People often confuse happiness and contentment. Some people even use them interchangeably, but these two words connote a world of difference.

Happiness usually involves moments of feeling extreme joy or elation. You can find happiness in doing what you want, more money, and material things, but the feeling is certain to come and go. Contentment, on the other hand, refers to a mental or emotional state of being satisfied. It’s the feeling of being okay with the way things are.

How can you be more than just happy, and feel contentment with your life? Here are 4 keys to clutivating contentment in your life:

Keep growing

Contentment isn’t the same as complacency. If you don’t strive to improve, are you giving up just a little in life? Take control of your own life and strive to grow a little in some way every day. Never stop discovering, growing or learning. Taking steps towards improving your life will provide a great deal of joy and contentment.

Celebrate your growth

With the explosion of social media, it is increasingly easier to compare yourself to others. But the thing about comparison is that there is never a win. Oftentimes, it leads to unhappiness and discontentment.

Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus instead on your past and present self! Instead of focusing on what’s lacking in your life, concentrate on how far you’ve come, what you have, and what you love. Celebrate your growth.

Practice positive thinking

Life is a complex journey that often takes unexpected turns. Having a positive attitude will help you see the brighter side of life. This makes it easier for you to cope with the daily ups and downs of life.

Contentment means choosing to focus on the joy and beauty of the moment. Train your mind to see the good that is everywhere. Practicing positive thinking leads to positive living.

Live with less

Have you learned to believe that making more money or acquiring more possessions will make you happier or more content? Are those who have more happier? Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

Believe it or not, spending does not quench your desire for contentment. In fact, it often has the opposite effect. Buying more stuff actually can make you miserable. The more stuff you acquire, the more complicated your life can become. No matter how much you have, it might never feel like enough.

To truly live well means living simply. Stop acquiring things just for the sake of having. Choosing to live with less could increase your happiness and cultivate contentment.

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