Are you content?

Have you ever considered changing the ‘I wish I had…’ thoughts to something like ‘I’m so pleased I’ve got…’?

If you have, great! You’ve probably experienced that wonderful contented feeling that is often so fleeting in our society. We spend so much time wishing for things, that I’m concerned we might be missing out on the lovely things we already have, including that beautiful contented feeling.

When I was learning about positive psychology (which is the study of positive people and what they do that influences their positivity) I came across something very interesting: maximisers and satisfacers. Our culture encourages us to be maximisers – always wanting more, trying to be perfect. But our happiness is increased when we use satisfacing thoughts – enjoying what we’ve got and accepting that good really is good enough.

As a recovering perfectionist, this was really important to me. I figured out that just by changing my focus I could have a direct impact on how I felt, over months and years it’s even more effective. Here is an example, ‘I wish I had a kindle but I’m pleased I’ve got a bookcase full of books I haven’t read yet’ or ‘I’m pleased I’ve got a public library close by’ or ‘I’m pleased I’ve got a birthday coming up so I can ask for a kindle’ … You get the idea πŸ™‚

So if you’re looking for a short cut to feeling a bit more contented … start focusing on what is good enough, halt those thoughts that push you to perfection and accept what is do-able within the time/money restraints you have.
What are you pleased you have in your life? (this isn’t limited to objects)

6 thoughts on “Are you content?

  1. Great post. On a related note, I think it’s too easy to focus on happiness as an ultimate, perfect goal and I like your emphasis on contentment. I had this discussion with a couple of people over this past week. I see happiness and sadness as being two extremes of a spectrum, and of course just being alive means at times we will experience both, but to be able to consistently live in the middle area where contentment resides is, I think, a good thing to aim for and is a very satisfying, calming, peaceful feeling that is full of grace. More achieveable too, especially by being grateful for what we have like you have written about here. xKim

    • Thanks Kim πŸ™‚

      Yeah I’m pretty hot on the idea that all emotions are valid & important (as long as they’re not self perpetuating and damaging). For example: to be angry is a sign that you feel violated in some way, someone has acted in a way you find unacceptable. A pretty important emotion!

      Happiness is fab but you’re right life is ups and downs and we can’t expect to live in a world where there is only happiness… As a wise person once said to me, you can’t have rainbows without rain πŸ™‚

      For me emotions are very important for all sorts of reasons but control of our thoughts is just as important. Did you know that your body is only angry for 90 seconds and after that our minds choose to let it go or to carry it on? So rage is real (biologically speaking) but only for about 90 seconds, after that it’s a choice… That fascinated me because of how much choice we really have!

      Fiona,x

      • Fascinating facts about 90 seconds of rage, I will try and remember this next time I get the red mist (bound to happen soon!)

  2. I love this rational way of thinking and I will apply it more to my life! It really makes sense – I may forward this blog message to facebook if that’s OK, or take some of the wording. We are pre-programmed either by TV and adverts or the people we are in contact with – whether it’s intentional or not! I think I have applied this pressure on myself sometimes, but knowing that it’s OK to like and be contented with your ‘lot’ is just as liberating. It probably won’t stop me from thinking about ‘what I wish for’, but it will also make me think about what I have – and that is pretty much quite alot when you really think about it!

    Great blog with lots of wisdom attached! Love it!

    Jxxx

    • Of course you can post the link to facebook, you always have my blessing to do that πŸ™‚ that’s one of the best things you could do to help me promote my blog and let the wisdom contained in the words have the biggest impact πŸ™‚

      I’m pleased the post struck a cord with you, I think these things are good to consider & apply where appropriate,x

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