It is often said that life is short and therefore should be utilized to the maximum. However, many of us are sick of the daily grind that is life, and discontentment is often more common than contentment. The truth is there is no need to run away to the mountains and live like a hermit to be contented with life. With some minor changes to your attitude, and to your lifestyle, you can easily be one of those people who constantly have a smile of contentment on their lips.
So where do you start when trying to be contented with life? There isn’t a set of rules for where and when you can begin; you can start wherever you like. That’s why this article is broken up into several sections, and each section describes an area of life that you can make minor or major changes to and get some peace. So are you ready to become a better person and make peace with life? Let’s start then!
Attitude is one of those areas that you have control over and can easily change if you set your mind to it. Sometimes, just by changing your attitude, you’ll already be contented with life and everything else will fall into place.
Here are some ways to change your attitude and start viewing life in a better light:
1. Stop fretting about the small stuff. As we go about our daily lives, there will be times when things don’t go as we plan or when drama is abundant. The first step to get contented in life is to stop fussing about those things and just go with the flow. Just because you pout and get depressed that your colleague spilt coffee on you, or that traffic made you late to work, doesn’t change the fact that it already happened and neither will time reverse itself. So the best thing would be to smile it away and accept that things like this do happen. This may be hard for people who are naturally emotional, but if you keep telling yourself it’s okay every time something goes wrong, your mindset will slowly adjust.
2. Don’t get jealous over what others have and stop comparing. There is a reason why jealousy and greed are part of the seven sins, and that reason is these traits don’t benefit you or the other person involved. When you compare yourself to those better than you and keep concentrating on the things you don’t have, you will never be happy or contented with life. Instead, you will feel life is unfair and you will try too hard to get those things, making you lose track of all the important things. So don’t compare, and accept that everything that you have is enough and way more than what a lot of people around the world have. Some people don’t even have food to eat; if you still can feed yourself, clothe yourself and put a roof above your head, you’re always one step ahead.
3. Learn to appreciate the good things that come your way. Once you stop thinking negatively by working on the two steps mentioned above, this step should come quite easily. It’s easy to overlook all the blessings we get when we rush through the roller-coaster ride of our daily lives, but it’s essential to do so. When you start to appreciate something and feel the happiness that you can get by it, you will start to feel more contented with life instantly. So take some time to smell the flowers (literally!), smile at that little kid waving at you, or play with your dog. Life is good.
When one is in the pink of health, life becomes much easier to bear. If you are not healthy, you are automatically grumpier and more negative, and you start to blame life for things that you actually have control over. Trying your best to be healthy will help you stay happy with life, especially when coupled with the attitude changes above. Here are some ways you can improve your health:
1. Watch your diet. Obesity is slowly becoming a major problem in today’s world, and that’s because we eat too much. Not only do we eat too much, we eat all the wrong things! Start eating healthier by incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet, and lessening all the dietary evils like excessive oils, salt, sugar and trans-fats. If you are overweight, bring yourself down to a healthier weight by proper lifestyle changes. You’ll feel more energetic and more confident too! Check out our tips on losing weight here: Spin Your Diet Back Into Control: Innovative Ways to Stop Overeating
2. Start being more active. Exercise is a great way to keep illnesses at bay, reduce fat in your body, and increase energy levels. If you have been a couch potato all this while, start slow with some simple exercise such as walking or jogging. If you like to dance, that’s okay too as exercise! Just move around more and you will feel fantastic. Set aside time for exercise every day, or at least 3 times a week.
3. Reduce your stress. Releasing stress through the right means is also important for overall good health, as stress is one of the leading causes of diseases all around the world. Our body is meant to be calm and at peace all of the time to keep it in working order. Some good ways to release stress include meditation, yoga, keeping a journal or praying, if you are religious. If you want a more active form of releasing stress, having sex works too! Just take time to relax and remove all that bad energy from you at least once or twice a week.
4. Of course, you should also take other necessary precautions to avoid illness or physical pain. For example, don’t drench yourself in the rain if you know you’ll get a cold afterwards. Stop smoking and drinking excessively if you have been doing that. Practice proper posture and ergonomics no matter what you are doing, to avoid aches and pains. The list is endless, but the point is, keeping yourself well and pain-free is important so that you can stay healthy and go through life as a happier person.
