Meaning and the Sense of Meaning in Life from a Health Perspective

To be moved by the tears and pain of others, and try to help them out of love and compassion. To love something bigger, greater, and beyond ourselves, something we did not create or have the power to create, something intangible and made holy by our very belief in it. To seek wisdom and knowledge and to tame the mind, as to avoid suffering caused by ignorance and find happiness. To be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feelings, one’s work, one’s beliefs.

sense of purpose

If one believes that the meaning of life is to maximize pleasure and to ease general life, then this allows normative predictions about how to act to achieve this. Likewise, some ethical naturalists advocate a science of morality—the empirical pursuit of flourishing for all conscious creatures. Others end up on Dancing with the Stars.Notice that it’s the athletes who aspire to be the best at their sport for some greater reason—to build a charity, to start a business, to transition into another career—who handle retirement the best.

Find a Balance Between Seeking Happiness and Meaning

Live your best life by making it a life full of meaning. If your life feels meaningful to you this will allow you to satisfy your human need for value. Much has been said lately about the pursuit of happiness. It turns out that pursuing meaning may have more of an impact on long-term life satisfaction than pursuing happiness.

  • Whether you decide to spend two Saturdays a month serving meals in a soup kitchen, or you volunteer to drive your elderly neighbor to the grocery store once a week, doing something kind for others can make you feel as though your life has meaning.
  • If meaning happens through cognition, then it could come from any number of sources.
  • This is interesting, since this also means that good conditions are not an absolute prerequisite for formulating a goal in life.
  • In addition, goal diaries might form a way to provide insights into whether students are able to achieve important goals.
  • Likewise, “values and realities” are determined “by means of intelligent inquiry” and “are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience”, that is, by critical intelligence.
  • What makes life feel meaningful for each of us can vary significantly from person to person.

There’s a good chance already displaying your passion and purpose to those around you without even realizing it. Until now, Ted had been too busy with his work to wonder about the meaning of life. Since his children had left home, the hustle and bustle seemed pointless. Somehow, life made less and less sense to him; it even seemed tedious. For too many years now, he and his wife behaved like two old acquaintances who were boarding together.


A therapist can act as a mediator and help you communicate in healthy, productive ways. Knowing how to manage your anger can help prevent you from yelling, snapping, or engaging in abusive behavior with others. I have prepared this ebook for leaders who would like to get better at coping with personal crises. Lastly, our identities can contribute to more meaning.

  • Landau argues that meaning is essentially a sense of worth which we may all derive in a different way—from relationships, creativity, accomplishment in a given field, or generosity, among other possibilities.
  • Though the Big Bang theory was met with much skepticism when first introduced, it has become well-supported by several independent observations.
  • In other words, if you think life can be meaningless, then you believe that there is such a thing as value.
  • Dee loves exercising, being out in nature, and discovering warm and sunny places where she can escape the winter.
  • This gives the chatbot an important role in identifying possible problems.

If you are having a difficult time, you can talk with a mental health professional who can give you an unbiased perspective. You can also talk with a trusted friend or family member, they may have had similar experiences or just suggestions about things you can try.Don’t let the stigma that often surrounds therapy discourage you from trying it. Nearly everyone can benefit from being able to talk about their fears and worries with an unbiased person. Adding meaning to life is not an exact science, but it is possible to develop a meaningful life for yourself if you are willing to put some time and consideration into the process. Here are very detailed steps to identify your calling, your life purpose. Unfortunately, life can’t be that simple, and to realize your meaning, you need to gain and comprehend life experience.

What Does it Mean to Live a Meaningful Life?

Make the most of every moment by taking on wicked challenges and by doing meaningful things. Resist the temptation to get distracted by wasteful activities, and engage your imagination and creativity to prepare for your next move. Ignore the things that don’t matter before life passes you by. Never compare yourself to others, as everyone has different priorities. Define what is ‘success’ to you by understanding what matters and what doesn’t, then create your own path. 4/ Resistance is weakness and fear masquerading as strength.

  • Consider family or couples therapy to help you work through problems with family or significant others.
  • Think back to the times in your life when you needed help getting from Point A to Point B, and the generosity of one person made all the difference in helping you get to where you needed to be.
  • These are the experiences we need to make sense of, because they tell us what’s really significant.
  • One of the best organized strategies comes from Hinduism’s concept of the ashramas, or the four stages of a balanced life.
  • These are anxiety-provoking experiences and are common for most people.

Finally, parents and others with the best of intentions sometimes have goals in mind for children to pursue (Williams et al., 2000; Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2008). For many it is important to have a job that suits them, and a job which they feel passionate about and from which they can get energy (see Werner et al., 2016; Downes et al., 2017). However, research on mental illness prevails the literature in occupational health psychology, despite a call for a shift toward more research into positive psychology as antipode for work-related health problems such as job burnout. Relatedly, research on job crafting shows that people can actively enhance the personal meaning of their work and make it more enjoyable by changing cognitive, task, or relational aspects to shape interactions and relationships with others at work .

Types of Meaning in Life

After all, how to create meaning in life often involves doing things that make you feel good in the moment. For example, going dancing; getting a massage; or buying yourself a new tech gadget. Stop for a moment and think of your current job or occupation. Then, ask yourself how you can think of it in a way that will make you feel that what you’re doing has meaning. It will increase your ability to achieve the flow state – that state in which time seems to stand still and you feel “at one” with what you’re doing.

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