Finding contentment in your life is an amazing experience. When you’re feeling totally content with your life and how things are going for you, it exposes you to a level of serious comfort and satisfaction in your everyday living.
Feeling contentment allows you to experience a lot of other positive feelings as well. By feeling content, you aren’t experiencing any panic, anxiety, or stress over any situations in your life. You may also feel happy and satisfied with what you have, how things are going, and where you’re headed.
You may experience contentment in multiple areas of your life – for example, many people like to experience contentment not only in their personal lives, but also their social lives, professional lives, and family lives as well.
Learning how to promote feelings of contentment in your life is a key method to ensuring you can find this deep level of satisfaction in your everyday experience.
If you struggle to feel or find contentment, you can begin exploring it with these thirty ways to promote those feelings in your everyday life.
30 Ways To Life-Contentment
Way 1: Identify at least one thing that makes you feel gratitude every day.
Taking time to recognize what you’re grateful for in your life is one of the top ways to promote feelings of contentment. Some people do this every morning by means of affirmations – for example, they may repeat what they have to be grateful for as a mantra to prepare them for a positive day.
Others keep a gratitude journal, or a written record of things that make them feel gratitude, so they can review the list when they need a reminder and continue adding to it as they recall different things they appreciate.
However you choose to highlight your gratitude, making a habit out of identifying what makes you feel gratitude is an essential part to feeling more content in your daily life. As you make expressing gratitude a part of your daily routine, you’ll feel that contentment ease into your life more easily and regularly.
Way 2: Start approaching life’s annoyances, challenges, and hard times as learning opportunities rather than obstacles.
Having to experience an unexpected challenge stinks – nobody likes a bad surprise, and when you have to pause what you’re doing to handle an annoyance or hard time, it can be really overwhelming and upsetting.
Instead of allowing negative emotions to overcome you when you find yourself faced with an unexpected annoyance or challenge, begin approaching them as learning opportunities instead. Changing your perspective on a tough situation may seem like a small change that wouldn’t do much good but looking at hardships with a different attitude can make a huge difference in how you handle them.
Way 3: Make a list of ways you’re “rich” that don’t include any mention of money or finances.
If you immediately associate being rich with things like fancy cars, lots of money, or designer clothes, think again – there are more important ways a person can be rich that go beyond anything you can buy.
Many people fail to consider other ways they’re rich in life. For example, if you have friends, family, a steady job, a reliable vehicle, a roof over your head, food on the table every day, your good health, and hobbies you enjoy, you can also consider yourself rich.
Enjoying these aspects of your life bring more contentment and value than an excess of money ever can – often because these aspects are either things you can’t buy with money or things that ensure you’re able to care for yourself properly.
Way 4: Allow yourself to visualize your future on a regular basis.
Daydreaming isn’t an act of time wasting. In fact, people who spend time visualizing what their future may hold often experience more contentment in their lives because they’re giving themselves full permission to get a solid mental image of what they’ll need to do to meet those big future goals!
Visualizing is exactly what it sounds like: Spending time imagining what your future will be like. Ultimately, when you spend time imagining yourself meeting a big goal in the future, you’ll begin to fill in other details of that vision, such as what you’d need to do to actually reach that goal.
Think of engaging in regular visualization as creating a personalized map. The more time you spend visualizing what your goals are and what it will take for you to meet them, the realer and more possible those goals will begin to appear to you. With such a clear picture of what your future successes could look like, you’ll experience far more contentment.
Way 5: Identify your personal key values.
Your key values, or the ideals you base your thinking and life around, are an important part of feeling contentment. When you know your own key values, you likely have a good understanding of yourself and who you really, truly are. Knowing yourself is the first major step toward self-acceptance!
When you’re able to fully embrace and accept yourself for who you are because you know your personal key values, you’ll begin to see your contentment levels rise. Knowing your key values can help you form meaningful relationships and engage in activities that best align with your values easier.
Way 6: Focus on your needs versus your wants.
Everyone wants lots of things in life, but in reality, people truly only need certain things to live a happy and healthy life. For example, you may find yourself really wanting a lot of luxurious, unnecessary things, like a fancy house, the newest clothes, or the latest technology, but ultimately, none of these things are required for you to feel truly happy or healthy.
Instead of focusing on all the things you want, shift your focus to the things you need. You’ll likely discover that you already have most (if not all) of these things already in your life. For example, if you have access to regular food, a secure home, and a job, you can already experience contentment knowing you have some key aspects of a happy and healthy life already – no luxuries required!
Way 7: Practice finding the silver linings of life’s difficulties.
Life is going to have its sadness and misfortunes. As unpleasant and unfortunate as it is, going through challenges is simply a fact of life. Everyone experiences those tough times and learning how to approach these situations more positively is a key component to feeling more contentment in life.
