How To Be Content In Life: 7 Essential Steps  

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Learning how to be content in life is a crucial step in achieving lasting happiness, peace, and fulfillment. But I think it’s safe to say that doing this is certainly so much easier said than done, especially in today’s world where external pressures and social media constantly push us to want more and compare ourselves to others.  

Growing up, I was told that for me to be enough and worthy, I needed to constantly be the best at everything I did. But unfortunately, regardless of what I did, I was still constantly falling short of their expectations. It’s like every time I achieve something, they still end up comparing me to someone else who has accomplished more.   

This only pushed me to strive even harder. I took this habit with me as I grew older and eventually, it made me realize just how exhausting and mentally draining this cycle was. It was like I was stuck in a loop of constant striving without ever reaching a sense of fulfillment.   

Not only did this type of mindset make everything more stressful and overwhelming but it also made me feel like I was never good enough. It destroyed my mental health and confidence. It was during one of the lowest moments of my life that I realized just how crucial contentment is in our lives.   

Contentment is not about complacency or settling for less than what we are capable of achieving. Rather, it’s about finding peace and satisfaction with where we are and who we are at any given moment. It involves understanding and accepting that our worth isn’t measured by our productivity or by comparison to others.  

 In this post, I will be sharing with you the steps I took that helped me learn how to be content in life. I can’t even begin to tell you how these steps have been such a transformative force in my life. They have not only helped me find peace but also made me learn to appreciate myself more and embrace my journey.   

I’m hoping that sharing these steps would inspire you to explore what contentment means for you and maybe even incorporate some of these practices into your own life.  

How To Be Content In Life  1

How To Be Content In Life  

1. Practice Daily Gratitude  

Practicing daily gratitude is a crucial step in helping us learn how to be content in life. To be honest with you, for the longest time, I thought that doing this was nothing but toxic positivity.   

Yes sure, it’s so easy to do this practice when everything in our lives is going smoothly but when everything is falling apart, finding something to be grateful for just seems impossible. I thought that the best thing to do when we are struggling in life, was to focus all our attention and energy on our problems.   

But I was completely wrong to think that because the truth was, allowing myself to only focus on the negative just made my problems seem even more insurmountable. It just made me feel even more defeated and quite frankly, it just drained what little hope there was left in me.   

I’ve learned that practicing daily gratitude even when we are going through hard times, is not about pretending that everything is okay. It’s certainly not toxic positivity. It’s not about ignoring our struggles or minimizing the pain that we are going through. It’s about acknowledging the hardships and still making space to notice what’s working, which can be profoundly grounding.   

Not only does this practice help us anchor ourselves even during the stormiest times but it also provides us with a sense of peace and contentment regardless of where we are in our lives at the moment.

It reminds us that happiness and true fulfillment are not found in the absence of problems or in achieving perfect conditions but in our ability to appreciate life as it is, with all its imperfections.   

This kind of gratitude shifts our focus from what’s missing to what’s present, and from what we can’t control to what we can cherish and influence. It encourages us to find beauty in the ordinary and strength in the adversity we face.   

Try this:   

Start by writing down two things you’re grateful for each day. Do this when you wake up and before you go to bed. Know that these things don’t have to be big or life-changing events. They can be small, everyday pleasures like the sound of rain tapping on your window, the warmth of a cozy blanket, or the taste of a delicious meal.  

2. Accept What You Can’t Change  

How many times have you spent so much time and energy trying to control every little detail of your life? I have always been guilty of being what they call a “control freak”.   

I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of energy and time I’ve wasted planning every aspect of my life down to the last minute. I’ve spent so many sleepless nights constantly trying to prepare for every possible outcome and scenario.

I thought that as long as I continued to do this, I was somehow preventing things from going wrong and keeping myself safe from disappointment or failure.   

However, this relentless drive for control only led to more stress and a constant sense of dissatisfaction, because no matter how much I planned, life inevitably threw unexpected challenges my way.

One of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned is that contentment and peace are found in letting go of the illusion of control and embracing the flow of life.  

Learning to accept what we cannot change helps shift our focus from futile efforts to control everything to concentrate on what we can actually influence. For instance, you might not be able to change a loved one’s health issues, but you can choose how much support you offer or how you interact with them.  

I’ve learned that focusing on areas that we can actually influence does not only remove the unnecessary stress and anxiety in our lives but also gives us a sense of peace which significantly contributes to our contentment.

We have to remind ourselves that choosing to accept what we can’t change doesn’t mean that we are giving up or that we are failing to plan for the future.   

This simply means that we are prioritizing our efforts more effectively. It’s about putting our energy into actions and decisions where we can actually make an impact. This not only helps us achieve more but also builds a sense of satisfaction and peace in our daily lives.  

