16 Ways to Be Content With What You Have
Leigh Weingus •
Being content with what you have is the key to true happiness. When we believe—really believe—that what we have is enough, we’re not as likely to compare ourselves to others or focus too much on what we don’t have. Instead, we live in an attitude of gratitude and joy. This is what helps us find happiness.
Of course, finding happiness and being truly content with what you have is often easier said than done. Here are 12 ways to be content with what you have so you can start to live life to the fullest.
How to Be Content With What You Have
During the pandemic, many of us stopped socializing completely. And while things are more or less back to normal now, we often don’t see our friends and family members as much as we could—especially because we’re living in a digital age where texting and messaging over social media are the norm. So make an effort to socialize. You may find that spending time with people you love is all you need to get better at appreciating what you have.
2. Do something that makes you feel good every single day
What makes you feel good? Whatever it is, tune into it and engage with it as much as you possibly can. Dance around your living room. Read a great book. Take a bath. Meditate. Inhale your favorite essential oil. Doing just one, manageable thing that makes you feel good every day will make a world of difference in helping you be content with what you have.
3. Log off of social media
“Comparison is the thief of joy” is a well-known phrase, and for good reason. When we compare ourselves too much to others, it’s really hard to be content with what we have. As much fun and connecting as it can be, social media is also one big comparison trap: As we scroll through vacation pictures and career successes, it can be difficult to stay content with what we have. If completely getting off of social media isn’t possible for you, consider limiting your time or muting or unfollowing accounts that don’t inspire happiness.
4. Practice gratitude
The absolute most important thing to do when you’re working to be content with what you have? Be thankful for what you have. Make a gratitude list, or just name one thing you’re grateful for if that’s all you have in you on certain days. By practicing gratitude (or keeping a gratitude journal!) on a regular basis, you’ll come to realize that what you have isn’t that bad—and that actually, it’s pretty great.
5. Get enough exercise
Studies have long shown that regular exercise is key to wellbeing. Research shows that even short bursts of exercise every day can improve our wellbeing, and that people who exercise regularly have lower rates of mental illness. In other words, exercise is a great to get better at being content with what you have.
Tired of being told to meditate? If you’re someone who has a hard time sitting still and calming your mind, this probably isn’t the tip you want—but hear us out. Getting in the practice of regular meditation is a great way to stay present, which can help you feel content with what you have.
7. Let people know when you appreciate them
As the saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive, so let the people in your life know how much you appreciate them whenever possible. By letting people know you love and appreciate them, you’ll get better at being content with what you have, because one thing you’ll know you have is them. And that’s a reason to celebrate and be content.
8. Try to practice positivity
The conversation around positivity has been a complicated one in recent years—especially with toxic positivity being an issue—but in general, trying to remain positive can be a great tool for being content with what you have. It can help remind you of just how much good is around you and help you feel more content.
9. Work on letting go of the past
It’s easier said than done, but working to let go of past traumas, regrets, or letdowns is so important when you’re working to be content with what you have. If you’re having a hard time with this, don’t be afraid to consult a mental health professional. They can help you work through any past regrets or traumas that are stopping you from living in the present.
10. Get enough sleep
It’s a well-known scientific fact that lack of sleep is correlated with depression, reduced immune function, and even physical issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attack. When we’re well-rested, we’re better able to take on life’s challenges—and that includes being content with what we have. A sleep tracker can be a great way to prioritize sleep and help you start getting enough of it.
11. Take care of your body
We’ve already mentioned a few methods for taking care of your body, like getting enough sleep and exercise. But making sure you’re taking care of your body in smaller, less obvious ways helps, too. Practice self-care, eat food that makes you feel good and fills you with energy, stretch, and practice deep breathing whenever you can.
12. Make sure you’ve living in a way that aligns with your core values
When you’re not living in a way that aligns with your core values and who you want to be, it’s tough to be content with what you have. Once you start living in a way that feels authentic and right to you, you’ll likely be shocked by just how good life looks and feels—so make living in a way that feels true to you your goal. You may be surprised by just how content you feel.
13. Craft a serene living space
Minimalism is trendy for a reason—when we live in a space that's serene and clutter-free, it makes it easier for us to think clearly and truly embrace what we have in a new, more clear-headed way. So if you've been dealing with a lot of clutter, work to clear it out. In time, you may notice a big change.
14. Come up with a mantra
A mantra can be a game-changer when you're working to be content with what you have. Some examples of mantras include:
- Everything happens right on schedule
- Things are not being done to me, they are just happening
- I have enough
- I may have less than many, but I also have more than many
- Nothing lasts forever. Not the good or the bad.
- Love the life you have
15. Find a ritual
A daily ritual can be a great way for you to cultivate gratitude and contentment for all that you have, so find something that really speaks to you, whether that means lighting a candle, a 15-minute yoga flow, or anything else that really speaks to you.
16. Believe in yourself
As best you can, try not to let your confidence waver. Believe that what you have is enough, believe that you are strong and capable, believe you can achieve big things, believe in the power of healing. All of these are important for being content with what you have.
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