Are you living a satisfying life? Are you surrounded by the people and the things that inspire you, or bring you a sense of loving peace? It’s hard to stay focused on the future when we’re living in an uncomfortable reality. In order for us to find true contentment in this life, we have to find more practical ways to re-discover our sense of satisfaction and the enjoyment we take from the world around us.
Modern life is a unique challenge.
Modern living is a unique challenge. We are living in unprecedented times and it can feel a bit like we’re trying to build a castle on shifting sands. As soon as we become accustomed to things as they are, they change again. We are forever at the mercy of a world that’s plagued by hardship and turmoil. Is it even possible to find satisfaction in the midst of it all? Yes.
It is possible to tap into your deeper sense of contentment and meaning, no matter what is going on in the world.
The first step requires that you admit you’re lacking in life-satisfaction. Until we are honest about the signs that are all around us, it’s impossible to make meaningful change to our mental state or the way in which we see the world. Once we’ve embraced this core honesty, we can initiate the action that will transform our outlook and the general satisfaction we find in life (Di Castro, Hernandes, Mendonça & Porto, 2018). By committing to personal accountability, we can discover that we do indeed have control over the meaning we embrace.
Signs you’re lacking in real satisfaction.
Are you feeling bored with your life? Trapped, anxious, or hopeless? When we’re battling unease and a serious case of malaise, it’s important to be honest with ourselves and accept the signs of dissatisfaction.
Bored all the time
Boredom is always a sign that something in our life is not as it should be. Whether we are bored in our relationships, our careers, or every facet of our lives — it’s a red flag that we are not pursuing authenticity, and we are not taking the right actions. Rather than sitting and accepting this fate, we have to re-engage with our passions and find new ways to dig into life.
Unless you’re totally inhuman, you’ve probably looked at someone else’s life and suffered from a twinge of jealousy before. It’s natural. When someone has something that we want, we can become irritated. The only thing that matters about jealousy is how we handle it. You can either allow it to eat away at you (creating greater dissatisfaction) or you can ask yourself — how do I get that same thing for myself?
Taking greater risks
While a good life requires some calculated risks, out-of-the-norm risky behavior is very regularly a sign that you’re not feeling satisfied where you’re at or with what you have. Maybe you’re engaging in abusive drug use, or even throwing your cash into over-the-top investments. Perhaps you’re falling into a pattern of infidelity and promiscuity that destroy your relationships in the long-run. Whatever happens, it’s important to take a step back and honestly assess what you’re doing and why.
Lacking in self-care
The quality of our happiness is directly related to the amount of attention to self we pay. You have to take care of your body in order to keep your mental health in check. You have to take care of your mental health in order to help your body get through the day and keep you strong. This is achieved through self-care, and ensuring that we get enough time on our own to quiet our minds, our hearts, and our physical body.
One of the most common signs you’re dealing with an unsatisfying life is a surround of negativity. This is a cloud of negative self-talk and negative, judgmental thoughts about others. When you’re this unhappy with your life, your career, or your relationships, you can fall into the habit of endless complaining. It’s hard to be around someone like that; someone who only sees the downside to every single situation.
Do you feel helpless or anxious in the life you have? Do you feel empty, or as though you made so many mistakes that there’s no turning back? We spin down a worm hole when we’re leading a life that’s unsatisfying and unhappy. To reconnect with that joy, we used to find in life we have to re-imagine our passions and find new ways to pursue those things which infuse us with excitement or a sense of hope and optimism.
Playing the victim
Life is hard, and it’s filled with setbacks and challenges. Are you someone who has encountered so many setbacks you feel helpless? Have you started looking to others to save you, or adopted a habit of playing the victim in the circumstances of your life? Nothing will bring you greater dissatisfaction in life than taking a side-seat and allowing the natural course of freewill to pass you by.
We don’t numb ourselves when we’re living lives we don’t enjoy. You can numb yourself from life and your emotions in all kinds of ways. You can do it with relationships, drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions, food, etc. It’s when you’ll do anything to feel nothing — which is a core sign of dissatisfaction. While we hate our discomfort, it can actually inspire major transformation when we learn to listen to it.
Lost in fantasy land
Are you someone who is always daydreaming or always fantasizing about a different life or a different relationship? Being lost in a fantasy land can be a common sign that you’re not satisfied with your waking life. Want to be surrounded by people and experiences that don’t require fantasizing? Be honest with yourself about what you want from your life and who you want in it. Then go after those things with pure and mindful intention.
The most practical ways to find satisfaction in everyday life.
You don’t have to be a trust-fund millionaire or the head of a major corporation to find satisfaction in your life. Even as you deal with chaos and disappointment, you can find ways to connect with that essence of joy and meaning that keeps you anchored. Satisfaction can be ours by building new channels, taking time for ourselves, and committing to an accountable life.
1. Find outlets for the bad stuff
It’s ridiculous to think you’re going to banish bad or negative thoughts from your mind forever. It’s human nature to doubt yourself, and it’s human nature to be emotional and experience complex feelings. Rather than allowing all these complicated things to control us, however, we have to learn how to control them. That is to say, we have to find outlets for the bad stuff and find new ways to channel the negativity into positive outcomes.
