It’s unfortunate, but sometimes we’re not always satisfied with life. No matter how awesome one part may be, there’s often some aspect we’d like to change. If you’re feeling unsatisfied with life the way it is, don’t give up! You can improve your life more than you may think.
Our tips will help you work on being more satisfied with all aspects of your life. But first, let's talk about why you may be feeling dissatisfied with life in the first place.
Why you might feel unsatisfied with life
Of course, there are tons of reasons you might feel unsatisfied about how life is going. Perhaps you haven’t nailed it down yet. But here are some common reasons you may feel a bit dissatisfied with life.
You hate your job
Your career is a huge factor in your happiness (or unhappiness) each day. Not only does it determine whom you spend your time with, but it also determines your income and how you spend your time.
If you hate your job or it’s not fulfilling enough, that could seriously leave you unsatisfied.
You are worried about your finances
Obviously, finances impact your overall satisfaction. It’s tough to focus when you’re worried about how you’ll pay your bills this week. You may not earn enough, or you may be unsure of how to manage your money.
You are dealing with relationship struggles
Perhaps there’s a significant relationship causing you to be dissatisfied with life. Whether your spouse or partner isn’t pulling their weight, or you’re dealing with an unruly child, or you’re estranged from someone important, those relationships are a heavy burden.
You're having health problems
Another possible cause of feeling unsatisfied with life is, of course, your health. Health isn’t an afterthought—it impacts everything else, 24/7.
Unfortunately, if your health is suffering, there are some aspects beyond your control. But doing what you can to take care of yourself may go a long way towards improving your everyday life.
You haven't found your purpose
Wondering how to be satisfied in life? It’s possible that your deeper purpose is weighing on you. If you feel as though you’re not contributing to the world or not meeting your full potential, that’s frustrating. But you do not have to settle.
7 Key steps to take if you’re feeling unsatisfied with life
Only you have the power to change your life. Even though others care about you and want good things for you, it’s ultimately you who has to decide how you want to live.
Being dissatisfied with life can happen, but you don't have to remain that way. With that said, here are seven key steps to work towards a more fulfilling life!
1. Figure out why you’re unsatisfied with life
Although it may seem obvious, the first step for how to be satisfied in life is to recognize why you aren’t happy already. You may have been assuming you’re unsatisfied because you don’t make enough money.
But looking at Hollywood news might show you that more money doesn’t automatically equal happiness. Take some time to ponder what’s really bothering you.
You might be able to easily identify the root cause of your discontent, or you may need to do some soul-searching. Ask your closest friend or loved one if they have an idea of what’s making you unsatisfied.
Of course, there’s often more than one reason for dissatisfaction, so you may need to focus on one at a time. Just don’t let yourself off the hook and say “Everything!” when you ask yourself what’s wrong.
You need to zone in on the one or two primary reasons you’re not happy today.
2. Recognize which parts of your life are in your control
Once you’ve identified your primary reasons for being unsatisfied with life, consider what you can change. Not everything is within your control, unfortunately.
Sometimes you feel pigeonholed in your career and don’t have the money to train for a new one. You may be trying everything you can think of to mend fences with your mom, but she just won’t listen.
As you identify the causes of your discontent, try to recognize which ones are possible to change. Try to focus on the aspects you can control. You can’t fix everything, but you can work on improving your self-care habits or your attitude at work or take a class on money management.
3. See a counselor if you’re feeling unsatisfied with life
One important step that may be right for you is to talk to a counselor. A professional may be able to help you unlock the root causes of your dissatisfaction.
So you might meet with someone before you even figure out the problem, or to help you work through it once you’ve identified it.
Professional counseling has many benefits
Seeing a mental health expert like a counselor can help you manage a crisis, identify problems in your life, and help you make changes. The American Psychological Association states that “any time your quality of life isn’t what you want it to be, psychotherapy can help.”
And as Healthline notes, talk therapy can help you explore your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. This can definitely guide you through why you’re feeling unsatisfied and how to improve things.
Keep in mind that even if your schedule or location won’t allow for in-person counseling, online options exist. You can try meeting virtually or over the phone to talk through your discontentment.
Work on improving your mindset
Even if you don’t seek professional counseling, you can do some serious “mind” work on your own. Check out library books or listen to podcasts that give you positive solutions to your problems.
