How To Be Happy With What You Have In Life Instead Of Focusing On What You’re Missing

How To Be Happy With What You Have In Life Instead Of Focusing On What You’re Missing

So, let’s chat about something we all think about from time to time: how to be happy with what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t. It’s easy to get caught up in the whole ‘I want more’ mindset, but sometimes, the key to happiness is learning to appreciate what’s already in our lives. Here are some down-to-earth tips for feeling more content and less like you’re always chasing the next big thing.

1. As corny as it sounds, practice gratitude.

It sounds a bit cliché, but seriously, taking time each day to think about what you’re thankful for can be a game-changer. It could be something as simple as a good cup of coffee or a call from a friend. Acknowledging these little things helps you realize how much good stuff you’ve already got going on in your life. Start a gratitude journal or take a moment before bed to reflect on your day. It’s amazing how focusing on the positives, even on rough days, can shift your perspective and boost your mood. Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.

2. Stop the Comparison Game.

We’ve all been there, scrolling through social media and feeling like everyone’s life is cooler than ours. But remember, it’s just a highlight reel. Comparing your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights is like comparing apples to… well, Instagram filters. Focus on your own journey and what makes you happy, not what looks good on someone else’s feed. Remind yourself that everyone has struggles they don’t post about. Learning to appreciate your own unique path, with all its ups and downs, is key to finding happiness.

3. Find Joy in the Simple Things.

Sometimes the simplest things bring the most joy. A walk in the park, a good book, a laughter-filled chat with a friend – these moments might seem small, but they add up to a lot of happiness. Learning to appreciate these simple pleasures can really boost your happiness levels. Next time you find joy in a small moment, really soak it in. Feel the sun on your face, savor the taste of your favorite food, or fully engage in a conversation. These moments are precious and can help you feel happy with what you have.

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5. Set Realistic Expectations.

Let’s face it, we can’t have everything, and that’s okay. Setting realistic expectations about life, your career, relationships, and personal achievements can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary disappointment. It’s about finding that balance between striving for goals and being okay with where you are right now. Understand that life is a journey, not a destination. Accepting that there will be good days and bad, successes and failures, helps in building a resilient attitude towards life.

6. Help other people whenever you can.

Helping others can actually help you feel happy with what you have in your own life. It’s like a double win – you make someone else’s day a bit brighter, and you get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Volunteering, lending a hand to a friend, or just being there to listen can remind you of the value you bring to the world, beyond material achievements. This act of giving not only strengthens your community but also reinforces a sense of belonging and purpose in your own life.

7. Celebrate your achievements, however minor.

Take time to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Finished a project? Nailed a workout? Cooked a decent meal? Celebrate it! Recognizing and appreciating your own achievements helps build a sense of satisfaction with your own life. Create a ‘win’ jar where you drop notes of your achievements, or simply acknowledge your progress out loud. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and remind yourself that you’re doing just fine.

8. Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company.

Being comfortable and happy in your own company is a big part of contentment. It’s about enjoying those solo moments and embracing the peace they bring. Whether it’s indulging in your hobbies, meditating, or just chilling with your thoughts, learning to love the time you spend with yourself is key. This doesn’t mean you have to be alone all the time, but finding joy in solitude can be incredibly fulfilling. It allows you to get to know yourself better and be at peace with who you are.

9. Let Go of What You Can’t Control.

Worrying about things outside of your control can really eat away at your happiness. Learning to let go and focus on what you can influence – like your attitude, your effort, and your responses – can free up a lot of mental space and bring a greater sense of peace. It’s about understanding that some things are just out of your hands and that’s alright. Redirect your energy to what you can change and accept what you can’t. It’s liberating and reduces a ton of stress.

10. Remind Yourself That It’s Okay to Not Have Everything.

In a world that constantly shouts about having more, it’s okay to be happy with what you have. Reminding yourself that happiness doesn’t come from stuff, but from how you view and appreciate your life, is so important. It’s about being at peace with your journey and where you are in it. Recognize that life’s worth isn’t measured by possessions or achievements, but by the experiences you have and the way you choose to live each day.

Harper Stanley graduated from Eugene Lang College at The New School in NYC in 2006 with a degree in Media Studies and Literature and Critical Analysis. After graduating, she worked as an editorial assistant at The Atlantic before moving to the UK to work for the London Review of Books.

When she's not waxing poetic about literature, she's writing articles about dating, relationships, and other women's lifestyle topics to help make their lives better. While shocking, she really has somehow managed to avoid joining any social media apps — a fact she's slightly smug about.