Are You Content With Life?
If Not - Why Not?
I’ve pondered those questions for a month - since I learned about well-being and realized that I don’t have a long-lasting, stable sense of peace and satisfaction, even though my life is good.
If you’ve been reading the newsletter for a while, you know why:
Building a new life.
Redefining who I am as a single older woman.
You also know that the dimensions of wellness are critical to aging well. However, joy and peace may be another piece of the puzzle.
What gets in the way of my contentment? Worrying, my self-talk, and not trusting myself to manage what life throws my way. If nothing else, the last seven years have shown that I can do much more than I thought, and numerous resources are at my fingertips. So, acknowledging those facts and setting aside my doubts seems essential.
Recently, Donna McArthur and I discussed contentment. She said
What happens often is that we are contented but fail to notice it. It wafts right by us. I'll sit with my tea and a book, which is the greatest contentment, but it’s gone if I don't actively notice it. This is how we rewire our brain: actively paying attention to the good (the research says for 17 seconds, which is a very long time), and it helps neurons rewire.
Donna makes a good point. A critical step is recognizing when I feel contentment and joy. The shortlist includes the following.
Feeling good - mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally
Having everything in order and knowing my loved ones are safe
Getting together with family, watching my great-granddaughter, nuzzling the cats, and doing art projects with my daughter
Being at home
Writing or walking by the ocean and in the woods
However, those moments of joy may change over time - the same things that brought contentment may no longer do so.
The next step is finding additional ways to bring joy and peace into my life.
When I google “contentment,” 82 million results appeared in 49 seconds. So there are a wealth of suggestions. In looking at several sites, two stood out for me.
The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) offers tips for developing contentment.
Take care of the self
Find joy in small things
These strategies may seem small, but they help create balance and peace within me. I can take control of my happiness by taking practical steps toward cultivating contentment. And then, I want to add the following thoughts from the BetterUp website.
Being content with your life means being satisfied with what you have and who you are. Instead of comparing yourself to others or wishing you had a different life, you feel you’re living a life you can stand behind. You accept yourself as you are today, and you value all the opportunities and experiences you’ve had.
I have a foundation for developing additional contentment in life - perhaps.
What brings contentment to your life?
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