How to Overcome Chronic Dissatisfaction
Some people don’t feel satisfied even though they have everything they could ever want or need. This is due to chronic dissatisfaction.
One of the greatest evils and temptations of the 21st century is constant complaints. There are two different approaches to deal with this. The first one tells us that we must accept our situation just as it is. The second approach is completely the opposite. People say “If you feel dissatisfied with your situation, change it! Set a goal, work hard to achieve it, and your life will change for the better”.
However, what if we told you that the key to dealing with chronic dissatisfaction is a combination of these two approaches?
Why do people feel dissatisfied?
We’ve all felt dissatisfied with something at least once in our lives. There’s no such thing as a perfect life. However, the problem is when this feeling takes over your life.
Generally speaking, chronic dissatisfaction has to do with two things: not accepting reality and not actively working to change what we dislike about it. The secret that many people don’t know is that both aspects are crucial to happiness. Applying just one of the two is a recipe for depression and unpleasant emotions.
What happens if you just accept the present?
Imagine that your way of coping with dissatisfaction is accepting everything that happens to you. Even though there are things in your life that you don’t like in the slightest, you decide to stop worrying about them. After all, enjoying the present as it comes is one of the keys to happiness.
Consequently, you force yourself not to think about what makes you unhappy. If your boss treats you badly, you turn the other cheek. If you don’t have enough money to raise children, you decide not to have any. How do you think these things will make you feel in the long run?
You’re probably going to end up feeling like you have no control over your life. You’ll feel like a boat drifting, and rightly so. Acceptance is a very powerful tool but only in two aspects: as a starting point for change (if you don’t own up to your problems, it’ll be impossible for you to work to solve them) and as a way of digesting what you can’t change.
In addition, it’s likely that you’ll falsely “accept” everything you dislike. This will end up causing great discomfort.
Acting without owning up to your reality – Is that the key?
Let’s think of the opposite scenario now. Imagine that you’re so uncomfortable with your current situation that you decide to work hard to change it. However, you don’t seem to accept that you’re to blame for many of the things that are part of your current reality.
It’s good that you want to grab the bull by the horns and change your situation. However, you must accept that you’ve been part of the problem so you can also work on yourself. This is because a lack of honesty with yourself will lead you to make wrong decisions which, in turn, will stray you away from what you want.
How to deal with chronic dissatisfaction
If you’re dissatisfied with your current situation, the solution is to combine the two previous strategies. If you want to feel good, you have to both accept what happens to you and work actively to change your reality. Although this may sound contradictory, the following example will help you understand.
Imagine that you have a high body mass index (BMI) and would like to reduce it. You also believe that you’d be much happier if you were fit. Well, the first step is having a sincere dialogue with yourself that will help you realize if you really want this or not. But one thing is certain: in either case, denying what you really want will only lead you to adopt strategies that will jeopardize you.
On the other hand, dieting and exercising while torturing yourself for having allowed yourself to get so fat won’t help you either. Making yourself feel bad will never help you at all. Therefore, if you truly love yourself, what do you do?
- First of all, accept that you don’t like your body (or that you do). You have a high BMI and you want to be in shape.
- Once you’ve recognized this, make sure that you know that your current situation doesn’t define who you are as a person. What matters is what you do to change your reality.
- Then, set a goal and start working to reach it. In this case, for example, you could change your eating habits and start exercising regularly. We recommend you look for someone you trust who can help you with this transition.
- Throughout this process, observe objectively what’s working for you and change what isn’t. Remind yourself that good things take time and that it’s okay to feel defeated once in a while as long as you don’t give up.
Applying these four steps will help you overcome your chronic dissatisfaction. Just remember that accepting your situation and working to change it are two steps of the same path. It’s difficult to come up with an intelligent action plan if you don’t analyze and accept your current situation beforehand.