How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

Consider yourself lucky if you can balance being social and spending time by yourself. After all, your parents didn’t intentionally raise you to be a loner, learn to be alone, or take time for you.

If anything, you learned various social skills for your relationships. There may be days when you decide to not answer a text, respond to a phone call and snuggle with your dog on the couch to binge-watch Netflix.

Choosing to retreat gives your friends the impression that you are anti-social, which can bring pressures and difficulties.

In these moments, you learn to be alone.

However, it is harder to learn to be alone in the midst of people you’re supposed to interact with daily. In the mind’s of people, it is the norm for everyone to be socially active; seeking to reach out for various reasons.

When you learn to be alone and be happy about it, another layer of self-care and self-improvement evolves.

You open yourself to better understand new aspects of who you are, which in turn strengthens your relationships.

In reality, adulting comes with tons of responsibilities, constant break-up’s, friendship losses, and social misunderstandings–all of which can be draining.

You can begin to strategize how you will learn to be alone, be happy about it, and keep amazing relationships going without losing unnecessary energy.

Research shows that only fifteen percent of the 82 million Gen Xers in the U.S. have no friends. This doesn’t mean they are loners or uninterested in interacting. These individuals just enjoy time alone every once in a while.

To learn to be alone is a healthy choice. So, when you do find yourself without company at any time, you won’t view it as a terrible fate, but as moments worth spending time with yourself.

Is It Healthy To Be Alone?

Spending quality time with yourself helps you enhance your psychological development, and experience.

On the flip side, excessively spending time alone can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

It would keep you at the mercy of your inner critics, lead to depression, painful loneliness, and can ultimately lead to the deterioration of your health.

Consequently, you pretty much have to strike a balance between the two extremes. That said, these are the health benefits of being alone.

Spending Time Alone With Yourself Increases Productivity.

How quickly do you get a job done when you have family and friends chatting away around you?

Your goal may be to complete things around the house, run errands, finish a school assignment, or meet a deadline for work. Even a ping from your phone when a chat or mail comes in can make you lose concentration on a task.

The brain is naturally programmed to be more productive when there are little to no distractions. So, if you desire to be more productive, spend time alone.

It Fosters Better Relationships With Others.

Being an extrovert is amazing. However, sometimes being an introvert is good, too.

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Research has it that introverts are more in touch with themselves, better express self-awareness and empathy. This makes it possible for them to understand individuals around them and better manage relationships.

What’s more, studies show that relationships thrive when the individuals involved can take a step back and keep a level of independence. When they do reunite, the spark is incredibly amazing and refreshing.

It Allows You To Revitalize Your Mind.

Being the life of occasions and mingling with friends can be fun, and can help with some aspects of brain activity.

However, what happens when your brain begins to lose creativity or, starts to yearn for some break away from the hype and action of your social life?

In such times, being alone would be healthy. Spending some time alone with yourself helps your mind to process previous activities, unwind, and recharge.

Additionally, when your brain is relaxed, a lot of things would begin to make sense and come together beautifully.

It Boosts Your Creativity.

The mind comes up with the best ideas when it is left alone in perfect solitude. It generates amazing plans, weighs the pros against the cons, and just creates beautiful creative stories.

So, when you feel the pressure to be creative, and you can’t deal with the noise of brainstorming, you can simply separate yourself from the crowd, and give your mind some time to think and come up with a great idea.

10 Ways to Learn to Be Happy Being Alone

Here are some steps you can take to learn to be alone and be happy about it.

1. Be Your Primary Source of Validation

Having friends and family call and show you major attention sure feels great. However, what happens when they are caught up with other things and don’t have that much time to text or call?

In such times, getting disappointed about not being contacted won’t help you, and sure would tell that you are far from being your source of validation.

So, what you can do is to deliberately train yourself to get used to the absence of people.

Take some time off from the noise of social life, and indulge in your hobbies like reading, writing, or seeing some great movies on Netflix.

What’s more, you can try meditating or yoga. This would clear your mind, and keep you in tune with yourself.

2. Learn To Feel And Be Self-Aware

So, first off, you can take a person out of psychology, but you can’t take psychology out of a person.

This means that the person that can reach into your emotions, and channel those emotions so you can be happy, alone and single, is you.

Learn to spend time with yourself, practice self-awareness, and keep in touch with your feelings.

That way, you will truly be happy. Identify your goals, dreams, and setbacks. Know the things that make you tick, and do those things.

