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How to Find Contentment

September 10, 2020

How to Find Contentment

The biggest impact that we can make on our life is to learn how to be content. What does being content mean? For some, they feel that being content means you can't be successful and that you just stop striving and have no ambition in life. However, that isn't necessarily the case. Rather, it means that we engage in activities that we find joy and meaning in, rather than just doing what society or others expect us to do.

To be content also means that we take time to notice where we are at the moment and enjoy it. Our focus is on not overlooking or forgetting the good in our lives, to focus on the positive, and on maintaining a heart full of gratitude. When I learned to be more content, I found myself happier with who I was, what I was doing, with those around me, and with what I had. I didn't need to worry about always trying to please others. I was also able to let go of certain goals that were just unrealistic. I also found that being content helped me stay happy even when the situations I was in was not a happy one. These are just a few benefits I experienced with being content.


How to Be Content

It's natural for us to feel miserable when life takes a hard turn and throws darts at us. But if we learn to be content, we can face life's hardship with joy still. If we look back in our lives, we may notice that there are few occasions when we're in a bad situation and yet we remained happy. Whereas other times we were upset and unhappy. Why is that? The difference is our state of mind and how we chose to view our situation. If we learn to appreciate what we already have instead of focusing on what we didn't have or didn't like in our life, we would be able to face each difficulty in life happily. 

The perk of being content is that it can instantly make us happy, regardless of our current situation. If you can learn to have this mindset, you don't need to keep waiting until we've ticked off everything in our life goals to be happy. If we were to wait until we got everything we wanted, it would be a never ending cycle as we often throw on new to-dos as soon as we've ticked one off or before we can even accomplish one. Instead, we need to learn to be content without any external changes. How?


Here are a few suggestions:

1. Be Grateful
Take time in your time to think of what you are grateful for in life. Even when our life seems to not be going so well, there is definitely one good thing that we can be happy about. Find it, and be thankful for that.

2. Find Things That Spark Joy
Think of the little things in life that makes you happy. It can be as simple as finding time to read a good book, drinking your favorite tea, chatting with a good friend, eating your favorite food. These things may not cost much and may not require much effort, yet they spark joy in our lives. When we take note of these things, we can focus on these little things that make us happy rather than on the things that don't.

3. Be Positive
We may often catch ourselves thinking negatively of a situation. When we catch ourselves thinking negatively, try to reverse the thinking. Think of one positive thing about that person or of the situation. For example, instead of "This work is so mundane and boring." try "I learned something new from doing this work.". If we change every negative thought and turn it into a happy thought, we will be content and happier!

4. Self-Evaluation
At times, the one thing we are most discontent at is ourselves. Take time to jot down what we like about ourselves. Make a list and whenever we start feeling down and our self-esteem goes down, look at the list and it can help us feel more content and happy with ourselves. We can ask, " What am I good at? What good traits do I have?".

5. See the Good
Now, using the same point mentioned above, use it on those around us. Whenever we catch ourselves thinking negatively about someone, try to think of these questions, " What's good about this person? What is one trait that I love about them? What can I learn from them?" We can also make a list of that and work towards focusing on those. Doing so will help us to be less critical of the people around us and happier, as well as make others also feel more comfortable being around us! It's a win-win situation! Also, avoid thinking, "If only they could be more...". If we don't expect people to change, it can help us to be more appreciative of who they are currently.


Lifestyle Benefits of Being Content

When we are content, it can impact our lives in almost every way. Here are a few examples:

1. Self-Image
Don't compare. Oftentimes, we find ourselves comparing ourselves to what is portrayed in the movies, celebrities, or those around us. However, if we keep comparing our looks to those we find beautiful or have it all, we will never be happy. Also, in reality, even those beautiful people have days they don't look great or those who seem to have it all may actually be unhappy and depressed. So let go of having to portray a certain image to others. Be happy with how we are or how we look and we will start boosting our self-confidence.
 
2. Relationship with Others
When we are content with ourselves and of others, we are more likely to be a better marriage mate and friend. We are more likely to forgive others for their mistakes. We will be more easy going on our spouse, instead of always criticizing them or picking at their imperfections. Having an easy-going attitude make those around us enjoy being in our company and our attitude can rub off on them as well. Being content not only improves our relationships with others, but it can also help us mend and cover over the imperfections of others instead of giving up on others.

3. Reduce Stress
The opposite of being content is feeling like we never have enough. When we feel that way, we tend to stress more. We never feel satisfied, we feel like we never have enough, or we feel like we aren't/can't do enough. When that happens, we may tend to overeat, be overly obsessed with being in touch with social media so that we don't miss out, and so forth. However, once we learn to be content and that we aren't missing anything in life, we can limit our anxiety and stress.


These are just three main areas in how being content can significantly improve our life. Some people are just never satisfied with life because they feel that they haven't got what they want. However, the trick to true satisfaction is by becoming content.

 


"For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having food and clothing, we will be content with these things." - NWT