How to be content? (Steps)

How to be content

In this guide, we will discuss what it means to be content and how to be content. 

How to be content?

You are wondering “How to be content?” and how to succeed at it. Well, we will try helping you answer this question at the end of this blog. However, take into consideration that this not an easy question to answer because everyone can have a different understanding of what means to be content.

However, we agree with Rachel Yahne from Huffpost.com when she says “Contentment is cultivated, but it’s done so by first going deep inside of yourself, and then out in all directions rather than a narrow view from a single point.”

How to be content? (Steps)

Take a moment to be grateful for something in your life

Think about things in your life that make it amazing, even when all we see is the bad side of it. Even if everything seems to be not going your way or making you sad, there must be at least one good thing. It might simply be that you are healthy or alive, or someone in your family or a friend. Find something, and give thanks for. 

Recognize the negative thoughts about you and your life

How many times do we recognize what we are thinking is not actually true? It’s amazing how often people think this thought. “This sucks!” “My co-worker is the worst — he sucks!” “My wife doesn’t understand me — this is depressing!” You might use different words but the same meaning, but if you catch yourself thinking something like that, pause. Switch the thought for something positive. Find a way to be thankful for the situation and then you might actually say “this is not as bad as I thought”. 

Find the joy in the “simple” things 

What do you need to be happy? Simple things work equally as good as big presents or holidays such as taking a walk, spending time with a loved one, reading a book, eating something you like, drinking tea, find that thing that brings joy to you. These cost very little, and require very little, and can make you very happy. Find the simple things that give you similar happiness, and focus on those rather than what you don’t have at the present moment.

Set goals and work towards them

Dream big! Set goals for yourself and work towards them always remembering to enjoy the journey and not rushing into getting them faster, the good things in life require effort and take time. 

This will give yourself a purpose and when gradually achieving the goals you can actually feel the happiness of doing a good job! Happiness can come and go, while contentment or being content is something you are constantly working towards. 

How to be content? (Steps)

Live up to your values


If your values are in tune with your actions and thoughts then you are going to be able to be authentic more easily. This will provide you with that sense of contentment.

But, what do we mean by values? Well, they are essentially those fundamental beliefs that guide your actions and attitudes towards life. For instance, consistency, honesty, commitment, efficiency, loyalty, are some examples. However, if you are not sure about what your current values are then it is recommended to make a list and write them down for clarity. Also, try picking your top five that you consider are the most important and work with them.

Nurture and nourish your mind and body

Sometimes we choose to neglect ourselves because we are not happy with who we are or how we look but the truth is that we need to accept ourselves as to who we are, how we look and be comfortable in our own skin. It is not an easy task but taking care of yourself can gradually help you to fall in love with who you are and embrace it. 

We are constantly fixated into our smartphones or computer screens and we give social media the power to dictate our way of living.  Ask yourself when was the last time you did something for your mind or body? For instance, taking a nice bath with some relaxing music and forgetting about the world (especially your phone’s messaging and notifications). 

When was the last time you picked a book that interested you and read it entirely? Or did at least 10 minutes of exercise during your day? Think about it and in addition, think of the type of food you give your body. Yes, we understand you probably have a busy schedule and sometimes you have to eat what is available so you won’t starve but there are also quick healthy choices to replace your old greasy, sugary and fatty foods. 

Identify your strengths and put them to practice!

We spend a lot of time thinking about what we are bad at or “not enough” and then we complain. We occupy our resources and energy in identifying what we don’t like about ourselves or jealous about how someone has an ability you don’t. Try to recognize we do have plenty of strengths and abilities, and accept everyone is different. 

Try making a list and if you lack perspective ask a friend or a relative that knows you very well. 

How to be content? (Steps)

Be curious and try new things

We spend most of our lives living trapped in a routine. We get up and do the same things over and over again because we become comfortable with what we are familiar with which tends to switch the “be curious and try new things” off. 

