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Can You Be Content and Happy as an Introvert?

If you’re an introvert, you may find that daily life can sometimes be overwhelming and draining. 

That’s why performing your own self-care in order to soothe stress and keep your energy levels up is essential. 

For introverts, self-care is all about creating a healthy balance. This is done by acknowledging your need for time alone. It is important to learn how to prioritize your physical and mental wellbeing, despite your work responsibilities and social obligations. 

Studies show that extroverts come out ahead in feelings of contentment. However, there are many ways introverts can increase their happiness and improve their overall wellbeing. Here is An Introvert’s Guide to Wellbeing and Happiness. 

What Does Being an Introvert Mean? 

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), introverts usually tend towards the internal private world of one’s self and one’s inner thoughts and feelings.  They are typically more withdrawn, reserved, quiet and prefer working alone. 

Unlike extroverts, introverts obtain their energy from within. Highly stimulating situations with lots of social interaction are often draining for them. While introverts are generally likely to report lower levels of happiness than extroverts, this does not mean that introverts are unhappy. 

In a recent global study, it was found that 56.8% of people around the world prefer Introversion. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to many of us with introverted tendencies to learn how to enhance our own happiness. Here are a few tips to help. 

How Introverts Can Increase Their Happiness and Improve Their Overall Wellbeing 

1. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to wind down and process 

Introverts are wired to process ideas and events deeply. This means introverts may feel very drained from a wide array of things. For example, a stressful day at work, a heated conversation with a significant other, or walking through a crowded space. Therefore, it is important for introverts to allow themselves time to wind down and recharge their energy. 

Allowing for time to unwind means introverts can fully comprehend what they have just experienced. It can lower their stimulation level to one that’s more comfortable and sustainable for them.  Without this downtime, introverts will likely find themselves feeling drained, irritable and even physically unwell.  

2. Embrace your introvert strengths 

Introverts possess a lot of strengths that are often understated. The more extroverted among us are often described positively as outgoing, energetic and bubbly, whereas introverts are associated with being shy and being antisocial. However, introverted behaviour does have many benefits. 

Introverts tend to be better problem solvers, perform better academically, display stronger regulation of their behaviour, and are less likely to take risks that may cause them harm.   Furthermore, the association of introversion with being shy and antisocial is simplistic and untrue. 

Many introverts may feel confident and at ease around people, however, they require more alone time to balance out the energy they spend in social situationsThere are many popular myths in existence surrounding introverts, however, most of them are easily debunked. Remember, being an introvert is not a bad thing, so embrace your introvert strengths! 

3. Have meaningful conversations 

Small talk is a skill many introverts have to force themselves to learn. How was your weekend? What’s new with you? How’s the family?  However, this doesn’t mean introverts don’t try to avoid it. By definition, introverts are individuals who get easily worn out by socializing. Many introverts crave deep meaningful conversations rather than surface-level small talk. 

With their limited “people” energy, introverts have little desire to spend it on gossip or talking about the weather. Introverts need something more. Whether it’s diving deep into someone’s interests or their relationships with questions like, what’s your philosophy in life? What’s one thing you would like to change about yourself? How are you a different person today than you were ten years ago? 

Not every conversation has to be soul-searching or deep, but without those raw intimate moments, introverts can feel unhappy.  

4. Give yourself space to deep dive into your hobbies and interests 

Having time alone to focus on your hobbies and interests is extremely important for introverts. It allows them to recharge their batteries. Sometimes we just need to relax and pamper ourselves. Remember to schedule a time to indulge in activities you find rejuvenating: whether it’s binge-watching your favourite TV show, reading a captivating book, or just having a relaxing bath. 

Doing so will allow you to enter an energising state of flow in which you are fully immersed in an activity and enjoying the process. This is extremely important for many introverts because, without this energising state of flow, they won’t feel happy.  

5. Surround yourself with people who understand that you need time alone 

For introverts, socialising is all about dosage. Therefore, we need the friends and loved ones in our lives to understand that sometimes, or even quite often, we need time alone. Make sure to communicate to people what you need. 

“I need some time to be alone” doesn’t mean “I don’t want to spend time with you”. It means that you want to take care of yourself so that you can enjoy the time you spend together. Surrounding yourself with people that understand you need some time alone will give you the support you need to live your best life. 

6. Don’t try to be someone you’re not 

There’s no doubt that some of us enjoy our own company and prefer indulging in solitary activities such as writing or reading. However, a fair degree of social programming and other societal expectations can make this seem unnatural to others. 

Don’t try to be someone that society or other people want you to be. Listen to your inner voice. Embrace your introversion. Extroverts and introverts can learn much from one another. Each personality type has its own unique character and skill. The world needs a combination of the two, so don’t try and be somebody you’re not, be somebody you are. 

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