Kicking the Comparison Habit

The dissatisfaction that sets in as we scroll through social media. The time wasted fantasizing about what we don’t have. Few of us would say that our addiction to comparison is fueling happiness.

This spring, as we gear up to clear out the old and usher in the new, why don’t we kick the habit and make space for contentment?

The key to this process is understanding what makes us prone to comparison in the first place. What mindfulness experts call “discrepancy-based processing” is part of the issue. We use discrepancy-based processing to notice gaps between what we want and what we have.

Our brain has a few “doing mode” centres that help us get things done. Meaning, they help in executing activities. We need to ensure that the “doing mode” doesn’t take up the space we need to enjoy simply being.

We must enjoy what we have now. To do so, try:

1. Cultivating Awareness

“Doing mode” tends to set in when you’re on autopilot.

Can you begin to simply notice when you slip into comparison or start thinking about what you don’t have?

You don’t need to judge yourself; just become more sensitive to when this kind of thinking kicks in. Awareness is half the battle.

2. Connecting with the Present Moment

To clear away comparison, reconnect with the present moment.

Ask yourself how your body feels and what you are taking in through your five senses. Take five deep, intentional breaths, again asking yourself how it feels to breathe.

There is no other goal but to refocus your mind on the here and now.

3. Practicing Gratitude

The foundation of contentment is gratitude.

What are you genuinely thankful for in your life as it is?

Try to think of three to five people, events, or elements in your life that bring joy, peace, love — any experience or emotion you want to have.

You can write these things down or simply express thanks to them at that moment, letting the truth of your gratitude settle in your heart.

Being aware, present and grateful steers your conscience inwards. Taking one deep look at yourself, your surroundings and your thoughts pulls you out of that “doing mode” rut. It opens your eyes to an ocean of abundance that dwells within yourself.

All these tips do is, gently push away the dangers of comparison and bring in a satiating sense of peace, bliss and contentment.

Try them out and you’ll know.

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