If you want to be more content as you grow older, say good bye to these 8 habits

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Growing older can either be a journey of self-discovery or a battle against discontent.The difference often lies in the habits we carry along for the ride.

You see, there are certain habits that, while seeming harmless in our youth, can leech away our contentment as we age.

If you want to grow older with grace and satisfaction, you might want to reconsider these habits before they end up casting a shadow over your golden years.

Below is a list of 8 habits you might want to say goodbye to. It’s about choosing happiness over longevity, contentment over constant striving. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1) Pleasing others

As we sail through life, we often find ourselves in the whirlpool of pleasing others. It’s a habit that starts innocently enough – after all, who doesn’t want to be liked?

But as we age, this need to constantly cater to others’ preferences can eat away at our contentment. We end up losing sight of our own desires, our own needs.

The truth is, it’s impossible to please everyone around us. And the more we try, the more discontent we may feel.

So if you’re looking to age with a sense of satisfaction, it might be time to bid farewell to this habit.

Embrace your own choices, your own preferences. It’s okay not to be everyone’s cup of tea – what matters more is that you’re your own favorite brew.

2) Obsessing over perfection

I used to be that person. The one who would work late into the night to get every tiny detail right. The one whose heart would sink at the sight of a single mistake. Perfection was my goal, my obsession.

Over time, I realized this pursuit of perfection was sapping my joy. It wasn’t just about spending sleepless nights over a report or obsessing over every detail in a project. It was about the constant pressure, the endless chase and the dissatisfaction that came when things didn’t go exactly as planned.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to let go of this habit. I’ve learned to embrace imperfection and appreciate the beauty that lies within it. I’ve learned to value effort over flawlessness.

And let me tell you, it’s been a liberating journey. Letting go of perfection has allowed me to find contentment in progress and joy in the journey. So if you’re stuck in the perfection trap, it might be time to break free and embrace the beauty of imperfection.

3) Holding onto grudges

Did you know that carrying a grudge can be as heavy as carrying a physical weight? Studies have shown that holding onto resentment and anger can actually increase stress hormones, leading to potential health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure.

Plus, it leaves little room for happiness and contentment. It’s like carrying a backpack full of rocks up a hill. The longer you hold onto it, the harder your climb becomes.

So as you age, consider letting go of old grudges. It’s not about forgetting or ignoring the wrong that was done to you. It’s about choosing to free yourself from the weight of resentment. It’s about making room for peace and contentment in your life.

4) Comparing yourself to others

In this age of social media, it’s all too easy to fall into the comparison trap. We see picture-perfect lives on our screens and start comparing our own lives to these curated highlights. It’s a habit that can leave us feeling inadequate and discontented.

But here’s the thing: life isn’t a competition. Your journey is unique to you, complete with its own ups and downs.

So as you grow older, consider letting go of comparisons. Instead, focus on your own growth, your own achievements. Celebrate your progress, however small it may seem. Because at the end of the day, your contentment lies not in being better than others, but in being better than you were yesterday.

5) Neglecting self-care

We often fall into the habit of prioritizing everything and everyone over ourselves. We push our needs, our health, and our well-being to the back burner. But as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, stress, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. It’s essential to remember that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it’s necessary.

As you grow older, make it a point to prioritize self-care. It could be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to meditate, getting regular exercise, or even just ensuring you get enough sleep. When you start taking care of yourself, you’ll find more contentment in your day-to-day life.

6) Holding back emotions

From a young age, many of us are taught to keep our emotions in check. We learn to swallow our feelings, to put on a brave face, even when we’re hurting inside.

But bottling up emotions can lead to a buildup of stress and dissatisfaction. It’s like trying to hold a beach ball underwater – it takes constant effort, and eventually, it’s going to pop back up.

As you journey through life, allow yourself the freedom to feel. It’s okay to express joy, sadness, anger, or any other emotion you might experience. By embracing your emotions instead of suppressing them, you allow yourself the opportunity for genuine contentment.

Remember, it’s not about being constantly happy. It’s about being authentically you. That’s where true contentment resides.

7) Fear of change

Change is a natural part of life. Seasons change, people change, circumstances change. Yet, many of us resist change, holding onto the familiar even when it no longer serves us.

But here’s the thing: refusing to accept change only leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. It’s like trying to swim against a powerful current – you exhaust yourself without getting very far.

So as you grow older, consider embracing change instead of fearing it. See it as an opportunity for growth, a chance to learn and evolve.

Sure, change can be uncomfortable, but it can also lead to new perspectives and experiences that bring contentment. Remember, the only constant in life is change – might as well make peace with it.

8) Ignoring the present

In our quest for a better future, we often overlook the beauty of the present. We’re so focused on what’s next that we forget to appreciate what’s now.

But true contentment lies in the here and now. It’s in the laughter of a loved one, the taste of a good meal, the feeling of a warm breeze on your face.

So as you grow older, make it a point to live in the present. Take time each day to appreciate the simple pleasures that life offers. Because, at the end of the day, these are the moments that truly matter.

Final reflection: The choice is yours

Ultimately, the journey towards contentment as we age is deeply personal and unique to each individual. The beauty of it lies in its subjectivity – what brings peace and happiness to one might not do the same for another.

However, one universal truth remains: contentment is a choice. It’s about embracing our imperfections, letting go of grudges, celebrating our own achievements, prioritizing self-care, expressing our emotions, valuing experiences over material wealth, accepting change, and living in the present.

It’s about bidding farewell to habits that no longer serve us and cultivating those that enrich our lives.

As the popular saying goes, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” This rings especially true when it comes to contentment.

So as you continue your journey through life, remember that contentment isn’t a destination. It’s a daily choice. A choice that becomes easier with each habit we let go of and each moment we choose to cherish.

Jeanette Brown

I have been in Education as a teacher, career coach and executive manager over many years.
I'm also an experienced coach who is passionate about supporting people in finding real meaning and purpose in their lives, building a resilient, grounded inner self and achieving their desired goals.

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