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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Contentment: A Long-Forgotten Word


We live in a world constantly barraging us with messages of MORE. Everywhere around us, we are shown what we should have and don’t, everything we should be and aren’t, and why our lives are lackluster compared to others. We never have enough, and if we are honest, we can feel like we are never enough.

At a recent symposium I spoke at, an individual asked me how I reconcile my desire to accomplish, create, and progress while also being content with who I am, my life, and what I have right now.

It has been a difficult struggle for me to appreciate accomplishments and not feel like I am always behind in the race of work and life. To change this perception, I adopted the thought that being content is making peace with the process of life and my progression as an individual. This mindset has significantly impacted my mental health and overall well-being. It helps me focus on life's small, great moments instead of what I lack. It is the journey, never the destination.

This is an important topic for you to take a few minutes and think about this week. Being content is good for you:

  • It helps you avoid feelings of envy, jealousy, and greed that can lead to stress and anxiety.

  • Being content leads to better relationships. You are more likely to be kinder and more patient with others. You are less likely to take relationships for granted, which can strengthen the bonds you have with loved ones. In contrast, individuals constantly striving for more can become self-absorbed and neglectful of their relationships. Therefore, cultivating contentment is essential to living a happy and fulfilling life.

  • Being content improves emotional regulation: When you are content, you can better regulate emotions. You are less likely to experience extreme highs and lows, which can tax the brain. This can lead to greater emotional stability and less stress.

  • Reduced anxiety and depression: Contentment is associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression. Focusing on the positive aspects of life can reduce negative thoughts and feelings, leading to a healthier mental state.

  • Increased creativity: Being content improves creativity. When you are not constantly worrying or stressed, you are more likely to have the mental space to develop new ideas and solutions.

  • Better decision-making: Contentment can lead to better decision-making. When you are not constantly seeking more, you make decisions based on actual needs and wants rather than external pressures or societal expectations.

Being content has a range of positive effects on the brain and cognitive function. By cultivating a sense of contentment, you improve emotional regulation, reduce anxiety and depression, increase creativity, and make better decisions. All it takes is monitoring and changing your thoughts when you feel you have less or are less.

Feel content this week!

 

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