Sometimes discontent is healthy, it encourages us to get out of a rut and make changes that are needed. However, some discontentment can be destructive – never feeling happy with who you are, where you are, what you are doing… I have often been challenged by Paul’s words in Philippians 4.11 where he talks about being content whatever the circumstances. On our reading retreat one of the chapters I read talked about what is needed to be content – this is what it said:
We now know that contented people – those who could be said to enjoy mental well-being – are compassionate, open-minded, curious and that they feel gratitude for their lives (Siegel and Sieff 2015:138).
I found this observation helpful – it emphasises a need to keep on learning – curiosity and open-mindedness nourish that; being compassionate I think is necessary towards ourselves as well as others and expressing gratitude is well known as enhancing wellbeing. So on those days when I am feeling negatively discontent I will remember these words and look for where I can express compassion, curiosity, gratitude or open-mindedness
Siegel, D. J. & Sieff, D. F. (2015). Beyond the prison of implicit memory. In D. F. Sieff, ed. Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma. Hove: Routledge, pp.137-159.