Increasing Life Satisfaction
Updated: Apr 29, 2022
When times are tough, it becomes clear to us that one of the things that we lack is happiness. Let's be real though. Being happy all the time is unrealistic, so maybe it’s life satisfaction that we strive for. The good news is life satisfaction can be improved and last much longer. The more connection you feel between who you are now and who you will be, the greater life satisfaction and well-being you’ll have.
There are many ups and downs in life and no one is without flaws. Sometimes, you might wonder what life has in store for you when you get up every morning and join the chaotic adventures. But hacking into a life of satisfaction requires just a few things from you.
One of those things happens to be a sense (or practice) of gratitude. Research suggests that there are many benefits to practicing gratitude, including decreased anxiety and depression, increased vitality, optimism, hope and life satisfaction, all of which increases our sense of well-being. Gratitude can help us become more aware of pleasant events in our lives. When we notice negative events, gratitude helps prevent excessive rumination. Gratitude helps us positively reframe events that may seem negative on the surface. It even enhances social ties, which we know improves our well-being.
A gratitude practice can improve our overall life satisfaction in all of the domains involved but it is a practice. There are several easy ways to strengthen your gratitude skills, such as silently saying thank you at every opportunity. If you find a dime on the sidewalk, say thank you. If someone lets you into a traffic lane, thank you. A hot shower, a sunny day, a good laugh, a job well done, a good meal, a pretty view, a green traffic light, an available parking space – thank you, thank you, thank you.
A scientifically proven way to increase gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down at least three things you’re grateful for and your brain will catch on and start looking for more things to feel grateful for. You’ll feel a difference in your overall mood within just a few days.
I also say thank you when I wake up each morning. Some day I won’t, so I’m grateful each morning to be here, to have another day to explore, work, live and love. As we learn to appreciate the miracle that we’re here at all and to feel gratitude for what we already have, that uncomfortable void we experience begins to diminish and we start fulfilling our lives from the inside out instead of seeking happiness from the outside in.
Another way to reach life satisfaction is setting goals. It's imperative to set realistic goals which are just challenging enough to achieve but are not impossible. Even the speed with which you move to pursue your goal doesn’t matter as long as you make consistent progress. This attitude to give 100% in your task or goal makes you more engaged, focused and absorbed in the process rather than worrying about the end-goal. Being in the moment but moving forward in your life, at your own pace, could significantly increase your life satisfaction.
If you’re feeling stretched on a particular project, you may struggle to feel perfectly fulfilled. And when you join a brand-new team or start a new project, you may be especially energized or go through a bit of a honeymoon period. These rises and falls are natural and expected. We all need daily positive reminders to remind us of our uniqueness, purpose, and self-worth, so remember this:
Remember the broader purpose that inspires you.
Remember your work matters.
Remember your voice matters.
Remember the impact you have on others.
Remember you are learning and growing everyday.
Remember you are valued and appreciated.
Remember you succeed everyday in both work and life.
Connecting with others is another way to live a satisfied life. With our lives getting busier, days may pass without connecting with our friends and family at a deeper level. The willingness to show your authentic self to your friends and family can only come when we spend enough time with them. By being genuinely interested in their lives and letting them enter ours, we open up a door in one another’s hearts through which we come together. That’s when we get the sense of belongingness and live a life full of satisfaction.
Lastly, cultivating a positive outlook is crucial to lead a satisfying life. It’s almost ridiculous to think that you could lead a satisfying life with a negative view towards it. Pessimism hinders your energy. It makes you stop and over-analyse things which paralyze you. A satisfied life moves forward. Positive thoughts are the fuel that makes you walk the road ahead. With negativity, you become stagnant. With hope and positive visualization, you get the willingness to try and see what lies ahead for you in the future.
It’s essential to understand and believe in yourself. Stay optimistic about the challenges you face daily and embrace your experiences, whether good or bad. Even during the worst storms, keep your head high and be resilient. After all, they say experience is the best teacher. When you feel like giving up, remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel!