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Finding contentment on a day to day basis

(30 Posts)
Grammar Sun 11-Jan-15 16:12:00

I find myself feeling, dissatisfied, worried, anxious, always 'chasing my tail' and found myself, yesterday, feeling 'happy' for the first time in ages, as we'd had some good news. It highlighted to me, the difficulty I seem to have in 'enjoying and living in the moment' which I know, people who meditate find easier to manage.
I have a lovely life, I have a happy marriage, three healthy children and a job in the NHS which is at times frustrating but is also rewarding.
I am spoilt.
Why am I struggling when I can clearly see life is harder for others, (that does not diminish my appreciation for my own life, I do really always remind myself that I am lucky).

Is it life, now?, is it my 'spoilt mindset' or is it genuinely harder to function as a parent working almost fill time in this day and age?
I yearn to feel fulfilment and worry that my life is slipping past in a miasma of just feeling 'bogged down'.
What sketch demonstrated that so well, something along the lines of ''What was that?''
That was your life, Mate''. John Cleese I think.

Meemoll Sun 11-Jan-15 16:35:21

I read somewhere recently that we live in an age where nothing is ever enough, we wake up feeling like we haven't slept enough we go to bed feeling like we haven't achieved enough, the expectations we put on ourselves are so great that it is no wonder we struggle to find happiness. So perhaps it is time to change how we think, you say that you have a great life so perhaps it is time to focus on what you have rather than what you don't have? Maybe take a bit of time when you can to 'sit back and smell the roses', and if meditation is not your scene, then maybe find another way just to live in the moment more regularly , you never know it may help. Don't know if that will help you at all, but hope you manage to feel a bit happier about your life. By the way, it is lovely to hear someone who works for the NHS saying that they still have some sense of job satisfaction!!

Grammar Sun 11-Jan-15 16:54:08

There is quote, 'What is this life that we no time to stand and stare'
That was a lovely post Meemollthank you, so right.

mermaid101 Sun 11-Jan-15 17:11:59

I feel a bit the same as you. I try, on the advice of a very wise friend, to try to find happiness in small things.

So if I'm having a bath, for example, i try to really enjoy the peace, feel of the hot water, the bubbles etc.
or I sort of force myself to count my blessings. So if something goes wrong with my car, instead of getting all annoyed and stressed about getting if fixed, I try to remember when I didn't have a car and how good it is and how lucky I am to have one.

Doing this can be a bit hard work in itself. But I think it helps a little.

I'd love to be all sunny and positive all the time, but I find it hard.

biggles50 Sun 11-Jan-15 18:39:27

Listen to eckhart tolle. He wrote The power of Now. He's all over YouTube. We as humans have a tendency to feel the past was better or that the future will bring us salvation. He discusses how there has never been a moment you can live other than now. It takes practice but it's possible to be present and enjoy the moment. Even if it's pairing socks or scrubbing the loo. Give him a go he's truly life changing.

stargirl1701 Sun 11-Jan-15 18:41:17

Have you tried Mindfulness?

AlorsMeh Sun 11-Jan-15 18:48:17

I second reading or listening to Eckhart Tolle. I also recommend spending more time in nature. Walking the hills is my equivalent of meditation.

tigrou Sun 11-Jan-15 18:48:48

A friend once suggested that I think of a positive phrase to say to myself every morning as I got up - in my case it was 'today is a unique and exceptional day', but it should be something meaningful to you and your situation. The challenge was to say it every day for 100 days, and see the change. I didn't manage 100, I shall have to start again, but I did feel better on the days when I thought that to myself as I go up. Something to try?

diddlediddledumpling Sun 11-Jan-15 19:25:39

this is the poem the quote comes from
I read this poem at school and it is one of the few that stuck with me. it was first published in 1911, suggesting this isn't just a modern phenomenon.
I second getting out for a walk amongst natur. regularly. In any season, I come back feeling invigorated and the kids love it.

Annunziata Sun 11-Jan-15 19:27:14

If you like, come and join the Gratitudes thread. Every day we find something we are grateful for.

I really like doing it. It's very calming and it gets so much easier as you do it.

redexpat Sun 11-Jan-15 21:54:13

I recommend reading how rtto do everything and be happy by peter jones.

SlatternIsMyMiddleName Sun 11-Jan-15 22:33:38

I could have written your OP. Actually I couldn't, you were much more eloquent and managed to put in words the feelings I have had for some years now.

I hate my job. It consumes me how much I hate it. I was driving home last week doing my usual 'why do I do this, why do I get so stressed, why can't I disengage, why do I put myself through this' rant as I drove into the car park of the kids' day care. And there they were, I had a perfect view of them of their little faces playing away. There was my answer - I do this for them.

I must remember to stop and appreciate what I have.

blueshoes Sun 11-Jan-15 22:51:55

My contentment after a busy day is to look at the sleeping form of my dcs in their bed and thank god I know where my children are and they are healthy and safe with me and dh. I then turn off the lights in the house and go to sleep.

missymayhemsmum Sun 11-Jan-15 22:53:29

I went on a course where we were asked to do a simple exercise. We were asked to list (to a partner) all the things we 'had' to do that day before we went to bed. Everyone looked literally weighted down and overwhelmed by the number of things on their list. Then we were asked to list all the same things but say 'I choose to' instead of 'I have to'. The difference in voice and body language was dramatic. And it's true, you value your children, your job, your marriage, your home, so you choose to do things like get up for work, clean the house, pay bills etc. You can choose to do these things or not do them, it's up to you. I found this a revelation, as I was bogged down in resenting things I 'had' to do, which was spilling over into resenting the people I thought I was doing things for.

