I'm in my 50's (Insert gasp and Noooooo!!!! here, please) and a hard lesson for me to learn has been to be satisfied and enjoy it! Do you strive for perfectionism so strongly that even when you do an amazing job -not perfect, but an amazing job you are dissatisfied? No?? just me?
One year I walked into the office for my yearly review and before I could sit down my boss said "DO NOT dwell on this all day! Everyone has room to grow!". I had a great review with almost all excellent marks, I had one "performs above expectation" and yes, I dwelt on it all day!
That is an example to give you an idea of how hard it can be for me, but learning satisfaction has been the greatest gift. Note, I said learning - as in I am in the act of learning.
Definition of satisfied (adjective) : Contented; pleased; fulfilled. To have your expectations, needs or desires met. The pleasure you feel when you do something or get something that you wanted or needed to.
Satisfaction is a profound state of contentment and fulfillment that arises from aligning one’s values, desires, and actions. It is not merely the absence of dissatisfaction or discomfort but rather the presence of a deep sense of joy and harmony in life. (Enjoyment). Satisfaction can manifest in our overall well-being, relationships, career, personal growth and health. It is the sweet spot where the simple, small changes we make in our daily routines and perspectives converge to create an impact on our overall quality of life which make us content where we are.
WHY BEING SATISFIED IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR WELLNESS:
It helps to boost our motivation to make healthy choices
Contentment promotes overall relaxation and reduces stress
Encourages long-term commitment to healthy habits
Leads to a better quality of life and increased energy
It positively impacts other areas of our life for success
Satisfaction doesn't come from getting that raise, getting the bigger, better, more awesome thing. Satisfaction comes from you! You are the one who decides to feel satisfied.
Let's go back to my job. I learned that I set a very high bar, often too high. I also learned to take pleasure when others were pleased by my work as imperfect as it was.
STOP - No it doesn't mean we learn to do a bad job or settle. It means we are realistic and allow ourselves enjoyment in the moments!
Satisfaction happens with the small things, one step at a time. Focusing on the small things that make life great. You don't have to wait to achieve -whatever it is you are trying to achieve. You can find satisfaction with something every day. Even while you are pursuing your goals and focusing on where you are going, you can be content with where you are right now. You can be satisfied with your daily efforts that are moving you toward a more satisfied life. The ultimate satisfaction can be the end result, but you can still be happy along the journey.
Standing back from something and feeling satisfied is invigorating!
Sometimes our dissatisfaction is rooted in our own trauma and fears and lying narratives, like, if it isn't perfect no one will like me, or I'll be abandoned - they won't speak to me again etc., or if I fail at this I have failed as a person. These are not true and they prevent us from true satisfaction, self-love, and relationship.
One way to start learning to enjoy being satisfied is through gratitude!
Did you know that gratitude is actually good for your health? It’s true! A review of 70 different studies found an association between higher levels of gratitude and lower levels of depression. If your mental health is struggling this season, take more time to be grateful! Gratitude is the ultimate mood booster and stress reducer! When stressed, our hearts beat faster, muscles tense up, and adrenaline pumps. Gratitude helps calm your nervous system to battle those symptoms of stress. It also initiates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is what signals your body to ‘rest and digest.’ This helps to lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing to promote relaxation.
Start here: Small acts of appreciation should really be part of our daily routine to help us feel satisfied. Research has shown that practicing gratitude for 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week for at least 6 weeks can improve your mental wellness and maybe even promote a more positive perspective on life in the long term!
Tip: Read the Happiness Advantage!
OK, I realize this topic is way more than a blog post, but I hope it gets you thinking! I challenge you to find 1 thing every day this week that you felt true satisfaction in. Write it down along with your daily gratitude.
Here are some examples of times I've felt satisfied recently. These are small every day things that we can all relate to.
I cleaned and organized my office. It felt good and I just stopped and enjoyed the moment
I prepared a dish that we completely enjoyed! My husband's yummy noises add to the satisfaction
I finished a project and knew it wasn't perfect, but it was really good
When I am out doing something with my husband and we stop and think how grateful we are that this moment is part of our life. I'm satisfied with life.
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