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At some point in our lives, we’ve all been unhappy because we lacked something.
It’s quite normal to feel that you’d be happier on certain days if only some other condition in your life was true.
Unfortunately, many people live their whole lives like this, waiting for something to materialize before being happy.
But this doesn’t have to be your life.
You can learn how to be happy with what you have.
And that will open up a lot of freedom in your life.
Everyone at one point has probably thought something like “If I had $1 million in my bank account, I would be the happiest person on earth” or “If I could only be as smart or good looking as that person, I’d be happy”.
This way of thinking is almost normal for everyone, but the question is, how true is it?
Can a certain amount of money or looking a certain way truly be a sustainable source of happiness?
Well no, not really.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, true happiness is very difficult to define.
Different things make different people happy.
And what makes you happy today may not even excite you tomorrow.
Also, what saddened you yesterday may become a surprising source of joy today.
There is no specific factor that brings lasting happiness.
Not food, not money, not clothes, not cars, not even marrying your celebrity crush.
All those things can only give you temporary pleasure, after which you’ll end up always with the urge for more.
In this guide, I’ll share with you 7 tips to finding joy in every day and moment of your life.
How To Be Happy With What You Have
7 Tips To Enjoy Life And Be Content
While there are many things you can do to be happier with what you have, it all comes down to you making the choice to be happy now.
You have to be the one to realize that you are living right now, and that placing your happiness upon some future event may leave you waiting forever.
At first, it might take some conscious effort to be satisfied with what you have, no matter how little or bad it may seem to you.
But if you keep at it, you’ll slowly see your life changing for the better.
Here are some great ways to learn to be content with what you have.
#1. Understand Why You Want More From Life
In order to be happy for what you have, you need to focus on the basics by asking yourself questions like:
- Why am I always needing more?
- Why can’t I be happy?
- Why am I not content with what I have?
- Why am I not happy with myself?
- Why can’t I find someone to love?
- Why do I think I’m no good?
You need to understand and answer these questions before you can ever find a solution to the how.
Don’t make the mistake of not putting a lot of thought into these questions.
The answers are your foundation to a better life.
In most cases, the urge to always want more comes as a result of insecurity or being in the habit of comparing yourself to others.
- Read now: Click here to learn how to quiet your inner critic
- Read now: Learn how to stop caring what other people think
This can also be a major reason why you’re never feeling happy with yourself.
This urge can also be traced to when you define success from the wrong point of view.
But, you can actually put an end to this by paying attention to the incidents that usually take place right before that “urge” sets in.
Do you feel that way after coming across a shop exhibit or an advert? Was it a discussion you had with a friend? Or just something you saw on Facebook, Instagram, or social media in general?
After this, the next thing is to study yourself and understand how such things trigger your emotions.
How does that “urge” make you feel? Sad? Pitiful? Angry? Anxious? Afraid? Remorseful?
This might take weeks or months of constant intentional effort, but keep up with the self-observation and if you can, write down your feelings and experiences.
You will find out a lot about yourself and the way you think.
After you’ve done this for a couple of weeks or months, then the answers you arrived at will take you to the next stage.
#2. Change Your Narrative
After you have observed your emotions and thoughts and determined the reason you are never content, it is time to reconsider the stories you tell yourself about your life.
You have to change your narrative to be happy in the long run.
Common stories people usually tell themselves include things like the following.
- Only people with a lot of money can truly be happy.
- If I had more money, or looked better, people would like me more.
- People like me with a lot of debt will never really be happy and will always struggle.
- I would be so much happier if I could find the right partner, why can’t be happy as a single person.
While these stories appear soothing and comfortable, the truth is that they’re all lies.
The only thing such stories will result in is discontent.
To change this narrative, you have to challenge yourself.
- Read now: Click here to 21 positive thinking exercises to change your thoughts
- Read now: Are you sabotaging your own happiness
Which of your stories make you unhappy with what you have? How can you discredit such stories and what narrative should you uphold instead?
The ball is in your court to make a change today.
#3. Normalize A Minimalist Lifestyle
The truth is, whatever you normalize in your life can evolve into something extreme over time.
For instance, when you get promoted at work and your salary improves, it’s more likely that what you used to see as extravagance will become more like a basic way of life.
As a result, it will become part of you to want more and more things.
You’ll keep requiring more property, more clothes, more cars, more jewelry, until you completely forget what it used to be like to have less.
