Do you feel mostly content or discontent with your life?
Do you know what it feels like to eat a delicious meal, to be present with the smells, textures, and spices of the food, so much so that the flavors dance on your tongue? After savoring each morsel, you feel completely satiated and satisfied. You don’t crave anything else because this meal “hit the spot.”
Having such an experience with food or any aspect of life in which you are totally present, bringing your full attention, is the definition of contentment.
Discontentment is the opposite. You feel distracted, annoyed, frustrated because no matter how much effort you put into your daily experience of life, you’re left wanting more, needing more, to be OK.
You might have the most beautiful life, sitting right in front of you, a caring spouse, loving family, beautiful home and financial security, yet you may still feel insecure.
It’s as if this life is enclosed in a glass case. You can see it, imagine what it might be like to partake in it. BUT, you aren’t present to it. The key to unlock the closure remains hidden.
This blog will give you a roadmap back to you so that you no longer have to feel discontent. Ultimately, though, you have to do the heavy lifting and discover the missing puzzle pieces that, once found, will unlock your best, most present, content life.
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4 Steps to Get Out of Feeling Discontentment
Step 1: Acknowledge and Understand Discontentment
If you were to truly be satisfied and content with life, it would feel unnatural to your way of being because you’re used to having some anxiety. That’s why I think that some women hear the word “contentment,” and they want no part of it. Why? It sounds boring to the part of them that is restless and wants constant stimulation from the next new, shiny thing. Anxiety, though it may sound bad (prolonged, it’s not good for the body), provides that addictive adrenaline rush.
On the other hand, you may be one of those people who romanticizes contentment, visualizing the sleeping dog, curled into a ball, who looks peaceful, relaxed and happy to simply exist. You daydream of such a state, but believe that true contentment like that is out of your reach. It’s meant for others, but not for you.
What if Contentment were meant for you, me and everyone? In order to access it, you have to learn that you are lovable, deserving, and worthy. The Universe is FOR you and not against you, despite “evidence” that says otherwise. It may sound like a tall order, but it IS possible.
When you recognize patterns and triggers of WHY you feel discontent, and just let your feelings come and go, surprisingly, you won’t feel as discontent.
TIP: Write about your feelings of discontentment. I journal daily for 5 minutes as a way to release negativity and the pressure of life. Better out than in, as my hubbie says. 🙂
Step 2: Challenge Negative Thoughts
When your life circumstances have been harsh, such as experiencing abuse or trauma as a child or as an adult, neglect, abandonment, etc., you may hold various beliefs that perpetuate the cycle of discontentment.
For example, I know many people, including myself, who had turbulent childhoods. We grew up in chaotic homes with some manner of dysfunction, such as domestic violence, verbal abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, of ourselves or of one of our parents by the other parent.
When you’ve had this experience, it’s not unusual to form certain beliefs that are harmful. Here are a few examples:
- I can’t relax and trust the process of life.
- I am not safe to be myself.
- God does not love me or want the best for me.
- I am not worthy or deserving of happiness and contentment.
- Something is wrong with me.
- I have to work 24/7 to be valuable.
- No one sticks around for me.
- God is out to punish me.
TIP: When you feel ready to move forward, you might want to give my favorite technique to shift limiting beliefs a try. EFT (a/k/a tapping) rewires your neural pathways and helps you to form new replacement beliefs that better serve you.
Step 3: Develop a Gratitude Practice
This sounds so cliche anymore, but it really works. Personally, I’m not discontent with my life. I have had many rich experiences that I’m grateful for, such as deep, meaningful relationships, traveling the world, a supportive husband, a warm and inviting home, a fulfilling career life, an amazing dog, etc.
But oh boy, please don’t think my life is perfect because it’s not and never will be. Fortunately, perfection isn’t required to be grateful.
Keeping a gratitude journal consistently for over 20 years has certainly helped me. And today, actually as I write this blog, my husband and I are starting a joint gratitude journal, where we will write 3 things we’re grateful for as a couple. What you focus on grows, right?
TIP: Start today by putting pen to paper about what you’re grateful for. Writing it down solidifies it somehow into your mind and heart. It sends a signal to the universe that you’re serious about focusing on the positive.
Step 4: Foster Meaningful Relationships
What makes a person content and truly prosperous? It’s not the money or accumulation of assets, contrary to what society or the EGO would have you believe. I’m always reminded of the Jim Carrey quote: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that that’s not the answer.”
On some days, when I’m feeling sorry for myself or complaining a lot, I remind myself that life is about the journey to my goals that matters, not the goals themselves or whether I accomplish them. The EGO hates this and doesn’t get it.
Relationships with Others
A big part of the journey is who you meet along the way. I believe that what makes you prosperous is your meaningful relationships. At the end of the day, if you had a beautiful home and lots of money in your bank account, but your spouse and children and family were gone, would you really care about your possessions?
Relationship with Money
Of course, money and nice things make life easier and more pleasurable, and I whole heartedly support striving for abundance. We are physical and energetic beings and this physical aspect needs to be honored.
Money is energy and a wonderful tool for impact, and it often reflects how you feel about yourself. So it’s important to take a look at your relationship with money. Does money flow into your life and stick around, or do you feel like money often abandons you? Only when money determines your sense of self-worth does it master your mind and heart and become a problem.
Relationship with Yourself
Foster a wonderful relationship with yourself. You are worthy of forgiveness, compassion, love, joy, peace and prosperity. Do you get this at a heart level? You may know it intellectually, but do you feel it in your body that you are lovable and enough?
Relationship with Your Higher Power
Above all, in order to allow contentment into your life, examine the relationship with your Higher Power, however you define that. I say this prayer daily, “God, help me and everyone I’m praying for to see ourselves through your lens, the lens of Unconditional Love.”
When you can trust that the Universe/God has your back, it will allow you to trust and surrender to the mystery of Life. And contentment will be yours.
TIP: Consider realigning your priorities by examining the relationships with yourself, money, others and God and adjust as needed.
Discontentment comes about due to a spiritual disconnection where you lose connection with yourself and with your Higher Power. It shows up as estranged relationships with those closest to you and a general mistrust of others.
As a result, you construct a self-protected heart and often feel lonely and crave connection and community.
To find your way out of this discontentment puzzle, first acknowledge that it’s happening to you. Examine the underlying beliefs around discontentment and begin to shift them with EFT.
Develop a gratitude practice in which you reframe your reality and pay attention to all that is going well. You might be surprised how lovely your life is.
Realize in your heart that meaningful relationships comprise a truly content and prosperous life. It will take some work to heal the relationship with yourself, others, money, and God. You are worth the effort.
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