Cultivate Satisfaction

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

Do you already have a ton of things on your, “My Life to-do list?” Good, then make sure to add another one on it: “Feel satisfied.” You deserve to experience satisfaction and the sense of joy that comes with it. Feeling satisfied about your life will not only make you a lot more resilient in the face of stress, but it will also give your life meaning and a sense of purpose. Feeling satisfied is a gift that comes from the ability to be grateful for all the things you have and that are good in your life. Cultivating satisfaction will give you the precious capacity to feel happy in a sustained and long-lasting manner.

Life satisfaction is how we evaluate the quality of our life and how happy and satisfied we are with it. Therefore, life satisfaction and happiness are closely tied together. Since life satisfaction will have an impact on how happy you feel with your life, it’s important that you find constructive ways to cultivate it.

Simple Ways to Cultivate it!
Give gratitude a prominent place in your life.

The ability to be grateful and thankful for the people and the things that make us feel good and happy in our life is truly powerful. Research on practicing gratitude shows that it increases positive emotions and reduces negative ones. Being thankful can help you focus your attention on the positive things in your life while letting go of what bothers you. This doesn’t mean that practicing gratitude will make all your problems disappear and make your life blissful. However, by increasing how satisfied you are with your life in general, you will approach challenging times in a different, more positive and constructive way.

  • A great way for you to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal in which, every evening, you list two or three good things that happened to you on that day and for which you feel appreciative. It doesn’t have to be big things. In fact, it’s essential that you learn to become thankful for those things that you usually take for granted such as the mere fact that you’re alive, that you’re safe and healthy, that you have food on your table and that there are people who love you and care deeply about you.
Cherish your relationships with the people you love.

Were you aware that research shows that people who cherish and nurture positive relationships experience a much higher sense of well-being, happiness and life satisfaction than people who don’t? We are social beings who thrive on quality relationships that nourish our mind, body and soul. High quality relationships uplift us and make us feel good, which leads to better physical and mental health. They also bring us closeness and a very precious support system in times of crisis. But like most things in life, excellent quality relationships take time and effort to develop and sustain. It’s up to you to put in the work that will bring beautiful relationships into your life and keep them there. The work it takes is not complicated but it requires consistency on your part.

Here are a few ideas on how to work on cultivating high quality relationships:

  • Get in touch, be in touch, and stay in touch.
    Connect or reconnect with the people who matter to you. Once you’ve connected, make sure to keep that connection going not just today, but also tomorrow, next week and on a very regular basis after that. Relationships grow strong and beautiful when you take care of them and nourish them in a consistent manner.
  • Cultivate depth and meaningfulness in the way you communicate.
    Don’t stay on the surface when you relate to the people you love. You cannot expect a high-quality relationship to be born of a superficial connection. If you know you can trust the other person, then be honest with them, be yourself, your real self. Talk about your real feelings, your dreams, your hopes, but also your fears, your doubts and your insecurities. If you cannot be your true self with another person, chances are that your relationship will remain as superficial as your conversations and interactions with them.
Seek out the company of people who are happy and satisfied with their life.

Research has shown consistently that the energy and state of mind of people you surround yourself with will affect you and rub off on you. If you hang out with negative and pessimistic people you will come out of interactions with them feeling more negative and pessimistic yourself. The good news is that the opposite is also true. Being around positive and optimistic people will impact you in a positive manner. This means that surrounding yourself with people who experience healthy levels of life satisfaction will most likely increase the sense of happiness and satisfaction you have with your own life.

Welcome mindfulness into your life.

Practicing mindfulness comes with a whole range of benefits that have the power to improve your life in many ways. Increasing your levels of life satisfaction is one of them. Mindfulness activities will teach you how to live well-grounded in the present moment instead of in your head where your thoughts may be chaotically running the show. Not only will it help calm down your mind, clear your head and by doing so reduce stress and anxiety, but it will also show you how to become aware of what goes on inside and outside of you. This, in turn, will help you offset your mind’s tendency to focus on intrusive negative thoughts by becoming more aware of positive events and circumstances, and that is the very foundation of life satisfaction.