Have you lost a sense of joy in your life?
Maybe you look around, and everyone else seems to have it better than you: fancy cars and houses, the perfect relationship, and loving friends and family surrounding them.
In these moments, it’s easy to start feeling down on yourself and the things you’ve accomplished.
Your significant achievements suddenly don’t feel special anymore.
This feeling is why learning to be happy with what you have is an important skill to foster.
- What Does It Mean to Be Happy with What You Have?
- How to Be Happy with What You Have: 13 Shifts You Can Make Right Away
- 1. Enjoy the little things in life.
- 2. Cherish your relationships.
- 3. Start a gratitude log.
- 4. Always look for the silver lining.
- 5. Volunteer your time and skills.
- 6. Create a work-life balance.
- 7. Don’t compare yourself to others.
- 8. Focus on personal growth.
- 9. Seek internal validation.
- 10. Be present.
- 11. Make self-care a priority.
- 12. Nourish your body.
- 13. Make time for hobbies.
What Does It Mean to Be Happy with What You Have?
You might wonder if being happy with what you have is possible when you want more in life. Does it require settling for a life that’s less than optimal?
This kind of happiness isn’t meant to hold you back or force you to accept the status quo. Quite the opposite. It means being present enough in the moment to see the happiness available to you right now.
For most of us, we have everything we need in the moment. When you are present, you can be happy. So how does that play out in the real world?
- You feel fulfilled emotionally in your relationships with yourself and others.
- You are satisfied with your career role and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- You feel proud of your success and confident in your skills and talents.
- You don’t measure your self-worth by your physical belongings.
- You celebrate your friends and family’s successes without feeling jealousy.
Now that you know what it means to find this happiness, how do you implement it into your life?
How to Be Happy with What You Have: 13 Shifts You Can Make Right Away
Finding delight and joy in life is not as easy as just deciding to change. It takes time to rewire your mindset and shift your perspective to become more positive.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You can immediately make the following shifts to be happier with the things you already have.
1. Enjoy the little things in life.
If all you’re focusing on is the big and exciting moments, it’s no surprise you’re feeling down in your day-to-day life.
Find joy in the small things in life, like a breeze on a sunny day, watching your favorite TV show, or drinking a warm cup of coffee.
When you slow down and focus on simple pleasures, you will find there are so many things in your daily routine to be grateful for. Not only that, but when you begin noticing all the things that make you smile, your overall mindset will shift in a more positive direction.
2. Cherish your relationships.
When you lack joy in life, the root cause is a lack of effort in your personal life. Maybe you have let your relationships become a low priority.
When was the last time you picked up the phone and called your closest friend? Has it been a while since you had a night out with friends? Perhaps you haven’t been giving your romantic partner much attention lately, and your relationship feels strained.
Committing yourself to cherish your relationships and improving them each day is a huge step toward achieving daily happiness.
3. Start a gratitude log.
One of the easiest ways to be happier with what you have is to start a gratitude log.
A gratitude log is simply a list of things you are grateful for each day. It can be as simple as a meal you ate or an interaction you had with a stranger. Anything that makes you stop and smile – add it to your list!
You can start a gratitude log on a sheet of paper, or you might even decide to start a gratitude journal dedicated to the things you’re thankful for.
4. Always look for the silver lining.
Do you know those days when it seems like everything is going wrong? We all know how frustrating it can be when life keeps knocking us down, but learning to look at the silver lining is a big part of being more satisfied with life.
For example, maybe your alarm didn’t go off this morning, and it caused you to be late for work. But maybe because of this unfortunate situation, you avoided the heavy morning commute traffic.
Most of the time, you can spin negative experiences in a positive direction if you just shift your perspective.
5. Volunteer your time and skills.
A great way to ground and center yourself is to do some volunteer work. Often, volunteering your time to help those in need opens your eyes to how much you have to be grateful for.
According to research from Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, doing for others is a key component of a happy life.
Check if any charities or non-projects near you could use extra hands. Or volunteer to help a neighbor, friend, or complete stranger who needs support or assistance with something.
Volunteering also is a meaningful way to make an impact, and people tend to feel happier when making a difference in someone’s life.
6. Create a work-life balance.
If you’re feeling unsatisfied, take a look at your work life. Do you find yourself constantly stressed out over projects and coworker drama? Do you often bring your work home with you?
If any of these sounds like you, you probably need to establish a more healthy work-life balance to find room for happiness. Maybe that means reducing your hours or perhaps even transferring to another location. Your well-being should come first before work.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Maybe you’re not actually unhappy with your life, but you’re stuck in a trap of comparison. When you look at others, you wonder: Why them and not me?
It’s perfectly human to compare ourselves, but if you want to be genuinely joy-filled, learn to shut off these outside influences. Instead of focusing on what others have, listen to your heart and follow your desires.
What makes you feel happy might differ from others, and that’s okay.
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8. Focus on personal growth.
Maybe it’s not your physical environment that you’re unhappy with, but your inner self. Perhaps you have many limiting beliefs about the world, or you are constantly thinking negatively.
If this is the case, you will never feel happy until you face your innermost limitations and work on building a more positive mindset.
When you teach yourself to view the world through a brighter lens, it will carry over into your personal life, and you’ll feel more satisfied than ever.
9. Seek internal validation.
Many people who are unsatisfied with their lives rely too much on external factors. You may notice that if you don’t get reassurance from others, you feel bad about yourself or start to wonder if you’re a failure.
Instead of seeking external sources of validation, find the assurance you need internally. This shift means you become your own biggest cheerleader and trust your intuition related to making big decisions.
10. Be present.
Dissatisfaction can stem from overthinking about the past or future. As much as you wish you had done things differently, there is no benefit to hyper-focusing on your history.
Similarly, it’s not helpful to spend excessive time worrying about the future, either. Preparing ahead is one thing, but it can become unhealthy if that’s all you think about. Instead, you should try to remain present in your life.
When you focus on the here and now, you will have less anxiety hindering your happiness.
11. Make self-care a priority.
One way to boost your happiness and increase inner peace is to prioritize self-care. You can’t pour from an empty cup, which is why taking care of yourself and your well-being is important.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated, either. It can be as simple as taking a bath or listening to relaxing music.
Schedule some time in your calendar for yourself and spend it doing whatever makes you feel refreshed and energized.
12. Nourish your body.
A negative mindset is often the result of external factors, such as fitness and diet. There is a strong correlation between physical health and mental health for many people.
A great way to boost your happiness is to start exercising regularly, even if it’s as simple as a ten-minute walk each day.
Combine exercise with eating a diet full of nourishing foods, and you will be one step closer to feeling more balanced in your body and life in general.
13. Make time for hobbies.
If you feel overwhelmed by the work-hustle culture, you probably have a routine that looks something like this: wake up, roll out of bed, and spend the day at work.
Then you come home exhausted and go to sleep, only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.
While being hardworking is an excellent quality, make sure you have adequate free time to pursue your hobbies.
Taking just a few minutes each day to put your heart into something you’re passionate about can bring so much satisfaction to your life.
Maybe you’re wondering how to be happy where you are in life. The truth is, there’s no one specific way to increase happiness. Every person is different and has their own desires, so what works for someone else might not work for you.
Achieving a state of happiness and satisfaction in your life isn’t always easy, but you can become more gratified and joyful as you work on it over time.