How satisfied do you feel with your life?
There's a fairly good chance that your answer will depend on when you are asked. You may feel incredibly content at some points, but there are days where you feel so low you wish you could change everything.
You will probably find that your answer is content when you have been engaging in an activity that you enjoy or you have just enjoyed a delicious meal, a great time with friends, or something of a similar happiness boost. We tend to savor those types of feelings simply because we are unsettled and restless as a whole. We tend to long for something in life that we just can't seem to grasp.
Satisfaction is simply being happy with your life. It doesn't just exist in a moment, it encompasses your past, present, future, and when you look at the big picture.
Why is it that we struggle so much to feel satisfied with our present? There are a few things that can make a serious difference to your happiness and satisfaction levels. Perhaps these could help you improve your satisfaction levels with life.
Having a few close friends can give your life satisfaction a 19% boost (100 Simple Secrets Of The Best Half Of Life, David Niven). Even better, if you have a good relationship with your neighbors it can increase your life satisfaction by 16% and beyond that, it can reduce your risk of loneliness by 25%!
Spirituality & Religion
While religion isn't for everyone, many people report feeling deeper life satisfaction when they believe in something bigger than themselves. It isn't the belief or the religion that you belong to. What increases your happiness is the sense of community that religion provides. It also helps that these types of relationships are built on common values and a core purpose, which is a good foundation to get started on. Additionally, the magic number of friends for life satisfaction tends to be 10, which means religion is a good place to build your core friend group.
If religion isn't for you then seek your spiritual community elsewhere – whether it's in a yoga class, a hiking group, or meeting weekly with a group of friends.
It's not all about what friends can provide you though, giving can be equally as powerful. Consider getting involved with your community and volunteer. If you work with young people, you can expect to be four times more satisfied with your life than someone chasing money.
Your Life Story
You can increase your life satisfaction by recording your life story. It's all about what types of stories you tell yourself about you and your life.
Having a firm grasp of your family history can also increase your life satisfaction. Kids who have heard the stories about their ancestors feel a greater sense of control over life and have higher levels of self-esteem.
People who set and strive to achieve their goals are almost 20% more satisfied in life than those who don't. Additionally, being passionate about something improves your life satisfaction and psychological adjustment.
You don't need to set a goal to become the President, to become a millionaire, or to win a Grammy. Minor successes produce the same boost in life satisfaction as the major ones. So, set clear achievable goals for yourself and when you achieve one, set another.
Learning and growth don't end when you graduate high school, college, or finally get that promotion you've been wanting. It's a continuous process and one you should continue to strive for to maintain your life satisfaction. If you don't feel satisfied with your life start asking yourself what areas you feel are letting you down. If you're longing for more – go out there and get it!