AnJenette Afridi, MA, ERYT-500, is the Creator of INHALE EXHALE SMILE℠ Meditation and Mindfulness Targeted Skills-Based Training for Kids, Teens, Adults, Parents, Seniors, and Business Leaders.

CONTENTMENT


"At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you."  Elizabeth Gilbert

Contentment sometimes evades us or comes in short bursts. We may, however, be content much of the time, even when things don't go well. The trick is to attract it rather than chase it away.

Focus on positivity
Concentrate on contentment-inducing events, topics, and thoughts. Like drops of water on parched earth, positivity seeps into your psyche and quenches your thirst for joy.

Be mindful of those little pockets of joy you often overlook. Birdsong, blue sky, fresh air entering your lungs; these little wonders lift the spirits. Recognize tiny acts of kindness too, like the smile of a stranger, a door that's held open for you, and the driver ahead of you who lets you in line.
 
Transform stress
Contentment and chronic stress aren't pals. To make a close buddy of joy, you must recognize anxiety and do something about it when it arises. Why not transform it and turn it into a lesson?
 
See constructive criticism as a blessing from which to learn for instance. When you notice your mood dip, consider how to improve life and take action. If a setback arises, uncover the hidden wisdom offered and make the most of life's teachings.
 
Part with worry
Worry erodes joy. It steals your joy like a thief. Make a conscious decision to part with it when it pops into your head. Picture your concerns in a box tied with a ribbon.
 
Imagine your hands offering the gift - your box of worries--to a higher power. The power might be source energy, God, Buddha--what or whoever seems the right recipient to you.
 
Know your chosen higher consciousness will accept the box and erase its contents. If your mind tries to interfere, remind it worry has no place in your psyche and it doesn't belong there.
 
Live in the moment
The past hasn't really gone until you let it go. It can be revived too although not in its original state. Your memories are a mix of history and your ever-changing model of the world. When you analyze them again and again, you live in a state of unreality and potential crisis.
 
Similarly, the future doesn't exist. You can second-guess what may happen but mostly, your glimpses of impending disasters are inaccurate. Release the past and future and recognize them as fantasies. Practice meditation and mindfulness and give attention to this moment in time, the only moment we truly have.
 
Surround yourself with positive people
Positive people carry an elevating frequency. They inspire others to rise to their level of joy. Note the people who gladden your heart. Those who cheer in your corner, praise your genuine fine qualities, and love being in your company will pull your mood into a state of bliss.
 
Spend less time with negative people
Just as positive folks uplift, negative people drag you down to their level. Avoid them if possible. When you must spend time with them, they might be colleagues or family members, practice mindfulness.
 
Be mindful to support your own mood. As long as you remember you control your mood, you will stay content.
 
Quit procrastination
You'll get around to those tasks you hate someday, won't you? Until that time, though, they will play on your mind. When you see the pile of bills waiting to be paid, your heart will sink. When you pass the spare room you mean to clear, you'll feel guilty. When you think about the phone call you've been putting off, your heart will grow heavy.
 
Do everything you can as soon as you recognize the need for it to be done. You'll feel better about finishing your tasks.
 
Develop a self-care routine
Who cares for your tired feet when they ache, your need to rest, or the desire to learn something new? These, and many other needs will go unmet unless you take responsibility for them.
 
Cherish yourself as you might a beautiful automobile. Fill-up with the finest fuel you can afford, polish your exterior and interior, and maintain your condition.
 
Stay in excellent "shape" and there will be less discomfort to distract you from happiness. Make your self-care a priority and hold your wellbeing sacred.
 
Give up judgement
When you disapprove of your spouse's dress sense, a neighbor's landscaping choices, or a best friend's date... negativity floods your brain. It's impossible to experience joy at the same time as disapproving of others. This is a tough one... but well worth cultivating.
 
A judgmental attitude will turn your attention to even more events you dislike. Focus on what you want to see and that's what you'll perceive. 
 
Cultivate a peaceful heart
People aren't peaceful by mistake, they nurture their state of mind. When your heart is calm, your thoughts are of a higher nature than negativity allows. They are loving, compassionate, accepting, benevolent, and understanding in substance.
 
Calmness gives you strength to rise above chaos and uncertainty so you're content no matter your circumstances.
 
Walk among nature
Nature's healing qualities soothe troubles, assist peaceful contemplation, and inspire joy. Take a moment to observe nature and walk among it often. Listen to the wind through the leaves, watch wildlife, and feel the surface of tree bark and moss on your fingertips. Mindful walking will invigorate your soul.
 
Let nature feed your soul and inspire you to greater levels of joy.
 
You need not wait for contentment to come knocking. Carry out habits that attract joy. Eat wholesome foods. Make meditation a daily practice. Walk in Nature. Let go of judgement. Laugh with friends. As a result, you'll no longer be at the mercy of life's ups and downs. You'll sail through rough times and create opportunities to cultivate more joy.

©ANJENETTE LLC / ANJENETTE.COM 
INHALE EXHALE SMILE® / LIFESTYLE MEDICINE

DISCLAIMER:

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.

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