Gratitude & Contentment

Gratitude & Contentment

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Contentment: a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Earlier this year when thinking about what I wanted my New Year’s Resolutions to be, I really wanted to focus on contentment. I think at some point I fell to the wayside with that but I’m finding my way back there now. I think contentment and gratitude really go hand in hand. Sometimes you have to stop and count your blessings and realize that there is so much to be grateful for in the present moment and when you ground yourself in your gratitude, it helps you pave the way to contentment.

I am more of a spiritual person rather than religious however I really do like the biblical definition of contentment, it goes as follows:

True contentment comes from accepting Christ, and having faith that in Him you will have everything you need. Christ is sufficient, and his promises are enough.


When I apply this definition to my belief that there is a higher power, that the universe is in more control of our destiny than ourselves, this makes so much sense to me and really helps me to let go of expectation, anticipation, and anxiety about things happening when I want them to happen.

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Ultimately, I am not in full control of what happens in life. And I really don’t like to force things that don’t feel right. access-antique-blur-1405724As for a real life example, Kevin and I had been in the mindset of hoping to find our forever home by a certain timeframe, so that we could have another child by a certain timeframe, you get my drift. But the thing is –  we  are not in control of making that dream home appear within our timeline. There are certain things we can control in life and certain things that we simply cannot. After some thought and consideration we decided to let it go for now. To be content with where we are. Because the reality is, we do live in a beautiful apartment. We have all the space we need, and then some. We have the capability to save money by living here. We also have three bedrooms. We have hosted countless holidays, dinner get togethers, and birthday parties here. Memories we will cherish forever. We don’t really need to wait for our forever home to have another child (although I’m no way near ready for that right now anyway.). The current housing market is quite frankly ridiculous, and we have decided that the the universe is telling us to hold out for what will truly be the forever home we’re waiting for. To truly, trust the process of life.

hosting-1That is just one example of how I’m trying to focus on gratitude and contentment. I had gotten so wound up in the home search that I stopped feeling thankful for where I am. This place has given us so many blessings. I recently found some décor  that I had gotten last year and never put up because I got in the mindset of “why bother putting it up if we could be moving in a few months?” Well. It went up today. I am over the mindset of waiting for things to happen, so that other things can happen. This is our home for as long as it needs to be and I will continue to make it ours in every way possible!

I’ve learned that contentment really starts with working on controlling your mindset, and the thoughts that you allow to take up residence in your head. This can be really difficult because it requires a lot of intention. The biggest thing that helps me is to try my hardest not to focus too much on what is stressing me out. If I find myself giving too much energy to it, I try to instead repeat a positive affirmation to myself in its place, and a really huge thing I believe in and have really relied on in the past few months is to just let it go to the universe/God/whatever you believe in. Looking back in my life, what was meant to be, wound up being, and the things I forced, never worked out. Listening to your intuition and respecting your gut feeling is incredibly important.

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And listen, — I know all of these things are easier said than done. It is a process and it takes a lot of work, but it really changes everything and opens up your ability to feel at peace with your life. It doesn’t take a ton of material things and luxuries to feel content and happy, in actuality if you can’t be content with the simplest things you will not feel content with more.
It’s about being thankful for
what you have been given, not how much.

Please know that if you are struggling with your mindset, your ability to feel happy, your place in life, – anything it doesn’t have to be that way forever. This is is something you can work on changing. It takes work, and being really intentional. But it is so worth it.

Investing in yourself is never a waste of time.

 Let me also be clear and say that I’m not saying you can cure depression and anxiety with these kind of tips alone. I have struggled with both depression and anxiety and I know that although working on my mindset really can help at times, it doesn’t make these mental health issues just go away and I strongly dislike when people say things like “just snap out of it” etc in regards to mental health issues because that is not how it works. Sometimes you truly cannot shake a mood no matter how hard you try.
I don’t personally take medication for depression or anxiety but I know that it does help many people that are struggling. I would recommend seeking out help if you feel you need to and I TRULY recommend therapy to anyone and everyone who has the ability to get access to it.
Therapy can be an amazing resource to just about anyone.

To end this post I wanted to share some things that really help me cultivate gratitude and contentment in my life:

  1. Thinking of 3 things you are grateful for before getting out of bed.

  2. Writing down what you are grateful for before going to bed each night.

  3. Writing down what you are feeling when stressed. Write it out, and give it to the universe. This can help relieve some of the weight of your stress.

  4. Say affirmations! I am a big believer in affirmations. They don’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as reciting to yourself (in your head or out loud) “I am calm” when you start feeling not so calm. Affirmations can really help you to feel grounded.

  5. Super simple meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross legged with nature sounds playing and trying really hard not to think about anything. Meditation can be as simple as, pausing while you have a cup of coffee and realizing how warm, and soothing it feels, how delicious it tastes. Simply, being mindful. When you are able to focus on super simple pleasures in life it really helps put you in a place of feeling content and thankful.

  6. Read uplifting, or relatable quotes. As far back as I can remember I have always loved reading quotes online. Currently, I love to find them on Pinterest. I have a whole board full of them and for me, quotes sometimes put into words things you are feeling and don’t know how to express. Feeling understood is something we all seek in life and for me, sometimes I get just an incredible feeling reading quotes that either accurately describe something I’m dealing with, or give me inspiration on how to handle what I’m dealing with.

  7. Music. Listening to positive, uplifting music can really help lift your mood. The year 2009 was incredibly difficult for me emotionally. I lost my grandfather to an aggressive form of cancer that took him from us 3 weeks after his diagnosis, lost a close neighbor and family friend also to cancer, then lost a close family member to suicide, and in the midst of these losses I was being bullied in school. This was a timeframe of April – September when these things were going on. It was too much for anyone to deal with and this was the time I got into the band Aqua. They are definitely not the kind of music you would expect a grieving person to listen to. And I’m not saying they are everyone’s cup of tea for when they are feeling down. I don’t even listen to them much at all today. But at the time, the upbeat, meaningless, happy music helped me so much. It served as a distraction from the negative emotions that surrounded me, and sometimes you really need that distraction.

That is all for today’s post, and if you made it this far – thank you! I hope this finds you well, and if you are ever struggling and just need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
We’re all friends here 🙂

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