What does it mean to feel content?

Defined as ‘feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status or situation’, being contented is a feeling that most strive for. Many believe that contentedness comes from a deep satisfaction from within, from accepting your situation, who you are and the path you are on.

Often people link contentedness to happiness, and while they are strongly dependent on each other, they are both very different concepts. With happiness, resulting from positive actions and effects in the short-term, such as success at work, a new relationship or time spent with loved ones. Whereas contentedness is a more consistent state of mind, which results from our attitudes, behaviours and lifestyle choices alongside more transient things such as work and relationships.

Although feeling content can mean different things to different people, we all have those moments where we feel totally restless, and disinterested.

Why do I never feel content?

For so many of us, we often feel discontent. Whether this be with work, relationships or just life in general. Often trying something new or switching up your routine can help in the short term, but long-term we can still feel unfulfilled.

There are lots of theories surrounding this but one of the most common is that we are often taught that happiness and contentment come from achievement. So we are always chasing the next goal, in order to achieve happiness and to feel content. Then when we don’t reach that goal, we don’t feel the satisfaction - or even if we do the happiness might be short lived as we begin to chase the next goal and the next hit of dopamine from achievement.

As we achieve more success, our expectations of ourselves rise and we desire more. This results in a prolonged feeling of dissatisfaction which long-term means that we don’t often feel content.

Additionally, many people put forward the theory that comparison is the source of much discontent. In the world we live in today, there is ample opportunity to compare yourself to others. Whether this at work, with family members or on social media, we are constantly being fed information about other peoples’ lives. Our instinct is to compare ourselves to the image of a lifestyle that this information gives, and often this can bring dissatisfaction and make it much more difficult to feel content.

How to feel content:

The search for the feeling of contentment has been part of human life for generations, and so there are many methods which you can implement that many people claim help you to feel more content. We will explore some of these below:

1) Start a mindfulness practice - Whether this is meditation or just taking a moment to consider where you are in life, setting aside this time can be a great tool to help you feel content. When you find yourself feeling dissatisfaction, take a deep breath and remind yourself to embrace the moment and consider your surroundings. Whether it be appreciating the nature around you, recognising your accomplishments, or taking time to recognise and acknowledge your current situation.

2) Practice gratitude - You may well have head of many people hailing the benefits of starting a gratitude journal. Writing down each day the things you are grateful for in your life. You can start small by choosing one thing each day to be grateful for and work from there.

3) Spend time with loved ones - Spending time with loved ones is a surefire way to feel good!

4) Spend time in nature - Spending time in green space has been proven to boost mood and support our mental health, and luckily mostly it is also free! Learning to appreciate time spent outside can be one of the most important lessons we can learn, so perhaps you integrate a daily walk through the park into your routine, or even just take your morning coffee outside!

5)Try CBD - If you are feeling anxious or stressed, and this is contributing to your feeling of discontent, there are lots of things you can do to help you feel more yourself! Whether this be meditation, exercise or even trying CBD. CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive molecule from the hemp plant, many people hail it for its anti-anxiety and de-stressing benefits. CBD may help you feel less stressed, help you to wind down and calm racing thoughts in your mind. CBD works to help our bodies achieve balance by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (or ECS) which is a system of nerve endings and receptors that helps us achieve balance in so many parts of our being, whether that is sleep, stress, anxiety, pain or inflammation. So perhaps if feelings of anxiety and stress are stopping you from feeling content, you might want to try CBD, perhaps trying it as a CBD drink, a CBD oilor a capsule!

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