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Four Ways To Be More Content With Your Life (To Be Happy)
Have you ever felt like you are constantly searching for something? Something more, bigger and better?
Or maybe you feel as though you have to constantly compete with others. You may not realize it at first, but once you sit back and think about it, you may be ask yourself, “why do I even care about this?”
Let me give you an example, lets say you are envious of a mom who gets to stay at home with her children. You think, “Wow, I wish I could be like her! Not having to worry about the cost of daycare, missing work because of sick kids. She gets to show up in the car line in her pajamas while I show up with coffee spilled all over my work suit!”
Then the more you think about it, the angrier and more envious you get. Your thoughts switch from making (probably) untrue assumptions about her, to jealousy (although you might not admit it), then to bitterness not only about her life, but your life as well.
At the end of the day, what do you get out of these thoughts? Who is the person who is affected by your thoughts about this other woman?
Well, you are. That other woman cannot hear your thoughts, nor would she probably want to hear your thoughts about her life. Your reason for not being content with your life isn’t affecting anyone, but you.
As you sit back and think about your own life you may get sad when you think about your children having to be in daycare for 8 hours a day, and you feel like a failure. Your house is always a mess, you and your spouse hardly have alone time, and your brain acts like it is caught up in a shit storm (figuratively speaking of course).
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1. Change the Way You Think
One day you are surfing Facebook and that same mom writes a post about how she feels like she is failing her children; her house is a complete wreck, she and her spouse hardly see each other, and her brain is caught in a poopy storm (is she around kids so much she forgot what the word shit is?).
The situation is just an example and could be completely flipped, vice versa, etc.
If other moms read this there may be two different ways that they may react.
- Mom A: After reading that mom’s post about how her life is going she may think “What?! She has problems in her life too? No way!” Then maybe she starts feeling a little remorse about some of the thoughts she have been thinking about that stay at home mom.
- Mom B: This woman may see that woman’s post as “attention seeking” or “whining” and she may think to herself “Please! If she did half of what I did, she wouldn’t be complaining!” Or, “Well if she also had to do X,Y, and Z then she would really know what struggling is!”
I think most women would like to say that they would think more like Mom A, but I think there are a lot of moms who would also think like Mom B (I am guilty of this too sometimes).
I know every person likes to think that they work the hardest, try the hardest and deserve the best, but at what point is another woman/person’s struggle not good enough to talk about?
If you are constantly focused on negative thoughts about others, this will only drive bitterness and anger not only towards others, but ultimately yourself as well. Think positive things about that person or problem, even it is hard to do.
Of course no one is perfect, and changing the way you think can take days, weeks or months in some cases. I too, as a working mom, struggle with feelings about others sometimes, and I have been on both sides of the fence in regards to working full time and being at home and there really isn’t a “grass is greener” on that topic.
This particular topic isn’t the only topic that this can relate to, almost any topic that you can think of can probably relate to this.
2. Just be content! Let yourself be content and happy
First, realize that everyone has problems and even if their life may seem “perfect” it is probably far from the truth. Stop comparing yourself to others and realize that everyone has struggles they are going though.
I know it can be disheartening if you always see a person who posts pictures of them and their significant other always looking so happy, or maybe they may have a nice large home, and a brand new vehicle sitting in their driveway. But that doesn’t mean anything as far as how well they get along with each other, and hey maybe they inherited that large house. Who knows, and you shouldn’t care because it really isn’t your business.
People can have big problems (serious illness), small (Taco Bell got your order wrong), or medium (everything in life seems to get more expensive) as some examples. Some people don’t like to talk about their problems with others – this can include on social media websites and even with close friends, but others do like to share some personal issues as a way to engage others. They may not mean for it to be whiny or attention seeking.
In reality, wouldn’t you be somewhat relieved after reading that stay at home moms Facebook post?
Hopefully not in a way that you are happy that she is going through some difficult times, but more of the fact that YOU yourself aren’t alone in your problems or difficult times. You actually have very similar struggles; this could be the perfect tool to build each other up.
Some people are more open about their problems than other people and when people talk openly about their issues they just may want to know that they are not alone in their problems. Others may want to hear, “you are strong and you can do this!”
3. Examine your own life; how can you change certain areas of your life if you are struggling?
This doesn’t just mean changing the way you think- I know, I know. Easier said than done, right?
For example, let’s say that you are envious of a mom who you always see running past your house and she looks great- mind you she has 4 kids too. You start getting a little jealous that she has that time to workout despite having 4 kids. You only wish you could workout that much and then you could lose that last 15 lbs you wish would go.
First, stop thinking anything negative about the other women and start working on yourself. Are you thinking negative things about this woman as a means of creating your own excuses to not work out, when in fact you could make it priority in your life if you really wanted to?
You can think of different ways to squeeze in some workout time during your day- do some crunches/sit ups/pushups while you are playing with your kids in the living room or maybe skip your nightly social media catch up and do a 30 minute workout instead.
Or maybe you could go up to that mom who always run by your house and ask her for any tips on working out and see if you could run (or gallop behind her) with her a few nights a week.
Even though this is just a wild made up example, you should realize that you have many options in just about anything in life. Use your brain to be productive so you can create different scenarios in life in order to make some changes that are needed.
4. Ask for help if you are having a problem that you cannot figure out
Let me be clear, just because you aren’t the only one with problems it doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t talk about them. You can and probably should talk about these problems with a close friend, therapist, or a colleague and yes even on social media if that is what you feel is comfortable to you (as long as you realize you may get some advice you don’t want to hear).
It is great to talk about a problem you may be facing with others. It can give other people an idea of what is going on in your life and could help them brainstorm different ideas to help you with that problem, but be careful about who you talk to about certain aspects of your life. You may actually end up with bigger problems if you tell the wrong people.
Learning how to be content with your life can be a constant work in progress believe me.
Have you struggled with being content with your life in certain aspects? In what ways do you struggle with your feelings about this topic?