We are sure you have many things in your head, loads of responsibility and little time. However, there is always time to try taking those yoga lessons or going to that new restaurant in town everyone keep talking about. 

In tune with  Catherine Beard from Theblissfulmind.com, “We can either embrace our curiosity or spend our whole lives wondering what it might have been like to talk to so-and-so or do this-and-that. Be curious about everything, and you’ll never be bored.

How to be content? (Steps)

Why is this blog about “How to be content” important?

As we have discussed, being content involves having that feeling of overall life-satisfaction and being grateful for what you have at the present moment. Additionally, being content is related to the ability to find joy in the simple things and recognizing you are full of strengths instead of focusing on the bad. 

Being and feeling content is a state of mind so train your mind into realizing you can be/feel content without needing much in life or by simply shifting that negative mindset and see there are opportunities to learn from adversity or those bad things that happen to us. 

However, we are not suggesting you settle with what life throws at you but instead, set goals and work to achieve them in time. Put these tips and ideas into practice and you can start the journey into learning how to be content. 

Please feel free to comment in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to be content

What does it mean to be content with what you have?

To be content with what you have means you are satisfied and happy. This word can have different meanings, it can be related to being pleased or satisfied (feeling content) or making someone else happy with their lives (contenting them). It is a very subjective perspective of what makes you happy in life.  

How do I become a contented person?

There are several ways to become a contented person, let’s name a few:

  • Try to do what you love, this will bring happiness and joy to your life. Many times we do what we are supposed to do or what it is expected of us but this makes us feel empty or with a constant sense of a void, we can’t seem to fill.
  • Be grateful for your life. Try being grateful and thanking for what you already have, this way you can embrace and make some room for things to come.
  • Try to appreciate the small things in life. This is not easy, we tend to overlook or oversee those little things in our lives that can bring us tremendous joy. This is because we are so focused on the negative than in the positive and then it is when we take things for granted.
  • Do things for others. Even if it is opening the door for them or listening to someone in distress, make someone smile with a silly joke or just with an appreciation note. 
  • Accept yourself as you are. This is difficult right? We are constantly looking to change or modify things about us or we fantasize about living someone else’s life but you are perfectly imperfect the way you are, everyone is. 
  • Be positive. When you are thinking negative bead things tend to keep happening or we just simply keep having back luck but if you see those things as an opportunity to learn about others or yourself life will have a different meaning. 

What is the difference between being happy and being content?

Some people say the difference between being happy and being content is related to “how long” the sensation lasts. For instance, happiness comes with excitement and you can feel euphoric but it tends to pass very quickly, whereas, being content is supposed to be a lasting feeling of satisfaction or gratitude towards your life, people or circumstances. 

How do you have content in a relationship?

It is ideal to have contentment in your relationship but it is not always like this. Sometimes what happens is that we have really high expectations and we tend to get disappointed, then ditch them. Also,  we don’t appreciate our partner enough or they don’t appreciate us as frequent as we would like to, be appreciative then even if they are not. 

Finally, do not keep your feelings to yourself, express them in an assertive way especially because your partner can’t read minds and sometimes we are expecting them to figure out how we are feeling by themselves. 

How do you live a life of contentment?

Living a life of contentment can involve the following:

  • Recognize what is important and meaningful to you.
  • Examine what you are committed to at the moment.
  • Try relaxing and letting things take their course without over-worrying, you may be surprised by the things that can happen when you are not controlling everything all the time. 
  • Enjoy the things you are doing, even if they might not be your first or top choice. Changing your mentality towards them can help you enjoy them easier and have a good time. 
  • Try eating slower, take a second to enjoy the taste of the food, recognizing the different flavors. 

Recommended reading

References

Theblissfulmind.com: 7 WAYS TO FEEL CONTENT WITH YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW

Theblissfulmind.com: 30 GOAL IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

Zenhabits.net

Huffpost.com: These Three Habits Are Keeping You From Feeling Content

How to be content? (Steps)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.

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