The Key to Contentment

Many people believe that when you appreciate the small items in life, you are well on your way to being happy. But, what is happiness? Most emotions are transitional, meaning you are never in one state for long periods. People who are considered upbeat will have moments of sadness or depression. Even depressed people are not depressed all the time. They have moments of happiness, too.

Think about a major event such as a war. When two countries are fighting, both sides lose lives. It is bloody, and it can last for several years. But, when the war is over, the countries are euphoric. There will be no more bloodshed because of the war, and people can return to their homes.

However, there is nothing that has changed in the world except that the war has ended. In other words, the sun still sets each day. People still have to manage their lives. The euphoria from the war ending doesn’t last long. Months later, the war is still over, but the euphoria has died down.

The same is true in a smaller way when you have a bad sickness. For instance, suppose you have a stomach bug that leaves you uncomfortable and in pain. When the bug passes, and you are better, you feel wonderful. However, you don’t feel any better than you did when you weren’t experiencing the bug. It’s relative to the bad feelings. That’s how emotional states work. They go from one to the other on a constant basis.

Appreciating the small things in life may lead to happiness. But, it’s likely you are content more than you are happy. Contentment can almost be thought of as a neutral state, leaning on the side of happy. There isn’t anything wrong when you are content. But, there also isn’t anything that is making you overly happy.

There may be too much pressure striving for happiness when you should be striving for contentment. The good news is your appreciation for small aspects of your life will lead to contentment without having to worry about trying to make yourself happy all the time. Those times will occur naturally.

If you spend most of your life content, you are doing something right. Think about all the people you love and what you have, such as your health and a good job, etc. If you try to imagine life without them, you will truly appreciate your contentment. That thought may even make you happy for a short period.

Appreciate who you are!

It’s such a simple concept to accept who you are and appreciate it. When you do that, you will find others will appreciate you as well. It doesn’t cost anything, and it is the right thing to do.  You are unique, and everyone should celebrate that.

When you are grateful for who you are, you can be grateful for other aspects of your life. These are the aspects that others take for granted, i.e., their health, their family, and their friends. When you are grateful, you will attract others. By contrast, people who are not grateful often repel others, except for the few who choose to be negative as well.

You know life is short. During the little time you have, why not appreciate what you have? Your family loves you, and you have great friends. Your job is going well. You may wish you were making more money. But, that is something you can make happen if you want to or need it. Don’t get too fanatical about money. You’ll lose sight of what is important if you do.

You should accept that you aren’t perfect. In fact, it’s the flaws in life that help you learn and define who you are. You should try to correct the ones that hurt yourself or others. But, you don’t have to change everything and neither should you want to. You don’t want to pretend to be someone you are not. You can’t maintain that pretense for long.

The world is constantly giving off negative energy which can make it difficult to accept yourself. People will put you down or not support you. They are the ones with the problem, but the negativity still has an impact on your emotional well-being. You can counter this by creating affirmations about who you are and why you should appreciate yourself. Anytime you have a negative person trying to beat you down, simply use your affirmations to cancel their negativity.

If you revert to negative thinking, it’s never too late to break those thoughts. Continue to consider what you are grateful for, especially all the little aspects of your life. It is a struggle, but you can win out by using your gratefulness as a tool. It also helps to align yourself with people who are grateful for what they have. That will help you see that it is the right path to follow. These people are upbeat, and this makes them more fun to be around.

Appreciation and the Law of Attraction

Appreciation is clearly a positive action. When you appreciate something or someone, you are sending positive energy into the universe. That can only benefit you with positive energy coming back to you. That is a foundation of the Law of Attraction (LOA).

Perhaps you aren’t a believer in such principles as LOA. You think it’s hokum, and that the universe doesn’t have a points system of sorts. However, it’s been shown time and again that when people put out positive energy, they receive that in kind. The same is true for negative energy.

Even if you aren’t a believer, what can it hurt to project positivity into the world? Your small circle of friends and your family will notice it. That is enough to justify staying positive and appreciate those smaller things in your life.

Negativity surrounds you, and this makes it easy to get swallowed up in it. The news reports seem to show nothing but bad news on every channel. It’s gotten worse with the proliferation of the internet. Someone can post a negative tweet, for instance, and hundreds of people see it. People then share the tweet and so the list of people seeing it grows into thousands.

