumni groups
  • Brown Bag lunch events
  • Church groups
  • Single adult groups & activities

In no way is this an exhaustive list. However, it does offer some ideas to help you get out there and meet others. I guarantee you there are many opportunities for you when you take some time and look. Go for it! What do you have to lose? Nothing!

Sleep

Researchers have discovered a single treatment that improves memory, increases people’s ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system and decreases people’s risk of being killed in accidents. In addition, this treatment is completely free and has no side effects. Interested? For most people, this treatment would consist of getting an extra 60-90 minutes of sleep each night. (American Psychological Association)

More Sleep Will Make You Happier

Most studies show that adults need between 7 – 9 hours of restful sleep per night. As you sleep fewer hours per night, your ability to complete ever day tasks becomes more difficult. Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair your ability to think and process information.

Sleep deprivation attributes to a poor quality of life. Disruptions to performance, alertness and personal relationships all contribute to an accumulation of stress leading to unhappiness. Lack of sleep can also lead to psychiatric problems, including depression and mood problems.

Getting enough sleep won’t guarantee a perfect day. But you have probably noticed that when you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to be cranky. And when you’re feeling crabby and unhappy this begins to affect all of the people around you in a negative way. It becomes more difficult to regulate your emotions at all

It’s time to put your needed hours of sleep into your schedule with the same importance as you do for an appointment, being on time to work and other similar situations. Change your morning routine to allow yourself to get the amount of sleep you need for your overall happiness.

Solitude

This section is going to seem in complete contrast to what we discussed earlier about socializing. However, that isn’t the case. Remember from above that I stated as long as you aren’t constantly avoiding socializing then that’s ok, even healthy. It becomes a problem when you begin to completely isolate and avoid all social interactions.

In this busy world we reside, our frantic schedules and time commitments, it’s important to make sure you schedule some quiet alone time for yourself. This can often be thought of as giving yourself a “time-out.” If the only place you can find is locked inside your bathroom or inside your car parked in the driveway, then do it!

solitude

What matters the most is finding time for you and taking advantage of that time. Find somewhere you can be completely by yourself and without any distractions. This is your time to stop and breathe. This is your time to stop and relax. This is your time to stop and spend a few moments thinking about nothing at all.

This time of solitude is for your overall sanity and happiness. Everyone needs a “time-out” at some point in their day. Several jobs I have had in this past were particularly noisy and frantic. The pace was quick and high levels of annoying and disturbing sounds were a plenty. In both jobs, I HAD to find quiet “me” time in order to survive the rest of my shift. So, I took my refuge in the employee bathroom. It may sound strange, but it worked.

Take those moments of solitude each day to keep your life in balance and your happiness level restored!


As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to keep reading. If you have yet to find your own how or why to happiness, I strongly believe you will. Please come back tomorrow as we explore the letter “T”.

Copyright © Julie Corbett 2017

6 responses

  1. I can relate to these Julie!
    The key point for me is that small steps when it comes to getting back into socialising can be hugely beneficial – it can open the floodgates to getting bask in fully!
    Cheers, Gordon

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    1. Thank you Gordon. I think like most everything in our life, baby steps is the best way to begin .

      Like

  2. Love your post, I definitely and finding that when I have a bit more time to myself and sleep it makes a world of difference to my health and well-being!!

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    1. Me too! For me, I know I need between 9.5-10 hours per night to keep my depression at bay and my emotions under control. We all have to figure out what is best and then make sure we schedule that amount of time for ourselves each night!

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  3. Three great s’s.

    I like to socialise on my terms and I certainly love my solitude, which is why I live in the hills.

    When I first came here I started a woman’s network, as part of a larger organisation, a creative writing group, went to yoga and did a few other things.

    I love that I make the time to get out and have an open door for anyone to join me.

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    1. I used to live out in the country and I absolutely loved it. I love the peace and quiet. I love hearing just the sounds of nature!

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