3. Spend Some Time with Nature

There’s nothing quite as soothing as bonding with nature. You can simply spend time in a garden, where you can watch the flowers bloom with your favorite book in hand.

Or you can listen to the chirping of the birds, lie under the skies, and watch the shapes of the clouds and the brightness of the stars, and fall in love with yourself all over again.

If you have some energy and stamina in you, and you are a lover of outdoor activities like hiking, then put on those hiking boots, grab your backpack, and head to the nearest mountain around you.

4. Work on Your Self-Improvement

Remember those amazing self-improvement things that you have on your bucket list, but have somehow managed to miss doing them?

Bring those goals into actualization. You can create some alone time and work on them.

Learn to play that musical equipment, author that book, strategize on how you will start that company, learn a new skill, or a new language.

Just improve yourself.

5. Deliberately Ease into the Pleasure of Relaxation

The moment you go for a massage, treat yourself to a bubble bath with red wine in hand or stay home to watch Netflix with popcorn.

Then you will begin to love spending time by yourself. The cares of the world would be non-existent for that duration.

6. Take a Trip to a Dream Location Alone

You might ask yourself where the fun is in traveling alone. Be that as it may if you can get beyond the feeling of weirdness that accompanies taking a trip by yourself, just do it.

Just pack up your bags, and visit that location that you heard is a tourist attraction, or simply go for a weekend getaway in an amazing resort.

Then in no time, you will begin to feel the hang of being alone and happy.

7. Step Out to Town Alone

Perhaps you thought that to learn to be alone means camping at home and shutting the world out. However, that’s not the case.

You can indeed have beautiful time with yourself by going out to town to do activities like reading in a park, grabbing a coffee, and going to the seaside where you can feel the wind on your face, watch the sea waves come and go, and just gather your thoughts.

Become Mentally Stronger!

8. Stay Away from Your Phone

If you’re going to learn to be alone, then you might as well go all the way. This would mean staying away from your phone and the distractions that come with it.

When the phone is out of the way, you can do whatever you desire, such as snack away on whatever you crave for, or jam to your best music.

9. Feel Free to Be Weird

Okay, you might think that you’re an adult, so you just can’t go about being weird.

In truth, who cares? Being grown does not stop you from playing your favorite song at home and dancing to it in your underwear, or bingeing on your favorite ice-cream or meal.

Nothing stops you from doing crazy activities like sky diving, that will send some adrenaline shooting through your body.

And nothing stops you from participating in karaoke, even when you don’t have a voice worthy of applause. The main thing is to be weird and to own your weirdness.

10. Guiltlessly Make Mistakes, And Own Them

At this point in your life, you should understand that making mistakes is part of the cycle of life.

I’m not saying that you should go about being the king or queen of errors. Rather, you should not beat up yourself when you unknowingly make a wrong move or a wrong decision.

In essence, own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on feeling better, and stronger.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the one thing you should convince yourself of is that, it is normal for you to live your life the way you have chosen.

There is no need trying to convince anyone that what you are doing is in the right interest of you. There is no need working yourself up to prove to anyone that choosing to learn to be alone is right for you.

You have decided to be happy and have found the best way to be healthy.

Instead of getting heartaches from your relationships, you have decided to sideline yourself and you are doing just fine.

Laugh. Live. Be happy alone. You’ll soon discover that this is the greatest decision ever.

 

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Cam Sites Are Seeing A Spike During Quarantine, But Not Just Because People Are Horny

An influx of new viewers and performers to live adult sites does not mean business is good.

With the majority of humanity now on lockdown in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, adult cam sites, which allow viewers to watch and interact with erotic performers in real time, say they’ve seen a massive viewership spike.

Gunner Taylor of Cams.com estimates his site and most others have “seen about a 30 percent increase in traffic.” Max Bennet of Stripchat says growth has only been accelerating in recent days, as lockdowns have expanded in scale and intensity. “We can tell the difference between social distancing and stay-at-home orders” based on regional traffic patterns, he said, with the latter leading to starker traffic increases. “We can see the degree of compliance” with those measures, too.

Bennett and many other cam site operators and performers say there’s more to this boost than simple stir-crazy horniness. They also suspect that the more and longer people are cooped up inside, the higher cam site traffic will likely continue to climb. However, that may not necessarily mean a windfall for performers.