Try this:   

Make a list of your weekly tasks and categorize them into things you can control and things you cannot. Focus your energy on the tasks within your control, setting clear, achievable goals for each. At the end of the week, review your accomplishments and the challenges you faced. Reflect on how you responded to the challenges and celebrate the progress you made on your controllable tasks.  

How To Be Content In Life  

3. Be Kind To Yourself  

I know how easy it is for us to continuously beat ourselves up. In fact, most of us are even guilty of being our own worst critic. We constantly put ourselves down, doubt our abilities, and focus more on our failures instead of our successes.   

I certainly know how this feels. For years ( sometimes I still catch myself doing this from time to time), I have always been my own harshest critic. I honestly thought that doing this was somehow pushing me to be better. I thought that by constantly being overly critical of my mistakes and failures, I was holding myself accountable and setting high standards for improvement.   

But I was wrong. I’ve learned that this approach often backfires. Instead of actually motivating myself, I was only making things more overwhelming to the point that I was too afraid to even do anything. It destroyed my self confidence and it kept me stuck in a cycle of self doubt which only kept me from moving forward.   

The constant negative self talk pushed me to constantly compare myself and my achievements to others, creating an endless loop of feeling dissatisfied and inadequate. This only made it impossible for me to see my own progress and be content with my life as I was always too focused on what others were doing better.   

If you’re guilty of being your own worst critic too, please know that you deserve to give yourself the same amount of love, kindness, and understanding that you so freely give to your loved ones. It’s time to stop beating yourself up and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with the resources and knowledge you have at the moment.   

It’s crucial to recognize that self criticism won’t lead you to improvement only thoughtful self reflection and acceptance can do that. Learning to be kind to ourselves, even when we are going through difficult times, does not only help us navigate challenges more effectively but it also contributes significantly to our overall sense of contentment.   

When we shift away from harsh self-criticisms and judgments to a more compassionate approach, we open ourselves up to experiencing joy and satisfaction in our daily lives.   

Try this:   

Start a daily practice of self-affirmation. Each morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself something positive about your character or acknowledge something you did well the previous day. It could be as simple as, “I’m proud of how I handled that difficult situation,” or “I am kind.”  

If you want to learn how to love yourself more get this self compassion worksheet now!  

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4. Celebrate Small Wins  

Celebrating small wins is a vital part of learning how to be content in life. I know how easy it is to overlook our small wins and focus only on the bigger achievements. I used to have this notion that celebrating small wins was nothing but self indulgence.   

I thought that doing this would somehow make me more complacent and less driven to achieve my bigger goals. But I was certainly wrong to believe that. I’ve learned that focusing only on our bigger achievements can often lead to burnout and a feeling of never being quite good enough.   

It often leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled because we constantly shift the goalposts every time we achieve something significant.

This made me realize just how crucial it is to celebrate even the smallest wins. It’s important to remind ourselves that doing this doesn’t mean we are settling for less or losing sight of our larger goals.   

Instead, celebrating these small victories is a way to sustain our motivation and mental well being throughout the journey. It helps us maintain a balance between striving for success and recognizing the value of the process itself.

This practice enriches our path, making each step meaningful and every little progress a reason to smile and push forward.  

Embracing this mindset not only sustains our motivation but also cultivates a steady sense of contentment. It reminds us that true contentment comes from the journey, not just the destination.

So please don’t hesitate to celebrate even your smallest wins, know that every effort, big or small, is worth the acknowledgment and pride.   

Try this:   

Set a daily or weekly moment to reflect on and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter their size. Write them down in a journal, share them with a friend or family member, or you can even treat yourself to something special. By making this a regular practice, you’ll not only keep your spirits high but also see a tangible record of your growth over time.  

5. Live In The Moment  

Do you also catch yourself worrying about future possibilities or ruminating over past events? I certainly do. I failed to realize that this common habit can drastically steal our contentment, making it so much harder for us to appreciate what’s right in front of us.   

I used to spend countless hours trying to plan for the future believing that preparation and control would somehow shield me from unexpected challenges or guarantee that things would go as I expected. But of course, that wasn’t the case. The habit of constantly living in the future did not guarantee that things would go as planned.   

It only drained my energy and kept me from truly living. The hard truth is that no amount of worrying or over-planning could predict or prevent every unexpected event. It doesn’t matter how much time we spend analyzing our past decisions or anticipating future outcomes, life will still have its surprises. The best thing that we can do is to live in the present moment.   

Life is by far too precious to waste so much of our time worrying about what has already happened or what the future might hold. Instead, it’s best to cherish the moments as they come and find joy in the small and everyday experiences.

Doing this doesn’t mean that we are all living everything to chance or that we are neglecting our responsibilities or future planning.   