When you allow yourself the opportunity to recognize that all challenges and hard times have “silver linings,” or some positive aspects, you can begin to process those hard times more positively. Choosing to focus on the positive aspect of a hard time (even if it is a small positive aspect) is more productive than focusing solely on the negative aspect of it.
Way 8: Take a deep breath and meditate to enjoy the present moment.
Life is fast paced – it’s easy to find yourself caught up in the hustle and bustle. Between work meetings, social calendar engagements, errands, and other obligations you have in your everyday life, it’s easy to lose track of the present moment.
Make it a habit to practice some basic meditation throughout the day. Meditation doesn’t require a huge time commitment or special routine to do – in fact, meditation is more effective for helping you reconnect to the present moment when you’re able to practice it freely throughout your normal, routine day.
When you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or life feels hectic, allow yourself to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to notice specific things about the present moment by using your senses to detect them. For example, you may choose to name one thing you can hear, one thing you can feel, and one thing you can see.
Taking note of those specific details of the present moment can help you return to where you are instead of feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Staying in the present moment (and letting yourself enjoy it!) is a key part of promoting feelings of contentment.
Way 9: Tell the people you love how you feel about them often.
One of the greatest aspects of your life is the meaningful relationships you have with others. Make sure you spend plenty of time telling your family and friends how much they mean to you.
When you verbalize or show your friends and family how important and special, they are to you, it not only improves the relationships you have with them, but it also serves as a reminder to you how important they are. When you realize how fortunate you are to have loving, close relationships with other people, you’ll feel your contentment flourish.
Way 10: Allow yourself the ability to be spontaneous.
Routines are great ways to keep stability in your life but being spontaneous is also a big part of feeling contentment, too! Allowing yourself some chances to be spontaneous is a great way to keep your life feeling exciting and fresh.
Spontaneity doesn’t need to be as extreme as suddenly quitting your job or moving to a new country – you can find simple ways to be more spontaneous in your everyday life. For example, you can be spontaneous by trying a new restaurant, going on an unplanned adventure with your best friend, or taking a vacation day to practice self-care.
Spontaneity is exciting and adds some extra spice to your life, allowing you to enjoy those surprises and feel more content with what you have.
Way 11: Indulge in plenty of regular self-care.
“Self-care” is a big buzzword in the mental health world. Much more than a passing trend, self-care is a necessary component in taking good care of your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
People who take good care of themselves experience a lot of contentment. Self-care, or activities that promote feelings of rest, relaxation, and happiness deep within you, is a vital part of being good to yourself.
After a long day of sharing yourself with the world by working, interacting with others, and caring for your family, engaging in self-care activities is an excellent way to recharge your personal batteries to ensure you’re also getting the attention you need.
People approach self-care activities differently. The most important aspect of practicing self-care is choosing activities that personally appeal to you.
Some types of self-care activities include….
- Taking a hot bath or shower
- Reading a book
- Working on a craft
- Indulging in a favorite treat or meal you enjoy
- Spending some time alone
- Going on a vacation
- Enjoying a few episodes of your favorite TV show
- Getting a massage, facial, or manicure
Way 12: Reassess your goals to ensure they match your personal values.
Sometimes it’s easy to lose your feelings of contentment without realizing they’re slipping away. You may notice this when your current interests and desires no longer match your long-term goals.
It’s natural for your interests, goals, and dreams to change over time. For example, many people chasing after their dreams realize that what they thought they wanted is no longer quite what they have in mind anymore.
This can be a little unsettling – after working toward those dreams for a long time, realizing that they’re no longer your true dreams anymore can feel like a big derailment.
When you feel this way, it’s important to understand that you can reassess your goals at any time and modify them as needed. Allowing yourself the freedom to modify your goals and adjust them accordingly is important to promote feelings of contentment.
People change over time, and letting your goals and dreams change with you ensures that you’ll maintain feelings of contentment as you keep moving forward through life.
Way 13: Take stock of where you are in life – and understand that you can always change pathways if needed.
Feeling content with what you have in life is important, but it’s also comforting to know that it’s never too late to make a life change if needed!
Many people find contentment in the fact that their lives are stable and predictable. However, it’s also comforting to know that you always have the power to make changes when they’re needed.
Whether your situation changes, you find yourself bored with what you’re doing, or if you get the urge to try something different, you can also feel content knowing that you have the power to determine where you want to make changes in your life….and then do it!
Way 14: Find a way to be of service to others who need your help.
Increasing your contentment is easy through acts of service. Find ways to be helpful to those who need it. If your friend is moving, offer to pitch in loading boxes. If your sister needs a babysitter, offer to do the job for her.
