what productive discontent looks like

{simplyfreshdesigns.com--this may have been in their now-on-hiatus Etsy shop, so I'm using this image purely for graphics, not as a printable. Thanks for respecting others' property.}

We need discontent. And yes, we've talked about this. Yes, we all have seasons of discontent throughout our lives. So what do we do with them? 

We get to work.

Unhappy at your job? Either make your job work, or find a new one. Discontent in your home? Identify the source and find a solution. Stuck in a toxic relationship, romantic or otherwise? Change it. The thing about discontent is that it can suck us in and keep us there if we let it. Yes, discontent has a time and place, but sometimes it will want more than it deserves. And we need to fight it. Work your brain, your body, your spirit. 

Discontent can be a trigger to let you know when something in your life is off-kilter. Last spring, I had a weird month, a really weird month. I felt completely unlike myself, and I eventually hit the point where I told my husband, "I'm not happy, and I don't know why." That was my trigger that said, Something isn't right. So I researched and searched every cranny of my brain to figure out why I felt the way I did, and soon enough I found the problem: hormones. My pharmacy had switched my generic brand of birth control because of an availability issue, and while I was informed of it, I hadn't made much note of it. I felt every light go on in my mind when I discovered the root of my discontent: pesky hormones. I promptly called my doctor and found a pharmacy that could get the brand I was used to. Discontent: taken care of.

Now, not every period of discontent in our lives will be as straightforward as my birth control example. My point, however, is clear: use discontent as the impetus for change. Use it productively, and don't succumb to the doldrums. Get to work

***I should note here that mental illness is exempt from this work-solves-all-your-problems mentality. Some brands of discontent are rooted in brain chemistry and should be treated appropriately. Obtaining appropriate treatment from health care professionals is certainly a part of contented living.

This post is part of a 31-day series on contented living. You can find the other posts here.

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