I think more often than not, being content is lumped in with being stagnant or a reason to be avoidant.
For no reason in particular, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I think it’s because I’m feeling super at peace in my life. But because I’m so at peace with where I’m at, it makes me think, “am I now being complacent?”
I guess I’ve realized that just because I say I’m content, doesn’t mean I’m without wanting to better myself or my life. I think being content ultimately means that you’re just ok with or without getting what you desire. I think society tells us we HAVE to fall into this trap of happiness…in all aspects of our life…at all times. I’m definitely realizing that happiness trap just sets you up for failure.
Being content involves appreciating what you have and where you are in life, instead of wishing things were different. Once you get past the notion that if you’re content, you’re settling, you can start setting goals for yourself that are REALISTIC, and work smarter to reach them. And in the process, you’ll enjoy the process. I guess it’s a weird concept to think that when you’re content, it’s definitely possible to feel fulfilled yet struggle at the same time. So yeah, you see and celebrate the good in your life all while working through whatever bad hand life throws at you.
Here are some ways I found contentment in my life.
Take care of yourself
Are we sick of hearing about how important it is to take care of yourself? There’s really no other place to start than yourself. Sometimes we stay focused on the future because we imagine ourselves healthier, slimmer, happier, etc., but the only way to achieve those things is to take action. Here are a few things that work for me:
- 5 minute desk yoga (I did this last week and it INSTANTLY helped shift my focus)
- Head to an actual yoga class (hot vinyasa is my favorite)
- Start a self-care routine and stick to it (if you’re stuck, try using the power hour method — 20 minutes mind, 20 minutes body, 20 minutes soul)
Express gratitude often
Often when we think about expressing gratitude, we think about people and things we’re grateful for. Friends, family, food, etc. — and yes, that really does help put things into perspective. Imagine life WITHOUT those people or things? No thank you. At the end of May (and as part of my morning self care routine), I started writing down something I’m grateful for in that very moment. There’s nothing like starting your day off with something you’re very thankful for. For me, it could be someone in my life or it could be just a friendly exchange I had with a local barista that morning.
It’s also important to give gratitude TO YOURSELF. Think about your accomplishments, something you handled well, a strength you’re grateful for, what you’re excited about, etc. Remember…SELF LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT!
I’ll be honest: I’m a VERY curious person, and that definitely comes off as nosey.
I just like knowing things — but I usually shy away from asking questions because I don’t want to seem intrusive. I don’t think you should downplay the power of curiosity. Asking questions and learning new things can provide SO many answers. For example, I really wanted to try a new hot yoga studio and I was curious about one in particular. But I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone, the layout of the studio, etc. (but that’s the anxiety in me for sure). Instead of just forgetting about it and not going to a class, I sucked it up, signed up for the class, and now it’s my new go-to yoga studio!
It’s very hard to be mindful in a society that is always go, go, go. Most of us spend our days half aware of what we’re doing and thinking. We’re basically on autopilot and then all of a sudden will be like, “Where did the day go?” When I remind myself to be mindful of the present moment, it’s very clear that I’ll find contentment. Being mindful is all about appreciating where you’re at in that exact moment and/or situation. Practicing mindfulness for even just 5 minutes a day can make a difference in your life (and your stress levels).