Creating contentedness in your life

We are often reminded of the healthiness of routine and balance. Struggles with a severe lack of discipline or being way too stringent with discipline - either way - can be disastrous, both have their own set of unhelpful consequences for us. What does it take to find the grey area between these extremes?

There is a book by Cheri Huber, What you Practice is What You Have and the title makes a whole lot of sense on its own!

What we do, day in, day out, amounts to our 'practices', and our practices contribute directly to the quality of our overall experience of life.

If you enjoy your work, cultivate decent relationships, have interests, look after your mental welfare and physical health - then chances are you are feeling comfortable in general. But what if you neglect some, any, or all of these?

Let’s say your diet is poor and this reflects in your physical health; you spend lots of time worrying or festering, then this affects your sleep and how you feel about yourself. What does life feel like if you argue with your partner regularly, and you waste time replaying scenarios over and over in your head? What does life look like if each day you turn up to work to a role that you have long tired of?

What are you practising? 

I guess if we revisit the idea of balance, to feel content in life, it makes sense to ensure that our days consist of more satisfaction than less satisfaction. More wellness, than less wellness, if you like.

I love the Maya Angelou quote: “If you don’t like something, change it, if you can’t change it, change your attitude

Maybe you have identified some areas that you would like to improve? Would it help to sound out, what - if anything, can be done about these things? Because if you want to change something, then you can! You can implement practices that steer you in the direction of where you want to go -  rather than not.

And if you don’t, or won’t, or can’t - then maybe it’s time to try to learn to let go - so you don’t have to stay stuck in the emotion of it all.

Another Huber quote - “The quality of your life depends on the focus of your attention”.

What do you find you focus on most? Is it the job, relationship or body you don’t like? Perhaps you can see how this is going to affect the quality of your life experience in general and over time.

Consider aspects such as:

  • health
  • family
  • finance
  • relationships
  • contribution
  • purpose
  • career
  • personal development

Rate each of them out of 100%. Are any under 60%? Are there any that you spend a lot of time focusing on that evoke negative feelings in you? 

Consider how it might impact your life if you enhanced some of these areas by as little as 5%? Or if you took one tiny step each day for a month to improve one of these aspects. 

Small changes can make a big difference!

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Sutton, SM1

Written by Claire Deane

Sutton, SM1

BACP registered Counsellor providing support to long or short term clients weekly on Zoom or Skype. Clients can self-refer or access support via healthcare providers or EAP. I work with mild to moderate mental health issues including substance use and co-morbid disorders.

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