Because the internet allows people to post comments anonymously, that makes matters worse. They would never say to someone’s face the negative stuff they write. But, have no trouble spewing garbage on the internet. LOA works on the internet as well. People who post negative messages will find them returned. They cannot hide in their anonymity either. The universe has a way of bringing it back to them.

If you are one to say or post negative messages, think about the impact that has on others. It’s hurtful, and it will affect them. Also, think about how wonderful those people would feel if you posted something nice about them. You shouldn’t make up these attributes. They should be true. But, you should be able to find something nice to say about others. There is an old saying that if you can’t find something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything. People should incorporate this saying and live by it, especially on the internet.

If you believe that the small items don’t make a difference concerning LOA, think about the number of people that are alive on the planet. There are over six billion people. If everyone projected his or her appreciation for one small item, that would be a massive surge of positive energy.

Do you know a chronic complainer?

Do you know a chronic complainer? It’s the person whom nothing makes happy. They find everything wrong with what others do. If there is a new idea, they’ll knock it down. They’ve probably got to the point where they don’t even listen to the opinion anymore.

They are also the type of person who will talk over the top of others to make their point. They’ll interrupt because they know best. However, what is happening is that others start to ignore them and they’re high on the list if cutbacks should ever hit the company.

Complainers have forgotten how to appreciate the small things in life. They don’t realize that it’s difficult to get a new job and it takes much more time than it used to. They don’t appreciate that they have a job. Sometimes, chronic complaining can be a result of complacency. Since no one is listening to what the person says, it’s just easier to complain.

No company or situation is perfect, and sometimes problems need to be brought to the surface. But there is a time and place for complaints and a correct way to air them. If you find you need to complain about something, you should try to offer up several solutions to the problem. That is a productive use of complaining energy. That merely is problem recognition with applicable solutions. The critical difference between you and a chronic complainer is that you appreciate your job or your situation.

If you want to help a chronic complainer, point out the problem using a subtle approach. Instead of telling the person he complains too much, try showing him how to be grateful for the little things in life. Remind him that you feel appreciative of the fact you have a job, etc.

Relate a story about how your last job search was difficult. It took you months, and it made you realize that jobs are not easy to find. Also, talk about how you appreciate your home life and your family and what it means to you. That is a subtle approach. But if the person can start to understand there is much to appreciate in his everyday life, he may realize that complaining is ineffective and may lead to problems for him down the road.

If you can get friends and colleagues to relate to the same gratitude for work and family, the chronic complainer may start to see it pays to be appreciative.

Want to be more grateful?

You may forget the little things that you’re grateful for in your life. However, if you have them in plain sight, it can help you reinforce your gratefulness. Therefore, why not write them down, and keep them close to you? If you find you are overwhelmed by negative feelings, refer to your list. It can serve as a way to reset your negativity.

Think of all the things you’re grateful for and start listing them. If you get stuck, think about the people in your life. Who makes you happy? List out the aspects of what those people do to make you happy. If you love the way your spouse smiles at you, write that down.

It can be something simple, such as reading the newspaper on the train. The point is, no item is too small to add to the list. Perhaps, you love the jokes that the coffee person tells you when you get your cup of coffee and your muffin. That goes on the list, too.

Your list should never be complete as you will find new experiences and people to add to it. Each day, there is potential for people to make a small difference in your life. But, remember that you make differences in other peoples’ lives as well. Try to make those experiences more positive than negative. If there are people around you, who bring you down, either avoid them or try to help them to be more positive.

If you are the one bringing people down, you need to try and reverse this. The list will be a big factor in helping you. Negative and bitter feelings stem from not appreciating your life and all the things in it. That’s why keeping a list is so important.

You can choose to write this list on a piece of paper, or you can store it electronically. It doesn’t matter how you store it, but you want it to be accessible. Commit to reading it and update it regularly. Add to it as you find more things that you are grateful for in your life.

Maintaining this list could be the basis for a book that you write about appreciating your life. By publishing your list, you may help others do the same. When they read your ideas, they may get inspired to be grateful. Their list will not likely be the same as yours, but people are different so it’s only natural their list would be different. There is nothing wrong with this.

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