They say money is the root of all evils, but no one can deny we need money to survive. Keeping money matters in order can help avoid stress and anxiety, and subsequently help you feel more contented with life. So what are some ways to keep yourself stable financially? Let’s look at that right now:
1. Prioritize paying off your loans and debts. The longer you hold on to a loan, the more interest you have to pay, so getting them settled as soon as you can helps relieve the stress of thinking about payments. Also, you can use the money you saved off interest for other things.
2. Save money for a rainy day. You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating because a lot of people don’t have the good habit of saving. Put aside 20% of your earnings each month for savings. After all, you have retirement and college fees to think about (if you have kids), and occasionally something will come out of the blue that requires you to spend outside your budget. If you have money saved up, you won’t feel so stressed when these incidences happen, and you’ll be a calmer person. Savings are your plan B financially.
3. Spend wisely. If you know you are already tight on budget, avoid spending impulsively. Of course, shopping makes everyone happy, but the credit card bills that come later in the month will kill that happiness in a second. Only buy things that you really need, and don’t spend money you don’t have. Credit cards are best kept only for emergency purposes. Use cash or a debit card wherever you can, so that you spend within your means. Keeping your finances manageable this way will help prevent unwanted stress and make you feel more contented with life in general.
4. Don’t go to the very extreme. While most of us are spendthrifts, there are also people who hold on to every penny with their life. This mindset should also be avoided, because it makes you both a miser and miserable. It’s alright to occasionally spend for little things like a cheesecake at a café, a nice outfit or an interesting book that will help cheer you up. If you follow the tips above and have some money to spare at the end of the month, you shouldn’t stress over a little bit of spending to have fun. If you feel guilty to spend for yourself, give to charity or treat a friend to a nice lunch. Sometimes being too careful with money isn’t a good thing either.
5. While having money is important for life, don’t focus your life only on making money. A lot of us are wrapped up in our careers and ‘bringing home the dough’ that we miss out on other things in our lives like parties, gatherings, outings and even me-time. It’s important to keep your life in balance if you want to be content with it.
Of course, relationships make up a big part of our lives, and if we have good relationships with people, we will love life even more and be content. Our friends, family and colleagues are people we are around all the time, so it’s important to make an effort to maintain these relationships and if possible, grow them.
1. Engage actively with your family members. Your mum, dad, siblings and relatives are the main influences in your life as you were growing up, and it’s important to remember that and cherish your relationship with them. Spare some time every week or at least once a month to visit these people and give them your company. If you have a bad relationship with your family for some reason, try your best to make peace with them. Let go of grudges, and if it’s their attitude that always bothers you, talk to them about it. If they cannot be changed, it’s alright; learn to be lenient and love them despite their flaws.
2. Don’t forget your friends. Our friends change as we grow older, but some friendships last a lifetime. If you have such friends who have been with you through the years, appreciate them and as with your family, give them some of your time and keep in touch. Friendship is the purest relationship in the world, because a person has to willingly become your friend and forge a relationship with you, despite knowing about you and your flaws. So cherish your friendships, and if you have the time, reach out to old friends whom you haven’t contacted in a while. They would love to hear from you.
3. Maintain a good relationship with colleagues, employers and business partners. As we spend a lot of time at work, keeping the peace with those who work with us is crucial in keeping stress levels down. How do we keep the peace? Be respectful and courteous to your workmates, and cooperate whenever needed. Do your part without complaining, and offer help when it is needed.
4. Last but not least, keep your spouse and kids happy. It’s easy to take your spouse for granted, and expect too much of your kids. Make sure you don’t fall into that trap. Keep the romantic spark alive with your spouse by regularly going out for date nights and making sweet gestures from time to time. As for your kids, learn to be supportive of them and do not push them to do things that clash with their individuality. Maintain a good rapport with them and keep communication lines open. This way, your household will be a happy and peaceful one.
Using all the methods above, you can improve your quality of life, and thus be contented with life itself. Though these steps are easy to do, don’t be fooled. They make a big impact. Just try them out yourself and watch yourself transform into a package of bliss. Good luck and may you be blessed with a life full of contentment!