Rather, it means that we balance our preparation for the future with a strong appreciation for the present. By focusing on the present moment, we give ourselves the opportunity to enjoy what we have right now, to nurture the relationships we hold dear, and to grow in ways that are meaningful and fulfilling.   

Doing this can bring a new-found sense of peace and contentment in our lives, allowing us to truly live rather than just exist.   

Try this:  

Schedule brief “mindful pauses” throughout your day. These are short periods where you stop all activity and just breathe for a minute or two, consciously bringing your attention to the present. These pauses can be a powerful tool to reset and refocus, especially during busy or stressful times.  

6. Learn To Forgive  

One of the things that I’ve learned while I was learning how to be content in life is that often, contentment and forgiveness go hand in hand. You might be wondering what forgiveness has to do with contentment. I thought that this part was not necessary too because honestly, forgiveness is not always the easiest thing to do.   

You see, I was deeply hurt by the people that I loved when I was growing up. I was constantly made to believe that I needed to earn their love for me to be deemed worthy and enough. I took this anger with me as I grew older believing that by holding on to it, I was somehow protecting myself.   

I thought that as long as I continued to hold on to those resentments, I was keeping myself safe from being hurt again. But in reality, this belief only served to isolate me. It only built walls around me that not only kept pain out but also joy, peace, and contentment.   

By holding on to that anger, not only was I keeping myself from truly healing and moving forward, but I was also weighing myself down with a burden that drained my energy and clouded my outlook on life.

It took a long time for me to realize that true protection and healing don’t come from holding onto past hurts. It comes from releasing them.   

It’s important to remember that forgiving other people doesn’t mean that we are minimizing the wrongs that they have done or invalidating the pain that they have caused.  It simply means that we are no longer willing to let those actions control our happiness and self worth.   

When we choose forgiveness we not only allow ourselves to finally truly heal and move forward, but we are also making space for more peace and contentment in our lives. Know that forgiveness goes both ways.

It’s not only about forgiving other people, but it’s also about learning to forgive yourself(I know that often this is the hardest).   

Please know that just like everybody else, you also deserve to offer yourself forgiveness. Know that doing this doesn’t mean that you are excusing your actions or that you are not holding yourself accountable.   

Instead, forgiving yourself means acknowledging your mistakes and learning from them without continuous self-punishment. It’s about recognizing that being human involves imperfections and that these don’t make you unworthy of happiness or love.  

Try this:   

Reflect on a situation where you’ve felt wronged and write down your feelings about it. Acknowledge the pain, but also consider the ways in which holding onto this hurt might be impacting your life. Then, think about the benefits of letting go and imagine how forgiveness could improve your emotional well-being.   

When you’re ready, you might write a letter of forgiveness (you don’t have to send it) to express your feelings and decision to move forward. This exercise can be a powerful step towards healing and finding greater peace.  

7. Let Kindness Be Your Superpower  

Letting kindness be your superpower in a world where it’s so easy to hate and respond with negativity not only positively impacts those around you but also helps shift your perspective and improves your contentment.   

It doesn’t take much to be kind and compassionate to others. I know that sometimes we can be consumed with our own struggles and challenges, making it difficult to step outside ourselves.

But we have to keep reminding ourselves that extending kindness, even in the smallest ways, like a smile or a comforting word, can make such a profound difference.   

These simple acts can disrupt the cycle of negativity and stress, both for us and for those we interact with. Know that offering kindness doesn’t have to be this grand gesture. It can be as simple as holding the door open, offering a seat on public transit, or checking in on a friend.

These acts might seem small, but they have the power to turn someone’s day around.   

Doing this can bring a deep sense of contentment and joy, as we realize the positive impact our actions can have on the world around us.  

Try this:   

Commit to performing one small act of kindness each day. Whether it’s complimenting a stranger, leaving a positive note for someone, or simply expressing genuine thanks to a service worker. Keep a journal of these acts and reflect on how they made you feel and possibly how they affected others. Over time, you may start to notice how these small deeds enhance your own sense of well-being and contentment.  

Final Thoughts  

It’s important to remember that learning how to be content in life is an ongoing process. It’s something that we have to continuously work on and adapt to as our lives change and evolve.   

Also, know that finding contentment is a deeply personal journey and can vary from one person to another. What brings joy and satisfaction to one person might not to another, so please don’t hesitate to explore and understand what truly matters to you.    

Don’t forget to offer yourself patience and compassion as you navigate this path. It’s important to allow yourself the time to discover what contentment means for you, which may shift and change over time.   

Embrace this journey with an open mind, and adjust your goals and expectations as you learn more about what genuinely makes you happy.

You got this and please remember that I’m always rooting for you!   

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