I recently returned from a meditation intensive with the question “ What brings happiness and contentment?”
Often society connects happiness with gaining something outside of us, whether it be in our relationships, finding the right partner, career, money, travel etc. and the wish list goes on. In this article I outline ten ways you can gain a clearer understanding of how to be happier and more content within yourself.
1. Set realistic goals of what you want and allow yourself to imagine what this would look and feel like. This can help motivate you to change. Too often we avoid thinking about achieving our goals to prevent feeling disappointed if we don’t succeed.
2. Choose activities that you enjoy! Whether it’s going for a walk in the bush, listening to music or watching your favourite sport. It could be spending time with others and enjoying their laughter and company. Choose what works for you and have fun.
3. Being authentic, being seen for who you are, not who you think you should be for others. Being true to yourself and your own values helps give a sense of peace and contentment.
4. Give yourself time each day to appreciate what is working in your life. Value what you have achieved rather than ignoring it to focus on pushing yourself to the next task. Acknowledge your progress, no matter how small, this is important.
5. What is it that gives you a sense of calmness and contentment? This may be as simple as taking the time to watch the sunset or looking up at the open starry night, feeling the stillness and clarity of the stars on your way to empty the garbage! Whatever the activity is, pause, breathe deeply and allow yourself to be in this moment without being distracted by anything else.
6. What gives you purpose and meaning in your life? Your purpose is what is deeply important to you, what drives you and is not connected to how others see you. When you follow what gives you meaning and purpose you tend to feel enriched, fulfilled and part of something greater than yourself. It may take a while to fully live that sense of purpose, but knowing and naming it can help steer you in the right direction.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on your own feelings, thoughts and actions. There will always be someone better looking, smarter etc. Be compassionate towards yourself. Nobody is perfect. This is part of being human, so lighten up. It’s ok.
8. Smile and be with others who brighten up your day. This tends to lift your mood and improve your day.
9. Give yourself permission to stop, breathe and be happy and content in this moment. Give yourself a break!
10. Allow yourself to be open to change and look at alternatives. Be flexible.
We are all unique and will be attracted to different activities that help us experience joy and contentment. I have found giving myself time to appreciate and be in the moment helps change my attitude and compassion towards myself and others. Then life seems to be less jarring and stressful and more fulfilling.
I hope you find this article helpful.
If you would like to know more, contact me on 0403 953 065