How to find more contentment in your life.

 

Having peace of mind.


 Contentment doesn't mean that you should eliminate your ambitions, settle for less than you deserve, or remain satisfied with your life in a dormant state. Nothing is wrong with pursuing your dreams and wanting better for yourself. However, in your quest for better, you should always remember anything that costs your peace of mind is too costly.



1. Be thankful for everything.


One of the most profound biblical statements that I've read is from the Apostle Paul. ''I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.'' Philippians 4:11-13. Many of us are longing for contentment in our lives. Being grateful is a great way to start. Try to find at least one thing that enriches your life; do this daily, and you'll see the difference that it makes in your life. 

  • You'll be happier.
  • You'll take nothing for granted.
  • You'll start appreciating all that you have.
  • You'll feel less stressed.


 I remember how much I hated the house we had inherited. I would complain about how much I needed a new house.  The more my complaints grew the more uncomfortable I got. I became even more stressed, knowing I couldn't afford to purchase a house.  As time went on, I began to ponder on these things. There are many homeless people around the world. We aren't paying rent, mortgage, or lease. We've never gotten an eviction notice, etc. The more reasons I found to be grateful, the lesser my complaints grew. Murmuring centers our thoughts on all that we think we don't have. Gratitude reminds us of all we have been blessed with; whether great or small.


2. Live your life as an experience. 

Life is an amazing gift. It's meant to be remarkable. It's meant to be treasured. It's meant to be lived to the fullest. Too often, we bury our lives in regrets; chained by the circumstances of our past. Many say their life would have been better if they had done this or that. The truth is, we all make mistakes. We can't undo what's already done. There are many things that I should have done differently, but if I had done them, I wouldn't have known this version of me. Without the test, you can't have a testimony.  I would not have known how much resilience I had within me if I didn't go through certain struggles in my life.


 Some paths, no matter how treacherous, were meant for us to embark. I choose to learn from all my experiences. Good, bad, and ugly. I collect the lessons and use them as stepping stones to shape my future. If you keep harboring regrets, you'll never close the chapters of your past. Stay in the present and live your life as an experience. If it's good, treasure the memories. If it's bad learn from that experience and move on with your life. 

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha


3. Live your life on purpose.


 It's okay if no one believes in what you're doing. What matters most is that you believe in yourself. Don't be afraid to start something new. Don't allow people to pressure you with their timelines. Why aren't you married as yet? It's time for you to have children. You're too old to go back to school. What were you doing all these years?  If you choose not to marry, have children, or go back to school later, it's your choice. Whatever decision you're making in your life ensure that it is something that you want to do. Stand behind your choices. You have one life to live, and no one else can live it for you.


4. Avoid making your life complicated.

Don't create problems where there aren't any. If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. Know what your limitations are. Some things are beyond your control, and there isn't anything that you can do about them. Embrace changes as they come. Overthinking will only add more sadness to your life. Live one day at a time.


5. Don't live to impress others.


There's no shame in repeating your clothes, not having name brands, preparing home-cooked meals, riding public transportation, or not being able to afford something at the moment. Live the life that you know you can afford. Look at your pocket, not the latest trends! Don't accumulate unnecessary debt to impress anyone. The creditors will be calling you, not them. 



6. Detach yourself from people and things that make you unhappy.


Always hold the key to your happiness. Never depend on anything or anyone other than yourself to make you happy. Your happiness should always be a priority.  Anyone that has your best interest at heart would want to see you happy. Make no apologies to cut negative energy and toxic people from your life. It's not about hating them. It's about doing what's right for you.



7. Don't envy or compare yourself to others.

Be genuinely happy for others when they are excelling. You don't need to be acquainted with someone to wish them well. Celebrate their victories and encourage them to keep up the good work. There's no harm in meaning someone well. Envy breeds hatred, even for those who mean you no harm. You don't need to envy anyone because they're doing better than you. Your time will come!

Focus more on your unique abilities. Pay attention to the things that you are good at doing. Those that you aren't too good at doing, work on those.  Comparison will destroy your peace of mind. It will stress you out! Someone will always have what you think you're missing. You can't be anyone other than yourself. Never compare your life to anyone else's. Always be yourself.



8. Express your feelings more, speak up!

If something is bothering you, say it! Don't keep it bottled up inside, hoping that things will change, or automatically disappear. Stop saying that everything is okay when you know that it isn't.  There are times when you just can't keep your mouth shut, or hope that someone else will speak on your behalf. 

 Imagine someone standing on your toe on a congested passenger train. Would you say to yourself that this person is deliberately standing on my toe, and endure the pain? Would you hope for someone else to see the agony on your face, and call out to the person standing on your toe? Or would you immediately point out to the person, ''hey your standing on my toe?''

 Sometimes people are aware of the damage that they are inflicting on us, other times they aren't? Either way, it's never okay to remain silent about anything that's affecting us. Onlookers don't always see our pain, and there are times when they choose to ignore it. We must learn to speak up for ourselves, no matter how hard it is.


9. Choose to grow.

If you aren't growing, then you aren't changing. Like the butterfly, there are people and things that you must choose to grow out of. You may lose friendships along the way, but don't feel bad about it. The more you grow, the more you'll discover people and things that aren't right for you.


10. Don't over expect.

The more you expect, the greater your disappointments will be. Give without expecting anything in return. Don't expect too much from anyone. Human beings are fallible. Set your expectations at a minimum, you'll be less disappointed.



In closing, contentment is about having peace of mind. Anything that disturbs our peace of mind will make our life discontented. Therefore, having more or less in life doesn't mean that we'll have contentment. It isn't about the things we have or those we think we should have. If the mind is discontented it will throw everything else off balance.

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