There is so much going on in the world right now and social media is at the forefront of it all.
If you don’t have your wits about you you can easily get swept up in it all and start to feel that you are somehow lacking in life.
You are not alone, we can all feel like that at times in our lives.
What does it mean to be content with life?
Being content or contented means to be happy and satisfied. In fact, it is a level deeper than being simply happy.
Being content means truly being happy and appreciative of all the things that you already have.
It means that whether or not you get more you remain in a state of happiness and enjoy life at that moment for what it is and not what you wished it could be.
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Why is it important to be content?
It is so important to experience being content because without it you will always be looking for the next thing to make you happy.
There will always seem like there is more to be had in life, that’s just the way life works. If you keep wanting to chase more then you will always feel like you never have enough.
Think of it this way. You’ve been on the hunt for a job for a very long time then one day you finally get a breakthrough and you get a job. The pay is good and it’s enough to give you a better lifestyle than what you currently have so you’re excited by it.
You start work and realise that there are others that have been hired too, you find out they are being paid 10% more than you. Suddenly discontentment creeps in and now you are not happy anymore.
This example might seem extreme to you but in reality, simar things can happen in any area of your life. The reason you feel so hurt by it is that you are comparing yourself to others and think that having more is more.
When you experience true contentment these things can’t bring you down. If anything they should spur you on to want to do better, be better whilst still remaining happy and grateful.
What’s the difference between being happy and being content?
Despite what people might think there is actually a big difference between being happy and being content.
Happiness can be a tempory feeling but being content is not a feeling that comes and goes.
You might be happy that you just bought a new house but in a few months, will you still be happy with the house or will you start to realise that it doesn’t actually meet your needs after all?
That dress you just bought gives you momentary happiness but does it make you feel complete each time you see it?
Being happy is a feeling whist being content is a lifestyle.
The key is to be happy and contented with your current situation. Be grateful for what you already have.
How to be content with what you have
So we’ve talked about what being happy and content is all about but how do we get that to spread into all areas of our lives?
Well here are 8 tips to help you be really content and happy with what you have.
1. Don’t try to be like anyone else
I wasted a lot of years of my life trying to be socially accepted by being just like everyone else. I suppressed the geeky me and tried to be what I thought was normal.
It was a big mistake and I was not truly happy.
You are an individual for a reason. Being individual means that you are not the same as someone else and never can be, you were made to be unique.
Trying to be someone that you are not is actually robbing the world of the real you. There are people out there that will love you for who you are and it will bring them much happiness.
If you have a best friend (a real best friend) would you have met them if you weren’t really being you? I doubt it.
You might see other people and think that they have it all together but that isn’t necessarily true. There is no one in this world that has it all together.
We are all on a journey of self-discovery. Let’s not make it harder by trying to be someone that we are not.
Acceptance of yourself is one of the most beautiful things you can do for yourself.
Once you accept who you are you can start to feel content with your life. After all, you can’t expect others to accept you if you have no self-acceptance for yourself.
2. Understand that there are always people less fortunate than you
I know this might sound like just one of those things that people say that sound like the right thing but it’s not.
Just think about it for a moment.
There are much worse positions that you could be in right now so you need to be grateful for what you already have. It could all change in a moments notice.
You could lose your house, your job, a loved one could become sick. It does happen.
I can guarantee you that in that moment you will wish for the day you have today. Just a normal day.
That is where being content comes in.
Remember being content doesn’t mean that you have no ambition. Ambition is necessary but does not mean you can’t be content too.
Contentment is choosing to be happy and fulfiled in your current moment of time.
There is someone out there that would switch places with your situationn in a heartbeat. Just ponder on that for a moment.
3. Know that more “things” won’t necessarily make you happier
We are consumed by “stuff” every day of our lives. We are constantly being told that having more stuff will make you happier.
You have an iPhone 6 but the person next to you has an iPhone X. Does the same job but it’s not the latest phone so you feel like you need to get an iPhone X also.
That is not where happiness lies.
Having more “stuff” is just clutter and will not leave you feeling content.
Stuff is just stuff.
Can a bigger house make you happier?
Probably…but only temporarily. Soon the house won’t seem as big.
Can a new hairstyle make you happier?
Again probably but only momentarily.
More things don’t necessarily equate to contentment. The sooner that you accept that the happier you can be in your moment.
Someone once told me “nothing before its time”. This is such a powerful statement because once you accept that you will realise that it doesn’t mean those things are bad just that it is not the time yet or that it can wait for now.
This statement is like a get out of jail free card. It might just not be your time yet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t have it. Be content with what you already have right now. Later on, you will get to laugh about the old banger of a car that you used to drive now that you can comfortably afford a new one.
Spending time wishing that you had things you don’t have yet is a waste of time. They will come when the time is right for you.
4. Appreciate simple things
This is a small but powerful thing.
Take time out in your day to appreciate the little things in your life.
Go for a walk and be grateful that you can. Spend a few moments out of your busy day to look at your 3 year old who is consumed in play and remember when life was that simple for you.
Take some time out for self-care and rejuvenate if you need too.
5. Stay positive
Whatever your current situation is choose to remain positive.
Once you let go of being optimistic and being content depression can quickly set in.
You will not always be in your current situation and one day it will be a great story to tell your children or to inspire someone else who is going through what you are right now.
Being positive does not mean you are happy in a bad situation it means that you know you will get out of it at some point.
Being positive is also good for your general mental wellbeing.
6. Stay on top of goals
Goal, goal, goals. You must have some.
Goals are what keep us moving, striving to always be our best and keep achieving.
If you don’t have any goals right now you need to sit down and make some. They will completely change your life.
Goals are there so that you can constantly remain going in the right direction.
Once you write a goal down it doesn’t mean that it is set in stone either. Goals change all the time according to the direction our lives go in.
Have some goals to start with and if you need to make a u-turn at some point don’t feel bad for doing so. Its all part of being content and accepting.
You might have wanted to be a doctor but found out that you can’t stand looking at blood. U-turn or sidestep if you have too. Don’t just stay on a particular path because you think its what people expect of you.
Your life, your choices.
Dream wild and make a note of those crazy goals, as the months go by look over your goals again and evaluate the progress you have made towards them.
7. Forget about the things you can’t change
There are some things in life you simply have no control over.
No matter how willing you are there is nothing that you can do to change it.
Should you continue to worry about it until it makes you feel sick? Certainly not.
No amount of worrying will change it.
You will be much better off once you realise this and choose to move on.
Focus your attention on the things that you can affect change in and that will, in turn, help you to become more content and less stressed.
We could all do with a little less stress.
8. Write down all the things you are grateful for
We all have things to be grateful for in life even if you think it is very small. The fact that you woke up this morning and many didn’t is a blessing.
Get a journal like this one and at least a couple of times a week write down in it all things that you are grateful for.
Look back on your journal when you are feeling down or when things are not going the way you want and believe me it will make you smile.
Having a gratitude journal will help you to become much more appreciative.
Final thoughts on being content
No one can force you into being content. Contentment is something from within that you choose.
Make the choice to find things in your life that you are grateful for and being happy and contented will surely follow that.
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