The Crazy Thing About Being ‘Content’

…It sounds worlds easier than it actually is, doesn’t it? Being content, in a true and lasting way can sometimes be a challenge, especially for us girls.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported on a study which found that in the UK, Instagram was found to be the highest ranked app that contributes to anxiety, loneliness, negative body image and depression among young people from ages 14 to 24. Snapchat also ranked as having a negative impact on the mental health of these young people.

Surprise? Not Really

Instagram, Instagram. The stomping ground of foodies, travel addicts, makeup enthusiasts and fContentment and social media for young womenashionistas. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy IG just as much as the next person, but it can be a dizzying trip down a rabbit hole if you’re not careful.

The thing about Instagram is that as an image-based app, very little is off limits. Whatever little (or luxurious) bits and pieces of life someone wants to show, they can; and that’s the kicker.

Seeing the ‘luxurious’ side of many people’s lives (friends, neighbours, co-workers, celebrities and
other strangers alike) can easily lead us down a road of comparison.

The Challenge of Contentment

The mental tricks played on our minds usually appear something like this:

Oh, Jessie’s on vacation with her family in the Mykonos! It looks beautiful!

She’s so lucky to take trips like that. Second time for the year too!

It must be her parents’ jobs. They’re really well off, so that must be, like, an everyday thing for them.

I wish my parents made that kind of money Why didn’t they do …..? Sigh.

Then again, we couldn’t afford for me to stay in uni. There goes even trying to get any further than they did. 

I’ll probably never get anywhere beyond this silly restaurant job.

In one second of a scroll-through your IG feed, the comparison game has begun. You’re sent down a spiral of self-comparison, doubt, loathing, fear of the future, and blaming others for the way things ‘should be’.

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Comparison vs Contentment

Comparison and contentment can't co-exist because they're two worlds - no, galaxies - apart. Click To Tweet

Comparison comes from a place of focusing on others and what they have/where they are in life/who they know. Contentment shifts the focus onto you and what’s yours. It helps you focus on possibilities rather than lack. It shows you what you do have instead of what others have more of.  It gives you reasons why you deserve to be happy, instead of reasons why you can only be happy if you had what someone else does.

I should also add that being content doesn’t mean being complacent. It doesn’t mean lacking drive and a will to change things that need changing.  Contentment isn’t laziness.

It’s an understanding that we all experience  different phases and ‘seasons’ in life, and being at peace with all your phases or seasons. Contentment is understanding that just because it appears like ‘everyone’ is living this constant Hollywood movie, that doesn’t make your life worth anything less.

Being Content and Mental Health challenges for girls and young women


Challenge Accepted!

As easy as comparison may be to fall into, we aren't helpless to it. Click To Tweet

You can choose to be so strong that seeing the highlight reel of someone’s life doesn’t make you second-guess the worth of your everyday life.

You can choose, too, to take a step away from the Insta feeds and take some time to yourself. Remember the Digital Detox we spoke about before? It’s a good place to start (and spend time regularly), so that the #foodgasm and #passportready pics don’t become this all-consuming part of your life.

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Being truly content can be a challenge for us girls today, with images of how much ‘better’ other people’s lives are constantly being paraded around us. We can choose a better alternative to self-comparison and self-loathing though. We can and for the sake of our health and well-being, we actually need to.

Being Content as A Young Woman_Contentment_Challenges

Until next time loves,

Written by

26 year-old writer, unabashed bookworm and coffee addict.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • I’m pretty sure I didn’t start this comparison thing until I started using Instagram heavily about 2 years ago. I’m learning to be content with my life now though.

  • It’s so easy to compare ourselves to someone else based on social media. Great article and tips on contentment, something I strive to be better at everyday!

  • featherflint

    You’re so right about this. I am so thankful that Instagram wasn’t around when I was a teenager. Facebook and Myspace were bad enough – seeing the attention that other people I knew were getting drove me insane. I can only imagine how bad it would have been to live in photos like we all do now.

  • Be You and Thrive

    Talisa!!! Awesome post lady!!! I love the truth in this quote: It’s an understanding that we all have go through different phases and ‘seasons’ in life, and being at peace with all your phases or seasons. Yas! Powerful!

    Be You and Thrive

    • Talisa

      Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for writing about this subject! I struggle with this topic with my teens. I want to have them read this so they can understand that “Keeping up with the Jones” doesn’t lead to happiness. I constantly tell my daughter that it may “appear” like all her friends are having a way better time then her based on that 10 second snap chat clip, but are they really? These poor kids act like they are a “brand” already. It’s already so hard to navigate your teen years and then to add this on top of it. I hope reading your article will help them see my advice isn’t unfounded. Haha.

    • Talisa

      I’m so glad you found it helpful!! I sure hope they will! Nothing is ever as grand as it seems especially on social media. I’ve learnt that the hard way. Let her know that a social media highlight reel isn’t a full life. x

  • I have started my journey to contentment without even realizing it. Not only do I compare myself to others, I also compare myself to my past self. It’s not very healthy, I know, and I’m focusing on changing that. The first step is solving a problem, is admitting you have one!

    • Talisa

      Yes! I used to be the same, and sometimes I still have to remind myself not to get caught up with others’ lives. I’d say take it all one day at a time, and take small steps to improving how you feel about YOU. It gets better with each step. x

  • Instagram is a terrible app! I actually deleted it from my phone (and deleted my account) because I spent hours browsing and comparing my life to other people. Not healthy! I feel 100% better now that I don’t use it and I spend more time doing things I actually like!

    • Talisa

      Hi Kendel! So glad you made the decision that’s best for you and your heart!!! Isn’t comparison THE worst thing? So glad you feel better now!

  • A million times, yes! Thank you so much for sharing all of this, it is super helpful. 🙂

  • I LOVE this!!! I wish someone had taught me this difference many many years ago, even though it’s still something I struggle with. Your posts are always so beautiful and well written!!

    • Talisa

      Thank you Kristen! Glad you liked! 😀

  • I like how you defined contentment. Not being stagnate but, being understanding! I never knew Instagram had such a nasty effect, its my favorite app but, I do know it can contribute to depression if you steadily compare yourself to others. Great analysis!