If you’re skilled at writing, offer to help your friend proofread her assignment. However you can use your time, skills, and talents to give others assistance is a great way to boost your contentment.
Way 15: Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger.
Doing kind things for other people is a huge contentment booster. Watching another person find happiness, success, or relief because of a kind thing you chose to do for them is an incredible feeling. Not only will the other person feel great afterward, but your own feelings of contentment will skyrocket as well.
Random acts of kindness don’t need to be anything extreme – for example, you can let a stranger pass you in the grocery store checkout line or buy a coffee for your coworker. You can call your mother for a surprise chat or send a “thinking of you” card to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. There are tons of small ways to surprise a stranger or a loved one with kindness.
Way 16: Take the compassionate route when you’re reacting to a situation.
When something unpleasant or surprising happens, you only get to have one first reaction. Instead of using your initial reaction to be harsh, cruel, reactive, or rude, choose a more compassionate route instead.
Even when you’re feeling upset or severely wronged, choosing to react in a compassionate way is always a great response. You’ll never regret acting in a way that was compassionate, kind, and thoughtful; if you act harshly, however, you’re far more likely to experience remorse or regret it later. Choosing compassion is always a surefire way to increase feelings of contentment in your life.
Way 17: Allow yourself to let go of your past.
Everyone has moments they reflect on with embarrassment, shame, anger, or some other challenging emotion. Not all memories are happy, positive ones. If you struggle to let go of your past and find yourself often ruminating on past events, allowing yourself to let the past go is another way to increase feelings of contentment.
To begin letting go of the past, you first need to acknowledge that the past can’t be changed. As much as you might want to go back and re-do things, it’s impossible.
Once you accept that the past is finished business, you can begin properly processing the emotions you’re feeling. Lastly, you can glean any important lessons from past mistakes or transgressions and take that knowledge with you into the future, allowing you to finally let go of the past.
Way 18: Take stock of the lessons you’ve learned so far in your life.
Look back over your past and think about the moments that mean the most to you. You’ll likely discover that these moments are important memories for you because they taught you something.
Life is the most important, valuable teacher you’ll ever have. All the experiences you’ve had over the years serve as important opportunities to learn and take that knowledge with you into the future. Taking time to look back over those lessons and appreciate the wealth of knowledge you’ve built will increase feelings of contentment in your life.
Way 19: Break your bad habit of comparing yourself to others.
If you’re constantly seeking greener pastures, you’ll have a hard time feeling contentment in your life. Often, people who spend most of their time comparing themselves to others never actually find happiness when they mirror their lives after the ones they observe.
For example, if your neighbor gets a brand-new car, and then you buy yourself a brand-new car to “keep up” with what they’re doing, you may feel happiness and contentment for a while….but those feelings usually fade quickly, leaving you feeling unhappy again soon after.
Not only can comparing yourself to others lead to poor financial decisions and general unhappiness, but it also causes you to lose sight of who you truly are.
Way 20: Practice re-working your negative thought patterns and cycles.
Releasing negative thoughts increases contentment. Learning how to break out of negative thought patterns and cycles can be a challenge, though, especially if you’re in the habit of allowing yourself to think negatively.
To re-work negative thought patterns and cycles, begin by replacing a common negative thought with a more positive one. Doing so usually takes quite a bit of practice.
A common strategy for replacing negative thought patterns involves:
- Identifying a common negative thought.
- Stopping yourself during the thought.
- Labeling the thought (“this is really negative,” etc.)
- Identifying what makes the negative thought harmful, untrue, etc.
- Replacing the negative thought with something more truthful or kind.
Way 21: Take good care of your mental and physical health.
Good health is a great way to experience contentment. Do what you need to do to take care of your physical and mental health. By doing so, you’ll not only invest in yourself and feel better, but you’ll also be able to appreciate yourself even more.
Taking good care of your mental and physical health can involve a lot of different activities and actions.
For example, to take good care of your mental and physical health, you might….
- Make sure you attend all your doctor’s appointments and check-ups
- Get a good night’s sleep every night
- Take all your medications and vitamins as prescribed
- Eat a variety of healthy, nourishing, and nutritious foods
- Get regular exercise each day
- Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist when you need to explore your thoughts and feelings
- Eliminate anything in your life that’s causing you undue harm or stress, such as a toxic friend
- Make time for some self-care each day
Way 22: Make yourself one of your top priorities.
Between work, your social calendar, friends, and family, it’s easy to lose track of your own needs. If you’re constantly placing other peoples’ needs above your own, practice making yourself one of your top priorities.