You might need to work on being content with what you have. That’s not to say that your problems aren’t real, but that sometimes it can benefit you to focus on the good.
The Mayo Clinic explains that positive thinking may benefit you by lowering depression rates, increasing your resistance to illness, and improving your coping skills in times of stress.
4. Work on relationships to fight feeling unsatisfied
Even in the worst of jobs, a great office buddy can brighten your day. And even the smallest house can feel like a mansion if it’s filled with love. But alternately, when relationships are in trouble, they can make everything else in your life harder.
Perhaps your main dissatisfaction stems from relationships that aren’t going so well. Here are a couple of pointers to help improve your relationships:
Communication is obviously a huge aspect of a good relationship. If you find yourself yelling at your kids or snapping at your spouse, it’s not going to help build loving feelings between you. You grow more dissatisfied with life the longer these frustrations continue to build.
You can likely fight dissatisfaction by being mindful of your communication with others. Of course, people will make you mad sometimes, but how you respond can make things better or worse.
First of all, be sure to communicate, if you haven’t been doing so. Let your spouse or kids or colleagues know what you want or expect.
Clearly express yourself so that people understand where you’re coming from. Communication in marriage or any other relationship is crucial to making your wishes heard.
Spend time with people
Another factor that could be causing you to feel unsatisfied with life is that you’re not truly spending time with others. Even if it has to be in a virtual manner, making time for people is so important to building solid relationships.
Think about your past week or past month. How much time have you spent really engaging with people?
Do you find that you’re always distracted and on your phone when your kids come home from school? Could you benefit from a weekend getaway with your girlfriends?
Social media could be affecting your contentment as well. Maybe a period of social media minimalism, when you focus more on in-person interactions, would help.
Forgive past hurts
Now, this may be something you address in talk therapy if you choose that route.
Or you may already know whom you need to forgive as soon as you hear the word. Sometimes you can feel stuck or unsatisfied with life because you have unresolved pain.
All of us have been hurt by someone in our past. Maybe working to forgive those who hurt you will help you to let go and move on. That can help you figure out how to be satisfied in life once again.
Of course, you don’t have to let people back in your life after they’ve let you down repeatedly. But you can still forgive them for the pain they caused.
5. Try a career change if you’re unsatisfied with life
Sometimes the reason you’re dissatisfied is that you’re unhappy with your career. It’s a big deal—you spend so much time at the office or with your coworkers, how could you be happy in a job you hate?
A career change is a lot of work, but it may be the best thing to help you be happier overall.
Train for a new career
Now, is leaving your job behind for an entirely new career easy? Of course not! But feeling really unsatisfied may mean you have to do something drastic. You might need to choose a new career to improve your entire outlook.
If your dissatisfaction comes primarily from work, try to change your job. You can often train for a new career from home, with online courses or local community classes. Some jobs require minimal training.
If you need a whole new degree, that will require a lot more time and money. But there are student loans that you can use wisely to invest in a new career you’ll love.
Make things better at your current job
It’s possible that you generally like your job, but a few circumstances are making it tough. Figure out how to be satisfied in life by changing how you do your job.
You could try to build relationships with your coworkers, for one thing. Another idea may be to protect your time better. (If you’re staying late every night, maybe it’s time to stick to the official working hours and go home on time.)
Talking to your boss about a flexible schedule that allows you to work from home a few days a week could help, too.
Your job may also be unsatisfying in the money department. Think about whether you’re earning what you deserve. Do some salary comparisons online (or in your own office) to learn whether your salary matches up with the industry rates.
While asking for a raise may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure you write a stellar self-assessment before discussing a pay increase with your boss.
6. Examine your finances
Let’s not ignore the obvious: financial trouble can definitely cause you to become unsatisfied with life. Whether you’re making too little or facing big emergency expenses, finances are often a big part of dissatisfaction.
Here are a couple of tips on how to examine your finances and manage your money better!
Check-in on your spending habits
It seems a bit ironic, doesn’t it? Sometimes the more we buy, the more unhappy we are. Then we keep buying more in an attempt to fix things, but they only get worse. We grow more and more dissatisfied with life.
You might overspend for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re bored, and shopping gives you something to do. Or you could be struggling with stress-induced shopping.