Now it may be that your anxiety is down to fear of losing what you have, or maybe that you have taken on so many responsibilities that fulfilling them all to your satisfaction would take hours and energy than you have. But I do think that reminding yourself that you choose to do things is a useful discipline. It also gives you the freedom to choose not to do them in order to choose something different.

KiaOraOAotearoa Sun 11-Jan-15 22:59:02

How much of the time you actually spend on yourself?
When I feel like you is when I've 'forgotten' me.
So I take some time off. In my case, I take a morning to go and see an exhibition, find a pair of earrings, buy a brand new book and read it in Costa for an hour, deep clean the house or arrange the know, stuff... smile

GokTwo Sun 11-Jan-15 23:17:28

I know what you mean. The thing is it sometimes takes a crisis or misfortune to help us appreciate what we have.

I was very ill for 2 years and literally didn't know if I would be able to work or look after Dd from one day to the next. Now I have recovered I honestly do appreciate every single healthy day I have. I was having some accupuncture during my illness and the amazing acupuncturist told me that once I'd recovered I may well see my illness as a gift. I thought that was ludicrous at the time but now I think that is true. I am so much more contented, calm and balanced than I used to be.

I think you just need to get into the habit of giving thanks for the simple pleasures in your life and then it becomes natural to you to think in a positive, appreciative way. It's very transforming and fulfilling.

GokTwo Sun 11-Jan-15 23:19:30

Op, I use an online meditation program called "getsomeheadspace" I found it incredibly accessible and easy to get into.

tshirtsuntan Sun 11-Jan-15 23:27:48

I know exactly how you feel, on Christmas eve I started to feel very weird and then realised I had had an amazing day, all was done, I felt content and my stomach/buttocks/all that is usually clenched was relaxed, I honestly can't remember the last time I felt like that and have been actively seeking it to no avail sad

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 11-Jan-15 23:29:57

I was given a book called Happier at Home for xmas and there was also a Happiness Project that was part of it - some of it a bit hmm but a nice thought.
but yes, know just what you mean OP and think meemoll's post is spot on too.
I certainly haven't achieved enough to go to bed yet today [sigh] and will be tired tomorrow because of it.

Violettatrump Sun 11-Jan-15 23:30:22

What is it that's bogging you down?

Mindfulness and gratitude are great. I've also been extreme decluttering inspired by a Marie kondo book and now only keep items that are presently functional or inspire joy. And it has switched my life around hugely! My environment is so much simpler and more joyful.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 11-Jan-15 23:31:22

Like Beyoncé, I have an alter ego. She is Pollyanna Fierce. Pollyanna counts her blessings and sees the bright side in everything, while Ms Fierce Reminds me I have the power to change.

I work alone, from home, though, so having conversations with my alter egos is not frowned upon.

When I catch myself getting down, I channel Pollyanna and find the bright side. Like we're doing the tax returns just now and I was moaning about my tax bill - but Pollyanna would remind me it's a privilege to pay tax and it's wonderful that I have been able to earn enough money to help pay for a midwife or a doctor. If Pollyanna doesn't work, Ms Fierce steps in and reminds me if I wanted to earn a gazbillion pounds and not care about my tax, I could do that too.

MrsMook Sun 11-Jan-15 23:33:57

I try to make my mantra "I have enough“. When I remember to pray at bedtime, I find it helpful to think of several things I am grateful for in my life.

Pre-DCs, I found hiking blissful. I rarely get the chance now, and have taken up running which gives me a combination of alone time, chance to zone out and fresh air with pretty views. It fills that gap in my soul.

wobblebobblehat Sun 11-Jan-15 23:42:45

In the last few years I have worked full time in very busy stressy jobs, worked part time in stress free jobs and spent time at home.

How I have felt, depending on what I've been doing, has been dramatic. Worst scenario for me has been full time stressy job. I just end up feeling too disconnected from the real me. It's much harder to be in the moment Eckhart Tolle style when you are operating at 100mph.

It's not hard to appreciate the little things and find contentment in hearing the leaves in the trees/birds tweeting but you need to slow down so you take it all in. Easier said than done in today's modern world...

nicenewdusters Mon 12-Jan-15 02:29:43

There's a Buddhist teaching that you have to bring happiness to a situation and not expect situations/experiences to bring happiness to you.

I thought this was totally unrealistic when I first thought about it, and there are some situations to/in which you cannot bring or experience happiness. However, over the years this teaching has really helped me. For me it means taking control of my thoughts and feelings, and recognising that my internal life is largely what allows me to enjoy the big and small things in my life.

Yes, a weekend away with all the trimmings can be great, but if you are looking for it to make you feel "better", that may well not happen. Alternatively, if you're reasonably content and settled in your mind and not looking for an experience to "give" you anything, even the smallest things can be a source of joy and fulfillment.

I'm not saying that I float around thanking my lucky stars for my lunch because I know somebody else is hungry. It's more about expectations and acknowledging what I know really makes me feel content, even if it's not glamorous, costs money or looks good to others.

There are still rubbish days of course and can be a grumpy old cow !!

bigkidsdidit Mon 12-Jan-15 02:52:58

I am very content and happy now and I believe it is a result of spending lots of time outside. It has dramatically altered t mood. We left London, I walk about every day, we live by the seaside. Seeing the trees changing throughout he year and the birds coming and going alters your mindset and does make you 'stop and stare'. Can you get out more?

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