10 tips for more contentment in everyday life
Starting the day with contentment – that’s what we all want, isn’t it? The great thing is: contentment is not dependent on a bulging bank account. Rather, it depends on your inner attitude and self-care. With the following tips, you can bring more contentment into your everyday life!
#1 Accept what is
The long queue at the supermarket checkout, the late bus, dead spots that always appear just when you’re talking to a good friend on the phone: There are plenty of opportunities to get annoyed in everyday life. But do you have to use every one of them? By doing so, you rob yourself of satisfaction. What happens, happens and we can control little of it. But you can decide each time how you feel about a certain situation and what you will do with it.
The long line at the supermarket checkout gives you the opportunity to finally respond to chat messages, something you’ve been meaning to do for days. The delay of the bus allows you to look at a café near the bus stop that you’ve been interested in for a long time. And if there are cell phone problems, it would be a good opportunity to be aware of your surroundings. Maybe take a walk through the park and call your friend later when you’re home in peace?
We often react automatically to stimuli from our environment. But there is a gap in our consciousness between stimulus and response that we can train to choose a new response. For this, you need one important quality.
#2 Live mindfulness
Mindfulness is one of those buzzwords that has flooded social media and lifestyle blogs in recent years. But the principle of mindfulness is valuable and thousands of years old. The more mindful you are, the more you live in the here and now. As a result, you worry less about the future, are more balanced, and have more freedom of action. You are much more aware and free to choose what thoughts, feelings, and actions to react with when faced with stimuli from the outside world.
You achieve mindfulness through regular self-observation, preferably on a daily basis. Meditation is an ideal tool for this.
- Tip: In our article “Stress in your studies: 10 relaxation exercises” you will find instructions for an effective 10-minute meditation.
The more regularly you meditate, the more your mindfulness will increase, which will provide more satisfaction in everyday life.
#3 Practice gratitude
In our society, gratitude is not very popular. The trend is much more to focus on grievances and problems.
Gratitude is not about turning a blind eye to crises and problems. Here we are again at point #1: Accepting what is. With gratitude, you go one crucial step further: instead of always reacting, you actively put yourself in a better mood by focusing your attention on the positive things you can be grateful for.
Think there’s nothing in your life to be grateful for?
You could be grateful for that:
- You live in a country where you can move freely.
- You can make yourself a fresh, delicious coffee or tea every morning.
- You can study and have a professional perspective.
- You can go for a walk and enjoy the sun’s rays and the fresh air.
You can feel gratitude for everything that is good in your life. It doesn’t need a religious context, it’s about consciously enjoying what is.
When you first start doing this, it can feel a bit unfamiliar to be grateful. That’s because most of us have never cultivated gratitude. We have to exercise it like a muscle to feel the positive effects for greater satisfaction. But: Numerous studies have proven the connection between gratitude and satisfaction – so it pays to be grateful every day.
#4 Eat healthy
Sure, everyday life is hectic and sometimes there is little time to cook. Still, it’s important to eat healthy so you feel good about yourself. Healthy food is a crucial factor for satisfaction. Here you will find 5 easy & healthy recipes for students. They are cheap, make you happy and are quick as well as easy to cook – promise!
Exercise helps to reduce stress and promote your own happiness. In our modern world, we sit a lot – too much. Instead, we need exercise. But of course, we also know that the gym subscription is used far too rarely.
So how about sports that you can easily integrate into everyday life? In the Corona era, many people have learned to exercise at home. There are plenty of online courses and apps that you can use to keep fit in your own four walls.
Or you can run a lap around the block in your jogging clothes. It’s also quick to hop on your bike or jump rope in a nearby park.
- Tip: Combine exercise with relaxation exercises afterwards to calm down and increase your happiness. Here are 10 effective relaxation exercises.
#6 Get enough sleep
There is a wise motto for productivity: the success of the next day is decided the night before. In other words, if you make sure you get enough healthy sleep at night, you’ll have plenty of energy for the next day. Sleep research concludes that seven to eight hours of sleep is sufficient for a healthy adult.
These sleep tips will help you for a healthy sleep:
- Avoid screens (laptop, smartphone, TV) one hour before bed to rest your eyes and brain
- Do not eat meals after 6 p.m. to ease the burden on the digestive system
- Avoid or reduce nicotine and alcohol
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. in coffee) after 4 p.m.
- Set a fixed bedtime that the body can get used to (e.g. 10 p.m.)
- Keep the room dark, for example with blinds or curtains
- Incorporate plenty of exercise into your day to help you get a good night’s sleep, ideally through sports
The better you sleep, the more satisfaction you will experience in your daily life.
#7 Maintain relationships
During Corona time, many of us felt the importance of relationships. As social beings, we need interaction and exchange with other people to stay healthy. Fulfilling relationships, whether partnerships, friendships, or relationships with family, are an important pillar for our satisfaction.
Fortunately, we can now get back to nurturing our relationships, dating, going to the movies, hosting parties, etc. Be sure to use these opportunities to bring contentment into your life.
- Article Tips: Are you new to the city and haven’t built relationships locally yet? Then read our article “10 tips for finding friends in a new city” now! Here you’ll find inspiration on what to do with your friends in the run-up to Christmas.
Sometimes it just has to be the old familiar change of scenery. Travel not only educates, it also provides plenty of variety and excitement. Get away from it all by setting out to experience new places, cultures and people. Travel doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here’s how you can travel on the cheap as a student. Discover the most beautiful routes by train across Germany in another article. Traveling will give you more satisfaction in your everyday life through the many impressions and encounters.
#9 Stop comparing yourself
We often look at what other people have achieved, or whether they are more satisfied than we are. And just as often, we create a distorted image of these people. This is clearly illustrated by the example of celebrities who seem to have everything: success, wealth, recognition. But behind the scenes, things are often quite different. Every person has their ups and downs, their joys and problems.
Comparing ourselves with others throws us off balance: Either we become arrogant because the person we are comparing ourselves with is worse off than we are. Or we feel small, even develop envy, because we feel unfairly treated by life. Both are poison for contentment, which is why you should stop comparing yourself. Observe yourself in everyday life how quickly such comparison happens. When you notice it, take your mind off it and ask yourself, for example:
What can I be grateful for here and now?
This goes along the lines of tip #3 in this article. By focusing on gratitude, you immediately interrupt the downward comparison thoughts and engage in something positive. The result: you’ll immediately feel better and sense contentment.
#10 Solution-oriented thinking
The brain is an ingenious organ that has been programmed over millions of years of evolution to solve problems. Unfortunately, this mechanism, which was essential for survival in earlier times, has a catch: our minds are constantly looking for problems. If we focus only on these, it paralyzes us and creates a feeling of powerlessness. It is much better to think in a solution-oriented way and thus tap into our own creative potential. Similar to gratitude, this works especially well via questions.
- Instead of being afraid of the exam, ask yourself: What can I do to get my exam anxiety under control?
- Instead of complaining about a lack of money, ask yourself: What exciting part-time jobs are available for students?
- Instead of despairing about your choice of degree program, ask yourself: Which study program suits me?
Such an active approach to problems ensures that you always remain capable of taking action. Instead of feeling powerless and at the mercy of situations, you feel your own self-efficacy and repeatedly experience that you can solve problems. This provides a sense of autonomy and thus deep satisfaction.
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