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How To Be Content

contentI got a good sleep last night, that may be one of the keys to contentment but I’m not sure. I know it helps.

It seems like a lot of people are looking for happiness though, they’re looking for a feeling of peace in their chest and a mind that’s free of clutter.

Is that happiness though? Is that what happiness looks like? I imagine happiness to be sort of a manic state where you’re trying you’re damndest to wipe the smile off your face because you know that a constant smile can be unsettling. I think the better thing is to look for contentment.

Essentially, you have to find that place, that feeling where you can relax.

I woke up content this morning. After a week of obsessing over something of which I have no control it’s good to be able to relax into the cool air and the soft light of the morning.

Naturally, I’m beginning to wonder how I can maintain this state. I want to keep this comfortable feeling for at least a while.

What things have converged to provide this comfortable space of mind for me? I think part of it has to do with making the decision to put my energy into things other a gnawing obsession. If that means removing myself from a situation so be it, there’s only so much you can take when you force yourself into an awkward scenario everyday.

Switching coffee shops seemed to do that for me. I think another thing that has contributed to this feeling is wearing my comfortable shoes. Just something small like that can make things better and I’m not realizing that until just this moment.

I also tried to do some creative writing this morning, I tried to stretch myself instead of doing a straightforward diary entry or instructive article. Playing with tone and doing something creative and constructive can help you realize that things are still good. It also serves as a sort of purge for getting things out, for removing that murky build-up, those cobwebs that stretch across your brain.

Playing with words has always been fun for me and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to write for a living and make my living by doing something that’s not only therapeutic but also fun.

So how do we find contentment exactly? It seems to come down to finding an end, a resolution to things that bother us. Even if it’s a bad resolution, even if it sucks there’s peace in knowing that it won’t bother you anymore. If that means making a big decision about something so be it.

Then there’s finding joy in the little things, like comfortable shoes or enjoying coffee in the quiet light of the morning. Taking pleasure anywhere you can helps you get a grip on the nasty stuff, taking care of yourself is extremely important. Finally, in the case of writing, it helps to get things out. Maybe that means talking to someone or drawing or maybe even writing but letting go of the nasty stuff can’t be done without actually letting go of it somehow.

These are all things that have helped me this morning and maybe they can help you if you’re dealing with something heavy.

I know it can be tough but contentment is out there and sometimes it surprises you. Take advantage of it.

How To Be Content


Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.


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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). How To Be Content. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/two-minds/2015/02/how-to-be-content/

 

Last updated: 21 Feb 2015
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