5 keys to being happy with what you have

It's easy to focus on what we don't have instead of appreciating what we do. If you feel this way, it may be time to learn to love what you already have.

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  • In a world that is constantly changing, it is natural to be looking to what is newer, faster and better then what we currently have. We feel the need to stay with the times and use tools that can help us keep up with technology, fashion and trends. We don't want others to pass us by and be lost in the shuffle; we want to stay on top.

    While this type of thinking can help you advance and be successful, it can also lead you down a path of not being happy with what you have. Learning to love who you are now, and what you have at the moment, is a vital part of being happy. If you are not happy with what you have, you may never be happy. Here are some ways to learn to love what you have.

  • Stop comparing

    When we compare ourselves to others, whether it be success, material possessions or experiences, we will always come up short. When you only see a person's triumphs, it is easy to think they have a better life then you.

    One way to stop comparing yourself is to stop looking. There is some bliss in not knowing what you're missing. If you don't read fashion blogs, then you won't see the clothes you don't have. If you stop watching reality TV, you won't know that the rich and famous live a much more glamorous life then you. And if you need to take a break from social media so you stop seeing the amazing experiences your friends are having without you, then do it. Catch up with friends the old fashion way with a phone call or email if you really want to stay in touch.

  • Count your blessings

    When we get in a slump of feeling sorry for ourselves because of what we don't have, it may be time to count your blessings. Take a good look at your own life and list out loud, or down on paper, what you do have. Health, family, a home (no matter how big or how small) and food are obvious ones, but be more specific like a car that starts every time you get in it. Or a friend that seems to always know when you're in need of a girl's night. Pretty soon you will see how truly rich your life is and notice that you're really not missing anything at all.

  • Take care of your things

    Sometimes after the newness of an item wears off, we may start to decline in how we take care of it. This is true with objects, ideas and even people. When we stop appreciating something, we may lose it. Whether that means physically losing it because we lost track of it, or losing it due to lack of care on our part such as a broken relationship. We may think it is easy to replace things when they are lost or broken, but it's not. It takes time, money and forgiveness to recover something we already had. Try maintaining your things rather than counting on replacing it at the first sign of ware.

  • Keep a journal

    When you keep a journal, blog or scrapbook of your life it gives you an opportunity to look back and review your life. It allows you to remember great experiences that you may have forgotten, to see how far you've really come and review the mistakes you may have made and how you have learned and grown from them. When you are able to look back on your life, it helps you appreciate what you have. You can see how hard you've worked to get where you are, and even though you may not have the latest and greatest, or you were recently passed up for a promotion, look back to where you were 5 years previously and see what you have now that you did not have then.

  • Serve others

    One of the best ways to realize that you are truly blessed, is to serve someone less fortunate then you. Your eyes will quickly be open to how much you really do have and how blessed you are. It gives you an opportunity to help someone in need, do a little good in the world and make you much more appreciative of what you have.

    The next time you start to covet something you don't have, try some of these tips on appreciating what is right in front of you.

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Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in anthropology and a masters in psychology. She is a mother of twins.

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