I know sometimes I spend too much when I get busy and it seems more convenient (especially with meals on the go).
Whether or not you’re overspending depends on your income and your needs. You can spend money on luxuries, sure, but if that stops you from paying the bills, it’s a problem.
It may be time to take a closer look at your budget. Check up on your spending to see if your spending on some categories is creeping upwards. If so, it’s time to rein in your spending and be mindful of each purchase.
Find ways to curb your spending
One way to keep your spending in check is by deleting credit card numbers from shopping websites. This makes it more difficult to buy on a whim. You could try using a cash-envelope system for a month or two, making you rethink any purchases you might normally put on plastic.
Another excellent thing to do is keep a spending journal to get a better idea of how much you spend and why.
Boost your income
On the other side of spending, you may know you’re earning too little to meet your family’s needs. It can be really tough to maintain a positive attitude each day if you know you’re not making the money you deserve.
Even though money is only a part of the equation of happiness, it's a big part! You may need to earn more to not just make ends meet, but to thrive and build wealth.
This can take you back to the job-satisfaction section. If you’re not earning what you want or deserve, it may be time to consider a career change. Or you might be ready to search for a new job in your field where you’ll be compensated fairly.
Sometimes as women we think we don’t deserve to make a lot of money. We may feel guilty for asking for more money, or worry that people will think we’re greedy or selfish. (It’s sad, but unfortunately, too many women have this perception.)
It’s perfectly within your rights to want more money. Whether that means changing jobs, getting a raise, negotiating for better benefits, or launching a side hustle, do it. If you become a female breadwinner, that’s something to celebrate!
7. Pursue learning
Now, here’s another possible reason you’re not quite happy: you’re a little bored. Maybe you need a challenge. Think about whether learning something new might add some excitement to your days.
So, if you are feeling a bit unsatisfied with life find ways to increase your knowledge and learn about things you enjoy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Take a class for fun
That’s right, taking a class can be fun—learning is a lot of fun when you’re genuinely interested in the topic. You’re never too old to learn new things, and as an adult, you get to “study” whatever you want.
Perhaps you’re not dissatisfied with life because of anything major or depressing. You might just need something new to spice things up. Community centers, libraries, and community colleges offer classes.
Give it a shot and try an art class or something else that fascinates you. It can be a blast to learn new things, whether purely for fun or to go for a new degree. Whatever you decide to do, it will definitely help combat your feelings of being unsatisfied with life!
Read or consume other media to learn
Even if you’re not in the mood to become a student again, learning isn’t out of reach. There are plenty of books, magazines, podcasts, documentaries, and other media easily accessible.
Expanding your knowledge and skillset can be a great way to become more satisfied in life.
If you want to learn more about something, chances are good that you can find a way. Free or inexpensive learning resources are everywhere. Learning how to speak Dutch or make latte art or identify bird calls might be a great way to bring some novelty to your life.
Try a 30-day challenge
Along the same lines of learning a new skill, you might pick a 30-day challenge to motivate you. Some people love the challenge of sticking to a new habit for 30 days straight, and it can even help you build the habit long-term.
Give yourself a challenge to improve your exercise life, build a journaling habit, stick to a budget, or quit spending money. Whatever area of life you’d like to see a change in, pick a simple challenge that you can follow for 30 days.
These are a great way to start thinking in a new way and shifting your routines.
Here’s a fun one to try: pick a comfort zone challenge that gets you to do something uncomfortable. A few listed there are going without makeup, chatting with a stranger, cutting out tech for a day, or going without caffeine.
You don’t need to do all of these, but use them to spark ideas of ways to shake things up.
Sometimes you may be dissatisfied with life simply because you're bored. That's when adopting a new challenge or trying a new skill can perk you up.
It's normal to grow bored when some parts of life stay the same for years, but there are ways to sprinkle fun and excitement into your days. 30-day challenges are fun ways to do this.
Try these tips to stop feeling unsatisfied with life!
It’s really tough when you’re struggling with feeling unsatisfied. Some days it’s just hard to move forward. But you don’t have to keep living the same old way if it’s making you unhappy.
Think about what would truly bring you joy and fulfillment and take steps to make it a reality. You can figure out how to be more satisfied in life—don’t settle for the status quo.