Find better ways to channel your negative feelings and the negative situations you find yourself in. Instead of internalizing or lashing out, look for productive ways in which you can communicate your emotions, express your frustrations, and ultimately let out the poison that’s choking you up and slowing you down.
Maybe you pick up a running habit and go for a brisk job every time you begin to rumination or heat up. Maybe you start a new writing hobby, or commit to a painting course with friends. There’s no right or wrong way to channel your emotions and the bad things around you. Look for something you enjoy and something that fully distracts you by engaging your mind and any other senses you can get involved.
2. Take more time for yourself
There can be no sustained feeling fulfillment without nurturing both your physical body and the mental and emotional presence that dwells within it. We only have so much energy when it comes to dealing with the pressures of modern living and the families and careers we’ve built for ourselves. That’s why we have to commit ourselves to self-care and ensure we’re feeding ourselves in the right ways.
It’s crucial that you take time for yourself and make enough room in your life for self-care and self-appreciation. We all have a limited emotional battery, and we have to take a step back from the people and things around us (regularly) in order to charge that battery. It’s the only way to stay a committed friend, parent, or partner in this life.
Take a little time each day (or each week) to get away on your own. Lock yourself in your bedroom, the bathroom, or go on a short walk around the block. Self-care time doesn’t need to take hours or grandiose gestures (though it can). You simply need to give yourself a minimum of 20 minutes solid “you time” every week. Spend this time journaling, sleeping, or doing anything that makes your body and your soul feel better.
3. Pursue authentic relationships
For most, relationships (be they romantic or platonic) play a major role in the satisfaction quotient. We’re social creatures, so it’s understandable. We make sense of our world by sharing it with those we care for, but that ability is undermined when we surround ourselves with the wrong caliber of person. Want to be more satisfied in your relationships? Be honest about who and what you really want to be surrounded by.
Until you start pursuing authentic relationships in this life, you will continue to be disappointed and unsatisfied with the connections that you make. Want better friends? Want better lovers and partners who respect you and support you? Get honest about the people you’re letting in the door, and how they realistically fit alongside your values and your future aims.
It is crucial that we align ourselves with those who are going the same way in life; those people who are striving to improve themselves, or love and support those around them. Stop settling for mediocre partners and mediocre people who want more for themselves than for you. We are raised up when we lift others up. Seek quality individuals that see and seek the best in you and for you — as well as themselves. Elevate your social circles and you will elevate your relationships.
4. Decide to focus on positivity
The world is a chaotic and confusing place to be right now. From political turmoil to the ravages of the current pandemic, it’s not easy to find your feet and the madness, and it certainly isn’t always easy to be optimistic. That’s exactly what we have to do, though, if we want to raise the vibration of our own lives. We have the choice to focus on the bad or get set on the good.
We can either spend the rest of our lives focusing on all the horrible and horrendous negativity inside and outside of us, or we can focus on the positives. This requires adopting optimism, though, and letting go of the disappointment you’ve come to expect from the world and society at large.
Sure, life is challenging. Bad things happen. Good things happen too, though, and they are everywhere all around us. Acknowledge the bad, learn from it, and do what you can to limit its occurrences in the future. Don’t focus on it, though. Instead, learn to dwell on the positives and all the things that are going right in your life and in your relationships with those you love.
5. Live an accountable life
Too many of us are willing to float through this life, blaming others and looking for people to save us from the mess we’ve made. That won’t bring us happiness, though, and it certainly won’t bring us fulfillment or satisfaction in our lives or our relationships. At some point, we have to admit that we hold the greatest control over our lives and the people that dwell within it.
It’s time for some personal accountability. If you don’t like something, figure out what you can do to change it and take action. The quality of your life is ultimately going to be determined by the steps you take to better yourself and the world around you.
Live an accountable life. Admit when you’re wrong and good things will come to you, even if those good things are lessons which enhance who you are 30 years down the road. Be honest with yourself and be honest about yourself. What aspects of your life can you change or control right now in this moment? You are responsible for those things, and you are responsible for finding happiness and contentment where you can.
Putting it all together…
Today, it can feel impossible to find satisfaction in a world that’s disintegrating around us. We can find satisfaction in everyday life, though, and we can find it through the little things like being honest to ourselves and pursuing optimism. All of this requires we commit to a bigger picture, though, and a future that’s entirely ours.
Find outlets for your negative feelings and thoughts, and use those outlets to produce positive outcomes from the darkness that’s brewing inside. When you get better at funneling out the bad, you’ll feel better from the inside out. Take more time for yourself and make sure you’re recharging your emotional batteries. Pursue authentic relationships and stop settling for sub-par connections that only bring more drama and dissatisfaction. Focus on positivity and commit to letting go of your need to hyper-focus on negativity. Above all else, though, commit yourself to living an accountable life. You have the power to elevate your happiness, but you first have to be authentic to yourself and take responsibility. Do it with courage and keep going until you find the satisfaction that you’re seeking.
- Di Castro, V., Hernandes, J., Mendonça, M., & Porto, C. (2018). Life satisfaction and positive and negative feelings of workers: a systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 7(1). doi: 10.1186/s13643–018–0903–6