There‘s so much emphasis on getting ahead, being successful and striving for change in today’s world. Listening to this message can really disrupt a peaceful life, and make it difficult to remember that you already have so much for which to be grateful. The constant pushing to change your circumstances so you can meet those expectations or at least keep up leads to dissatisfaction and keeps you trapped in a cycle of always feeling you’re not worthy, not doing enough, and basically you’re just good enough.
Free yourself from the burden of feeling you must always work and try harder by remembering to stop and appreciate what you’ve already achieved. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and all the blessings you already have in your life. Keep in mind that you are free to be content right now.
You may be wondering how to be content when you feel there is so much pressure to get to the next level and beyond. It’s very do-able. In fact, you already have everything inside of you to do it. If you are still a little skeptical, here are a few ideas that may help.
Ask yourself the hard question
Ask yourself why you feel the need to listen to all the messages that are out there. Is it something you really want or is it that you feel you need to live up to an expectation? That may seem like a harsh question, but you need to get real with yourself and find out why.
Once you know the answer, then decide what you want to do about it. Either let it go, or formulate a plan to get to where you think you need to be. Be sure it is your choice, and not pressure from somewhere else. Are you ready to let go of the pressure you are putting on yourself? Your are the only one that can do it.
Research has shown that the more you cultivate a habit of gratitude and positivity, the better your ability to weather the ups and downs of life. As you perceive life to be positive, you will come to expect more of the same. You can retrain your brain to switch from negative self-talk to greater thankfulness, gratitude, and happiness.
By practicing gratitude, you rewire the neural pathways in your brain so that it becomes your mindset’s default setting. You learn to look for the good in things instead of focusing on the bad. Remember like attracts like.
Step away from the stuff
If you’re like most people, you already have more than enough possessions. The current mantra is that spending brings happiness, but deep down you probably know that it doesn’t. Sure, buying yourself a new car or outfit makes you feel good at the time, but that spender’s high wears off pretty quickly.
You may even find that you have so much stuff that you would be better off without some of it. Take the opportunity to share some of your excess stuff with people or organizations that could really use it. You will be helping them and at the same time, you will be simplifying your life.
You don’t need to buy more to keep up with what others are buying. It doesn’t add anything to your life except potential debt. Money doesn’t buy happiness and neither do things. Break the habit of buying the next shiny thing and appreciate the abundance you have right now.
Develop a mindfulness practice
Mindfulness and meditation can help you focus on the good that’s already in your life. By focusing on the present, you free yourself from that familiar yo yo cycle of brooding over past disappointments and worrying about future problems.
If you are new to meditation, it’s easy to start with a guided meditation that walks you through the process. There are many good guided meditation practices available on YouTube. You can select by length of time, topic, or intention. If you prefer to learn on your own, there are lots of good online resources available. Find whatever you are comfortable with and make some time to practice daily.
You can easily integrate mindfulness into your day with this simple gratefulness exercise. Whatever you’re doing, pause and focus on your breath. Take a couple of deep inhales and exhales to help clear your mind and get you centered, Ask yourself: what are five things I’m grateful for in my life right now? Your five items can be anything from having a roof over your head to having a job, your partner or your health. Or you can be grateful for a comfortable chair or clean sheets! Chose anything that makes you feel good at that very moment.
Choosing not to be pressured by those around you, and practicing gratitude and contentment doesn’t mean being stagnant or giving up. It means stepping aside from judgment and freeing yourself from the bonds of negativity. Find the positive instead. Once you’re focused in the right direction, you’re on your way to contentment and a more peaceful life. You’ve got this – the sky is the limit.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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