I heard dr. Wayne W. Dyer read these words from his book ‘Change your Thoughts, Change your Life’ and this made me pause. That is so true, I thought. There is so much discontentment, and that truly is a tragedy. So much would be resolved, so many people would finally know how to feel happy, when one finally would understand how to get rid of that all-consuming feeling of discontentment.
The 14th Dalai Lama says:
“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself:” Oh yes, I already have everything that I really need”
Brené Brown* defines contentment as: “The feeling of completeness, appreciation, and ‘enoughness’ that we experience when our needs are satisfied.”
And she further states*: contentment is positively correlated with greater life satisfaction and well-being, and might even reverse the cardiovascular effects of negative emotion.
So, why wait to discard all feelings of discontentment and start being content?
I am a huge fan of training your thoughts** in order to break the habit of negative thinking. We are all addicted to complaining, to whining, to gossiping, … to the extent that we don’t even know we’re doing it anymore. The biggest proof of it being an addiction, is: try to stop doing it and you’ll immediately feel how addicted you are! Try it for one day, one day of not uttering one single complaint. Really, try it! I promise you that it will be a very silent day. It has become a way of communicating. It’s as if it’s cool to be dissatisfied about everything and everyone. But it isn’t. All this negativity is eating away all of your energy. Turn this around. Whenever you feel you’re going to say something negative, something not constructive, something that will testify to your discontentment, something that will make no one feel better, stop yourself! Either be silent, or turn your sentence around and make it a constructive remark. It really is something you have to train**. And when you do train your mind to turn negative, destructive thoughts around into thinking positive thoughts, you will definitely feel the result. You’ll feel more happy, more relaxed, more content.
Where there was anger and frustration, there will be compassion and understanding.
Where there was a feeling of lack, now there will be a feeling of having enough.
Where there was a feeling of not being heard, you will now feel heard.
Where there was a feeling of discontentment, you will now feel peaceful and content.
The more you can stop the negativity in your head, the less you’ll complain and criticize. The less you complain and utter negativity, the more room you’ll create in your mind for peaceful and positive thoughts. Take a deep breath whenever you feel the urge to start ranting again. Breathe, pause, look around you. Observe all the beauty in your life. Train yourself to say thank you. The more you feel grateful, the calmer you’ll feel, and the easier it becomes to just be content with your life. It’s as the saying goes:
“It’s not happy people that are grateful, it’s grateful people that are happy.”
Feeling content, practicing gratitude is a wonderful feeling. It’s as if someone sprinkled magic dust on your life. Suddenly, everything seems okay, nothing seems undoable, all seems to be working out in the end. You start trusting that all will be okay. You are then living on a higher vibrational frequency and you’ll attract*** more of what is vibrating on that same frequency.
Deepak Chopra goes even further and says: “Every thankful moment makes me healthier.” And it does, because being grateful, triggers a chain of positive reactions in your body and you really do become healthier. You feel calmer, more content, which makes your blood pressure stay lower, which makes you sleep better, digest better, breathe deeper… everything functions better when you feel peaceful and content. You’ll notice there is less conflict in your life, because you do not feel the need to engage in every discussion anymore. And because you radiate positivity, people around you tend to become less negative too. And of course, you’ll still encounter ‘die-hards’ in complaining and whining but because you do not engage anymore, the negativity will stop sooner and you do not let it affect you anymore.
My invitation to you all is: Become very aware of how you think and how you talk. Say STOP to all this not-useful-trash-talking. Turn every down-putting-opinion about anything around, into something constructive, or just be silent. Train yourself to see the beauty in your life, train yourself to say thank you several times a day. That is the way to contentment. And contentment is the most beautiful present you can give yourself.
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*”Atlas of The Heart” by Brené Brown.
**Previous articles on Medium by Katrien Degraeve.
***’Ask and It is Given’, ‘The Vortex, where the law of attraction assembles all cooperative relationships.’ By Esther and Jerry Hicks.