It is easy to see this traffic bump as just another byproduct of “boredom, and masturbating out of boredom,” as the cam performer Rebecca Vanguard puts it. Traditional porn sites like Pornhub have reported traffic spikes in recent weeks too, especially in areas under lockdown.

It’s also easy to write off some new adult traffic as artificially induced. Pornhub and many other sites that deal in traditional porn have been offering temporary free or discounted (premium) memberships to people affected by coronavirus. Many cam sites already allow people to watch cammers for free, in public chatrooms with hundreds or thousands of other viewers. But sites like Cams.com, CamSoda, Stripchat, and xHamsterLive have been offering free tokens, used to tip performers (often to get them to perform a desired act) or pay them to go into private chats, for people creating new accounts while under lockdown.

“Many of us are alone and starved for human attention”

Yet Alex Hawkins of xHamster argues that “many of us are alone and starved for human attention,” and therein lies the true appeal of cam sites for a big chunk of viewers. “It’s quite nice to be able to chat with someone. Even if you are not home alone, it can be quite nice to talk to someone different.” The quest for connection — especially the kind of one-sided and uncomplicated intimacy cam sites often provide — may well explain why Hawkins says that xHamster’s cam platform has seen traffic grow twice as fast as its flagship tube site.

Adult cam shows are often conceptualized as live, interactive porn, offering bespoke and reactive experiences. However cam connoisseurs and researchers have long noted that, while still adult entertainment, camming is distinct from porn because of the emphasis it puts on building relationships between viewers and performers. Sure, some sites focus primarily on nudity and live sex, and Vanguard certainly thinks most of her viewers just want to get off. Most cammers, though, say part of the secret to building large and lucrative followings is to foster a sense of intimate connection with viewers. Even people who visit cams for a quick pornographic fix often find themselves sucked into the more emotional and personal aspects of the sites.

That’s why many cammers spend as much or more time clothed and chatting with viewers as they do getting naked and performing sex acts. It’s why a number of high-earning performers only do non-nude shows. It’s also why many individuals who try to cam fail, argues performer GuiltyCaprice: They simply get naked and act sexy, ignoring the specialized emotional and communicative skill sets and labor that go into crafting a successful cam persona or show.

Taylor points out that cam sites aren’t set up to monitor how viewers interact with performers, beyond how much time they spend in a room and how many tokens they spend. So it is hard to know for sure whether the people flocking to these sites on lockdown are acting out of a sense of isolation and a search for connection, or whether they are just experimenting with new sites and erotic fixes, bopping around the internet aimlessly as many of us are wont to do when trapped at home and bored.

However, there are some indications, in both industry press materials and viewer requests made directly to performers, that the demand for cam-to-cam tools, which allow cammers to see their viewers rather than just their screen names and texts (as is the norm on most sites), has been growing in recent weeks. Some insiders take this as a sign of a thirst for connection, spurred by the isolation of lockdowns, over voyeuristic adult content consumption.

Cammers offer a unique form of connection, which may be especially appealing in times of stress and crisis

Turning to cams for a sense of connection may seem odd when we have access to a myriad of videoconferencing tools that allow us to stay close to our friends and family, or even to date, during lockdowns. Cammers note that they, as a distinct category of sex workers, offer a unique form of connection, though, which may be especially appealing in times of stress and crisis, when people want uncomplicated care and comfort.

“A relationship with a friend is reciprocal,” explains performer Jessica Starling. “You vent to your friend, and it’s expected that your friend can in turn vent to you. The intimacy a sex worker provides is one-way. It is effortless on the part of the client. They just have to pay the sex worker’s fee. The focus is on the client’s experience, the client’s wants and needs.”

“I don’t know about you,” says performer Alex Coal, “but I don’t feel like I can share all my concerns and worries with people in my personal life. You don’t want to overload your loved ones,” especially when they’re stressed, if you’re cooped up with them, or if they may themselves be a point of stress in your life. “Venting to a friend online is much more comfortable.”

A surge of scared viewers looking for undemanding and often one-sided digital contact and comfort may not be great news for cammers, many of whom Hawkins notes are living in lockdown — effectively trapped at work — and coping with stress and fear as well. Sure, Cole notes, some regulars want to check in on their favorite performers, to make sure they are okay. Many also don’t want to talk about the virus, says GuiltyCaprice. They are “looking for an escape” on cams, not to dwell in their fears. Still, performer Lauren Phillips says that a critical mass of her viewers “want to talk about the coronavirus and how it is affecting us all.”

