What’s the scientifically proven secret to living a longer, happier life? It’s not a new medical breakthrough, a diet, a miracle drug, or an exercise fad. It’s not even something you can buy.
It’s finding a sense of purpose.
But what if you’re struggling through times of change, burdened by the weight of current events, or just feel like you’re drifting? Can you find your purpose and direction?
Read on for ideas on how to find new meaning in your life.
Why Purpose Matters
People who feel a sense of purpose enjoy extra medical benefits. They have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower risk of dying from heart conditions, and spend fewer nights in hospitals. Not only does a sense of purpose give people more reasons to maintain their health, it gives them a reason for being alive.
If you’re searching for a purpose in life, ask yourself some important questions. What is your passion, and what are you good at? What do you care about in your community, and how can you use your skills for a good cause?
If you want to dive deeper into these issues, there are several resources you can use to explore these issues. Find helpful surveys at the Valued Living Questionnaire, the Portrait Values Questionnaire, and the Personal Values Questionnaire.
Look at Former Dreams
Take another step towards rediscovering your purpose by remembering what you used to dream about. Did you want to join a band, save the oceans, or work with disadvantaged youth? Even if you can’t become a rock star or save the world, exploring those goals will help you find your passion when you remember what ideas and dreams used to make you come alive.
Develop Gratitude and Awe
Multiple studies show that feelings of awe and gratitude help us connect to the larger world. People who appreciate the actions of others or who appreciate positive aspects in their lives are more likely to contribute to the world beyond themselves.
Not only should you notice what you’re grateful for, you should thank others. Expressing gratitude to others has a double benefit. Not only does it help the speaker feel gratitude, the listener can find meaning in that appreciation.
Join a Community and Help Others
You may find purpose in a community, whether it means helping your family, singing in choirs, or joining a volunteer group. Others enjoy using their talents or life lessons to help those around them. For instance, after you use these tools to discover purpose in your own life you may want to learn how to become a life coach and help others find their purpose.
Find Your Purpose
Whether you want to enjoy the health benefits of finding meaning, or you want to create more meaning in your life, it’s time to find your purpose. Ask yourself what you really want out of life, look for ways to contribute, and notice what makes you feel awe. Finally, practice gratitude for your life and whatever new purpose you find in it.
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