I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.
Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.
However, I am not alone with this struggle. Many other people speak of their discontent. Awful coworkers, miserable living situations, boring classes, gross bodies – just listen to people talk and think about how often they complain in a manner that shows a lack of content. It happens frighteningly often.
Why is being discontent such a huge problem for some of us? Personally, my struggle with Aspergers, depression, anxiety, OCD, and eating disorders factor into it. Aspergers leads me to want everything a certain way; when something does not occur in the manner that I need, my frustration and anxiety begin to mount to a panic level. Depression certainly paints the world in a darkened, miserable light while anxiety adds a touch of terror to even the wonderful things. OCD and an eating disorder both want perfection and struggle with anything less than ideal.
Still, blaming my discontent on my mental illnesses does not resolve my difficulties. Finding the roots of discontent is important, yes, but that is only part of the process. The first important element in addressing this is realizing that you are discontent and how you exude that in your life.
Here are ten signs of discontent. Obviously, this list is not exhaustive. I would really appreciate hearing other ways that you see this problem in your life and those around you. Hopefully, reading this can bring awareness about your own struggles or understanding for the discontent of others.
- Constant complaining – We all complain sometimes. However, if complaining becomes a regular way of talking, it is time to look at what the real issue is.
- Apathy – Do you no longer get excited for activities that you loved? Do you lack emotion when others are passionate? Maybe discontent is sneaking into your life.
- Restless wandering – Sometimes I wonder if my desire to travel partly comes from discontent. Every place that I go leaves me feeling a bit disappointed. I keep hoping for something better.
- Desire for change – Do you ever just crave something different? That is not wrong. However, if you just keep craving change (similar to traveling), you might find that each change just leaves you frustrated and wanting another one.
- Distancing from family, friends, and loved ones – Often, we pull away from others when we are discontent. Our lack of content begins to include them and their inability to meet our needs or be what we desire.
- Boredom – This sense of utter boredom can just fill the days. Nothing seems all that interesting anymore; all of it seems like a waste of time.
- Perfectionism – Everything has to be your way – the right way – in a certain order and fashion. If something is not perfect, the world appears to shatter.
- Inability to rest – Even when you are not busy, do you feel jittery? Every moment, are you thinking ahead and worrying? That can be tied to discontent.
- Frequent crying or anger – My discontent often comes out in tears. I cry because something is not happening the way I hoped or I am miserable at this point in life. Other people might be angry for what seem like inconsequential reasons.
- Sudden interests or hobbies that are dropped quickly – Do you flit from thing to thing, looking for what will bring joy? Maybe you are obsessed with drawing for a month but then never pick up a pencil again. Discontent often searches for something to bring back contentedness.
Many of those signs are true for me. What about you? Are some of the signs really indicating something else? I would love to hear from you.