More Independence = More Happiness?
Posted by Girls Guide To on March 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM
For all the single ladies out there, there’s a bit of hope: A growing body of research is revealing that independence is linked to happiness -- and may even be its very foundation. According to Diana Boer, PhD, a researcher in Germany who has analyzed data from 420,599 subjects, having choices and control over your life is a better predictor of well-being than having money. Studies even show now that people are happier and maybe better off living alone! "Everyone has a unique definition of themselves,"Boer says, "so it makes sense that every person needs to follow her own path to a full life."
Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, author of The How of Happiness agrees. She pointed to research that showed that lack of autonomy leads to greater stress and even poor health. Singlehood is looking up.
So how do you build your independence, whether you’re in a relationship or not?
As with any change, the way to independence is with little moves. Start small. Wake up one morning and decide to throw a dinner party. Take a yoga class that’s always scared you a little bit. As Boer has put it, "independence means cultivating faith in yourself at a fundamental level." To that end, here are three baby steps she suggests for creating a more independent life.
Resist the urge to explain yourself. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or an apology for wanting to make your life better.As you change the way you live, people will object to the changes. Usually because it makes them examine their own lives in an uncomfortable way. Think of a phrase that you can say without elaboration, like "I'm doing this because it makes me happy."
Spend time with someone who has a different point of view. Call your grandma and learn more about her life.Take a co-worker out to lunch.He or she can offer fresh perspectives-which may inspire you to reevaluate your own routine and goals.
Make "alone dates" and treat them like they're dates with your best friend. You wouldn’t cancel on your girls, so make sure you follow through on however you decide to treat yourself. Get a manicure or wander through the mall. Go to a lecture or book signing. Even treating yourself to a bubble bath will help you build independent alone time into your day.
How do you celebrate your independence?