If you strongly believe you must look hard at your faults, go for it. Just do it in a balanced way. — Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT
For most of us (yes, that includes me), we wake up everyday thinking of more ways to earn and be able to buy what we want. We live our days wondering how we can succeed and finally be happy. But what really is happiness for us? When do we say we have reached that point of happiness where we can decide, “Yes, I am happy now?”
I think one of the best ways to achieve that happiness is to be content. When we try to live life in contentment, we stop needing more and begin to feel that what we have is enough – more than enough, actually. Choosing contentment means deciding to accept what is and what is not, welcoming joy and love as well as the pain and sorrow that come with them.
But how to do it – how to live a life of contentment – may come with some sacrifice on the things that we want or dream of having. Here are some thoughts to ponder if you decide to choose contentment as a way of living.
How to Live in Contentment
· Live simply. One will know when she has lived in contentment when she feels she doesn’t need to buy more material things that only cause chaos in the home – and in her mind. What you have now may not be rich or lavish, but you have it, and you don’t have to replace it. Then you are able to retain the precious things and at the same time save time and money.
· Commune with nature. Seeing the great outdoors actually leaves us in awe of the many things that are the way they are – miracles. Instead of thinking about problems and other stressors that disturb our flow of life energy, we must think about the gifts we have been given and the gifts we are able to share with others. Then we will be able to feel contentment.
You feel the benefits of your efforts and are excited to be on track to creating the life you want. But just because you recognize how far you’ve come and where you’re headed doesn’t mean anyone else will want to join you on your path. — Shameela Keshavjee, MS, LMFT-S
· Stop comparing. When we gauge ourselves according to how successful or beautiful or happy others are, we lose our perspective of being content with who we are and what we have. We must focus on defining our own person according to the goodness of our hearts, the family that surrounds us, and the big and small successes that we and our loved ones achieve. Comparing ourselves to others is a surefire way of feeling unhappy and discontented.
· Continue your journey towards self-improvement. When you continue growing and learning new ways to become better, it doesn’t mean you are a discontented person. It only means that you accept what you are and what you have right now, and you are willing to work towards becoming the person you want to be in the future. Everything you do that would help you improve and develop your skills will definitely provide you with such positive feelings of happiness, joy and contentment.
Putting these thoughts into action and practicing them daily would encourage us to build a routine of living a life contented. When this becomes habitual, we are able to foster peace, satisfaction, and happiness.
Our work with acceptance versus rejection of the realities that are beyond our control or outside our definition of perfection can help us build resilience but can also lead to emotional suffering. — Maury Joseph, PsyD
If you are having difficulty achieving this, though, you can always count on having someone from (possibly an online therapist) to guide you. A therapist is available online to walk you through how to live a life of simplicity and contentment.