With this kind of attitude, you’ll definitely struggle to be content.
To deal with this kind of situation, you need to embrace a minimalist lifestyle and make a new normal way of life.
Start by buying less stuff!
Sure, it might be difficult at first to make such a sudden readjustment, but try to take it one step at a time.
When you gradually start minimizing your new purchases, this will become your new normal over time.
Having less “stuff” in your life will also help you to shift your focus away from the material things in your life, to the things that truly matter, such as your emotional connections and experiences with family and friends.
#4. Surround Yourself With Happy People
Whether you realize it or not, a lot of what you think is shaped or influenced by the people you are surrounded by and what they believe.
So, if you truly want to be more content with the things you have, the best you can do is to surround yourself with people who are happy with what they have.
Make a conscious effort towards being around people with like minds.
- Read now: Learn how to deal with negative people
Surround yourself with people who have ways of triggering positivity and happiness in whatever situation they find themselves.
This way, you too will be positively influenced to be happy regardless of the situation.
#5. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is one of the easiest things anybody can do to improve their lives.
Yet, it seems to be lacking to a great extent in this present age.
People tend to find it difficult to be thankful.
Not to anyone, not even to themselves or for what they have accomplished.
To counteract whatever discontent you have in life, the key solution is to always practice gratitude.
Whenever you feel the impulse to be unhappy or unsatisfied with what you have, learn to be grateful and appreciative of what you already have!
If you feel the urge to get some new clothes, recall and write down the reasons you are grateful for the clothes you already own. Trust me, doing this is not as weird as it sounds.
Practicing gratitude is not only linked to what you have.
You can do the same for the things you don’t have.
If you consider the financial cost and opportunity cost of any new purchase, the time and effort to maintain such items, and the space it will occupy in your home, you’ll have no choice but to be grateful for not having such items.
With this kind of mindset, you’ll start perceiving having less as a positive trait instead of a negative one.
After all, you are not giving up anything. You are only choosing to buy and allow into your life the things that you truly value.
#6. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Normally, by the time you’ve re-written your narrative, started practicing gratitude, and encircled yourself with like-minded people, you’ll naturally start wanting less and be happier with what you already have.
However, there’s one thing you also need to learn to let go of, and that is comparing yourself, or your life, to that of others.
Comparing yourself to others can be the thief of all joy in your life.
There is absolutely no upside to you thinking that others are better than you or that they have it better in life than you.
It can fill you with envy, jealousy, regret and even sadness.
Remember, the small glimpses you see of other people’s lives and circumstances are only that.
Small and incomplete parts of their lives.
You never truly know how someone else is feeling or what they’re really going through.
People only tend to share the parts they are most proud of.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on what you have.
Every person is unique in this world, and every person is absolutely 100% worthy.
You have to understand that you are enough, and that what you have is enough.
There is no need for you to compete with someone else, just being yourself is okay.
Withstanding this impulse to compare yourself to others will certainly take some time, mindful effort, and perseverance.
Start small. Whenever the urge comes, remind yourself that you are your own unique person with your own circumstances.
From there, you will improve gradually.
It won’t be easy at first, but over time, you will be much more content.
#7. Focus On What Matters Most
Last but not least, to be truly happy with what you have, learning to pay attention to the most important things!
To find out what matters most to you, ask yourself these 5 questions.
- What are my priorities and why am I prioritizing them?
- What are my goals and objectives in life?
- What do I want most out of life?
- What are my biggest dreams?
- What can I live or die for?
- What will I regret not doing?
Whenever you have the find yourself wanting more out of life, pay attention to your answers to the above questions.
Once you look at things from this particular perspective, you’ll be shocked to realize that some of the things you used to think matter don’t even matter at all.
Those things will become frivolities because none of them satisfies any of those questions that determine what matters most to you.
Once you start making such considerations, you will be more focused on the most important things.
That will truly help you on your journey to be happy with what you have in life.
If you take anything away from all of this, let it be the realization that you are alive right now, and that you shouldn’t place your happiness upon some future event that might never transpire.
Life is way too short to not be happy now, so make the conscious choice today and see how your life will improve going forward.
Lish is a personal development enthusiast who wants to help people of all ages uplevel their lives. She is of the opinion that we are only limited by our beliefs and that once we overcome our limiting beliefs, we can truly live a life without regrets. She is the author behind Mind Her Way where she shares her thoughts on personal growth and relationships.