We live in a world where there is always the next best thing. A new phone version comes out within the year there is another one that does better and more things. We are given options to upgrade, or trade in for something newer and better. How do we get to where we can be content with what we have? Being content is defined as being in a state of peaceful happiness, or a state of satisfaction.
Life Hope and Truth website says, “Contentment is an internal state of mind that delights and finds joy in whatever God has provided for us.” Being content can be hard for anyone, but it is a great thing to teach our children. What parent hasn’t been in the store hearing their child go on and on about what they need or want, when really they have something sitting in a closet at home.
There are some things that can be done though to help our children learn to be content in such a materialistic world. An important one is to show that you are content with what you have. Kids learn by seeing, more than by you lecturing them. It will send mixed signals if you tell them to be content with something, but you yourself continually talks on and on about how you want all these things you can’t have.
Teaching your children gratitude can be a huge step into finding contentment. Have them make a list of all the things they are grateful for. This can be materialistic things, or anything they feel grateful for. Talk about these things daily. Add saying what you are grateful for in a daily routine, whether that is around the dinner table, if you pray daily, or keep a family gratitude journal that you can add to normally and pull out to share. Listing things off that you have that you love can help your mind see that you aren’t in need of the great new toy you just saw in a commercial. Possessions and things are nice but they won’t give you happiness.
Another thing to do to help your child is to teach your child to give. This can be giving their time, or showing them that giving part of their allowance can better help others in need. You could take your whole family to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter and have them volunteer for a day and see the less fortunate. Have them help and serve at their church, or go on a mission trip together to build houses for people who don’t have one. If you aren’t able to go somewhere to show them people that are less fortunate find a documentary or a video from someone who has been to a country where they don’t have as much as we do.
Get One Give One
Giving can also be passing down items to a younger sibling, family member or friend. Some families like to implement the get one give one technique. This is when you receive a gift you get rid of something that is like it. Get a new shirt for your birthday, pick one out of your closet that you don’t wear anymore or don’t like as much. This eliminates hoarding things and keeping too many items at one time.
Social media can have a huge impact on people’s contentment. You see these people posting wonderful vacations, home renovations, new clothes, new babies and you start comparing yourself almost immediately whether you think you are or not. Subconsciously you are because comparing yourself to others is normal to see how you measure up to them. It’s the competition in all of us to be better than those around us. So the bottom line is to stop comparing yourself to others.
Social media is a highlight reel of someone else’s life. You don’t know about the arguments they have, the financial struggles, all the other real life things that happen behind closed doors. You are seeing their perfectly posed life of what they want you to see. Comparing can cause you to have negative and anxious thoughts, which can lead down the trail of anxiety, depression, and even overspending to try to keep up with the latest trends and fads. Even if you think your social media doesn’t, it can ultimately make you feel worse after being on it for only a few minutes then you felt before getting on it.
A good way to help you stop comparing is to write down things that you love about yourself. Keep it handy, write it somewhere you see daily. This can be a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, a place stuck in your backpack so everytime you open it you see the list.
More Love & Celebration
Remembering what you love about yourself, what you are grateful for in your life are all getting you on the right track to contentment. Learning to celebrate others is another thing that can help stop you comparing, feeling jealous, and not feeling content. Celebrating what people do great can help you reverse your negative thinking. Turn things into a positive when you can. Instead of criticizing someone, list off some good qualities they have you like. This will change your negative thinking towards them and help you celebrate whatever wins they have achieved.
Set Goals for Yourself
Instead of setting your goals up against other people and competing with others, compete with yourself. Set goals specifically for you. Instead of setting goals to be able to do the exact same fitness routine a shredded social media star is doing. Set yourself a goal to be able to do more reps then you can do right now. This takes the competition away from trying to be like someone else, and turning your goals into making you a better you. Find something that gives you a simple joy. This can be reading a book, taking a walk, chatting with a friend. Whatever makes you happy can help make you feel content as well.
Practice Self Care
Having a good self care routine can also help. Discontentment can stem from depression, anxiety and constant worry, or stress. All of these need you to stop and give yourself some self care to handle.
Being content is being in a state of peaceful happiness. Knowing that what you have, where you are in the world, is enough. Life Hope and Truth said, “contentment is a matter of trusting that God will supply our needs and that He knows what’s best for us.”
Being content can be hard for anyone at any stage of life. Teaching our children to learn contentment young will help them as they grow up to not be swayed by commercials, window shopping, or the need to buy the next greatest thing.
A grateful attitude results in contentment! Learn how to find contentment and pass contentment on to your children. #HealthStatus
Comparing can cause you to have negative and anxious thoughts, which can lead down the trail of anxiety, depression, and even overspending to try to keep up with the latest trends and fads.
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