The emotional labor of camming can be draining, and burnout and depression among cammers is common in the best of times. Funnel more anxiety and stress into a performer’s life from the external world and through their chatrooms, and emotional attrition may accelerate or amplify. That’s why Cole warns performers to be especially aware in these times “of their limits in absorbing other people’s distress, and practice self-care,” taking time off if and as they can.

Starling adds while she and other performers who make traditional porn content as well as cam have seen increased sales figures on clip and tube sites, due to discounts and sales geared toward folks stuck at home, there is good reason to doubt that growing cam viewership will translate into new income for cammers. Eyeballs, after all, do not always equal dollars in this industry.

People who are worried about their jobs and finances seem more likely to make use of the ample free content on cam sites and less likely to shell out on paid private shows or tips, GuiltyCaprice says. Lockdowns have also messed with regular viewers’ and spenders’ patterns, says performer Red_Delicious. Trapped at home with other people, and as such usually with less private time, many viewers are now logging on to cam sites for just a few minutes at a time, at irregular or odd hours. These upheavals make it harder for cammers to profit.

Bennet and Taylor actually frame their sites’ free token offers for new cam viewers as stimulus programs, trying to funnel money to cammers who may struggle with the way things are shifting, and to push consumers into spending rather than just viewing free content piecemeal. “We’ve seen from past free token offers that this is a good way to encourage spending,” explains Taylor.

Eyeballs, after all, do not always equal dollars in this industry

A few performers also worry that job insecurity caused by coronavirus lockdowns will lead to a spike in the number of people signing up to cam, potentially creating a glut of performers that may cut into existing cammers’ profits. Escorts, exotic dancers, and traditional porn performers especially have noted in recent weeks that they are losing work to the virus and are considering camming for the first time to make up for it.

(Many legal brothels and strip clubs have closed down in the name of social distancing. Those that remain open have lost clientele and workers to coronavirus fears. Most porn performers are still shooting indie and solo content, but over the past month, most major studios have shut down production in response to the pandemic. These shoots are still vital to many performers’ income or visibility, so long-term studio freezes will still hurt many performers’ bottom lines.)

Off the Record Models, a cam performer agency, says it has seen a 25 percent spike in applications for management and representation since lockdowns began, and many more inquiries about getting into camming. Stripchat has seen a 15 percent increase in new models registering on the platform since the start of the year, adds Bennet, but a nearly 300 percent increase in the number of Italian models signing up in recent days. Just behind Italy on the sign-up chart, US model registrations are up 45 percent.

“I have been avoiding camming during this pandemic,” says Starling, precisely because of the trouble that consumer austerity and a surge of new performers could pose to all performers’ profits. “I’ve heard from many of my colleagues that cam business has been really slow.”

 

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Study: Fear Of Eternal Loneliness Makes Single People Settle For Crappy Relationships

You probably want to sit down for what I’m about to tell you because it’s going to blow the lid off everything you thought you knew about relationships. A new study done at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology discovered that fear of being single leads both men and women to settle for relationships that don’t fulfill them. Obviously, I am being sarcastic about this being mind-blowing news. Raise your hand if you’ve continued dating someone you weren’t amped about because you watched The Mamas And The Papas “Behind The Music” and couldn’t bear the thought of choking on a sandwich and having no one there to do the Heimlich Maneuver. Raise your hand if you’ve been exclusive with the first person you met online because you were new to a city and you were afraid they were the only person you’d meet. Raise your hand if you’ve continued to date someone, knowing they were awful, just because you needed a plus one to your best friend’s wedding? OK. All of us? Good. Then this study is for you!

“Those with stronger fears about being single are willing to settle for less in their relationships. Sometimes they stay in relationships they aren’t happy in, and sometimes they want to date people who aren’t very good at them. Now we understand that people’s anxieties about being single seem to play a key role in these types of unhealthy relationship behaviors,” says the lead author of the study, Stephanie Spielmann.

WHOA. Really?? So our anxiety about a long, sprawling life alone with our plants or our pets or our gaming console is directly proportionate to how bad our dating choices are? GOOD TO KNOW. The scientists concluded, wisely, that loneliness does not discriminate on the basis of gender. I repeat all humans get fucking lonely. Don’t settle out of fear. Your best efforts are spent managing your anxiety about spinsterhood (and whatever the male equivalent of that is) so that you don’t pick the worst people ever to date.

 

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