The Yamas and Niyamas are the guiding forces in yoga that allow for such a lifestyle shift. The Yamas are the ethics of yoga, or the moral compass we should use to guide our lives. The Niyamas are our opportunity to develop inner strength and inner peace. Last week, the Yama of Ahimsa was defined in more detail. This week, the Niyama, Santosha is explored.
Santosha, easily translated, means contentment. Finding contentment within ourselves means practicing gratitude for all we have, avoiding the temptation to compare what we have to others, and recognizing that happiness does not come from material possessions alone.
So, how do we achieve this? In practice, striving for Santosha might require you to make some daily shifts that could have far reaching benefits.
Here are 2 tips for bringing more contentment and gratitude into your daily life.
1.Start a nightly gratitude journal
A sure fire way to bring more gratitude into your heart is to reflect on what you are grateful for on a daily basis. When you first start, you will most likely find yourself writing things like “family, friends, home, food,” aka, the basics. While this may seem redundant, you will slowly start to fill the pages with more specifics. Suddenly you are writing about a special conversation with a friend or a tearful moment with your child. Even more so, with the knowledge of your nightly gratitude journal sitting in the back of your thoughts, you might find yourself more mindful of things to be grateful for as you progress throughout your day. This can easily become an entire attitude transformation if you remain consistent with the practice.
2.Take a break from social media
As much as we can try to deny it, spending time scrolling on social media only exacerbates our innate likelihood to desire what others have. These desires are set on fire when all social media allows us to see is happiness and perfection. Everyone puts their best foot forward online; which causes us to feel envious of a reality that isn’t completely accurate. The solution? Put down your phone an hour before bed. Consider deleting social media apps to remove the convenience of one-click access. You don’t need to delete your account, but logging on through your phone browser makes it more inconvenient and less tempting to scroll mindlessly when you’re bored.
Practicing these suggestions and identifying the many blessings in our lives allows us to have a deeper appreciation for the place we are in rather than constantly striving for more. This brings our focus to our center, which is essentially where all happiness and contentment flows.
Blessings and contentment,