When you don’t take time to prioritize yourself and your own needs, you run out of energy needed to really participate in life, enjoy things, and help others. It’s easier to feel content in life when you feel healthy, happy, and at peace with yourself. If you aren’t taking good care of yourself and honoring yourself as a top priority in your own life, feeling contentment is challenging.
Way 23: Find something to laugh at every day.
Laughter is truly the best medicine. Each day, participate in something that gets you laughing – call up your funniest friend to chat, watch a video of your favorite comedian, or read a humorous novel. Engaging in laughter releases a lot of “feel good” chemicals in your brain and helps you feel more contentment. Also, taking a few minutes for a laughter break so you can enjoy some good humor is a great way to give yourself a break when you need one most during the day.
Way 24: Let yourself enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Life is hectic – make sure you’re taking time to actually allow yourself to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. “Stopping to smell the roses,” or taking time to appreciate the small details and aspects that make your life special, is a great way to promote feelings of contentment. Each day, take a little time to let yourself enjoy the small details in your life that make you feel gracious and happy to let those feelings of contentment really settle in.
Way 25: Build your personal spaces into your personal sanctuaries.
Whether you have a whole house or a single bedroom to yourself, it’s important to enjoy the spaces you occupy. Spend some time arranging, cleaning, and decorating your personal spaces so they can double as your personal sanctuaries.
When you truly enjoy your personal space, it’s easier to experience contentment. Your personal spaces are your refuges after a long day at work or after interacting with others out in the world; when it’s time for you to retire, rest, and recharge, you want those spaces to leave you feeling safe and satisfied.
These spaces should be decorated, arranged, and designed in a way that brings you satisfaction and joy – spend some extra time keeping them cleaned, organized, and arranged the way you prefer them.
Way 26: Find a little time to do something you love every day.
Are you an avid sports watcher? Do you like to read? Is going on hikes your thing? Whatever your favorite activities are, find some time to do them every day!
When you spend time participating in activities you truly enjoy, you give yourself permission to indulge in some of life’s simple pleasures and happiness. Also, spending time doing the things you love sends a message that prioritizing happiness is important for you – what a fun and enjoyable way to promote feelings of contentment.
Way 27: Practice radical acceptance of yourself.
While having goals and dreams is important, it’s also crucial to accept yourself. Even though it’s natural to change, grow, and develop over time, there are some aspects of who you are that will never change because they are foundational parts of your personality and whole self.
If you struggle to accept those aspects of who you are, you’ll have a difficult time ever experiencing contentment. Learning to accept yourself exactly the way you are is a key component of feeling more contentment in your life because it addresses a root part of true happiness: Loving yourself.
Way 28: Give yourself the “best friend” treatment.
Think about the way you talk to your best friend when they’re having a rough day. You likely use positive, encouraging, and soothing words to comfort them during times of trouble. If you struggle to speak to yourself with the same gentility and kindness, you may be missing an opportunity to experience some serious contentment!
Give yourself the best friend treatment any time you’re feeling low, make a mistake, or need some serious love. Talk to yourself kindly, be gentle with yourself, and give yourself space to process difficult emotions – doing so will help you feel better faster and experience more contentment in your life. If you are speaking to yourself in a negative or condescending way, it’ll be difficult to achieve any serious contentment with your life.
Way 29: Forgive yourself.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re allowing yourself to ruminate and linger over your own past mistakes, you aren’t giving yourself the ability to feel contentment.
Learning to forgive yourself for past mistakes is a crucial part of experiencing contentment. However, forgiving yourself can be a challenge.
The best way to approach self-forgiveness is to accept that the past happened, glean any important lessons you learned from the experience, and move forward with that knowledge so you can avoid making those same mistakes again.
Like any other changes you want to make toward self-improvement, learning how to forgive yourself can take a lot of time and practice. Being gentle with yourself is the key to making self-forgiveness a truly content act.
Way 30: Accept that some things can’t be changed.
People will never have 100% total control over everything that happens in their lives. While things would be much simpler if we all could control things to our liking, it isn’t a reality for any of us. The sooner you are able to accept that some things can’t be changed, the sooner you can move forward toward feelings of contentment.
Some people mistakenly believe that accepting some things the way they are is a sign of weakness or “giving up when things feel too tough.” On the contrary, this isn’t always the case. Accepting things you can’t change isn’t a sign of weakness – instead, it’s an acknowledgement that you can still be happy despite your current circumstances.
For example, if your unhappiness is coming from the behaviors of another person, you have to remember that it isn’t your responsibility to change how someone chooses to act. In a situation like this, the only thing you can control is how you choose to act in response.
For ultimate contentment, learning to accept that some things can’t be changed (and that it isn’t your responsibility to try fixing or changing them) is a must.