In my last blog post, we talked about how meaning has a much greater impact on your health than happiness and how having low levels of meaning causes a similar biology to enduring chronic adversity.

Learning that doesn’t help much unless you also learn how to add more meaning to your life. That lesson can mean greater health and happiness for you.

The Challenge

What one person finds meaningful does nothing for someone else. In other words, the source of feeling fulfilled is different for each person.

You have to find your own meaning in life, and as the years pass, your source of fulfillment can change.

It’s possible that if you make some time to consider what you want people to say about you when you’re not around, you’ll know what matters to you. And then, it’s a matter of crafting a life that allows that meaning to flourish.

However, even if you don’t know what your main source of meaning is and you can’t figure it out after taking some time to consider, you still have options that make a positive difference.

The Solution

Here’s a list of actions that can add meaning to your life. Try several of them to see which ones give you the greatest sense of purpose or pick one and stick with it for at least a month to give yourself time to get deeper into the experience.

  1. Volunteer

Doing things for others is an easy way to add a sense of purpose and meaning to your life.

  1. Be part of a group

This can be as simple as family night, date night, or a group of friends who regularly get together.

  1. Be intentional about adding moments that matter

Actively look for ways to add meaningful moments to each day. Take time to check in with yourself and notice what makes you feel significant.

  1. Practice mindfulness

Bills, deadlines, and the great unknown tempt all of us to worry about the future. However, the more you work at staying in the moment, the more peace you’ll add to your life, the more you’ll enjoy each moment of your day, and the more likely you are to see opportunities that increase meaning.

  1. Write your story

We all make sense of the world through the stories we tell ourselves and accept from others. If you take control of your story, you can move from suffering to a place of meaning by learning lessons from past suffering.

Here’s an exercise that can help (scroll down a touch): Can Just 20 Minutes of Writing Change Your life?

Sometimes there’s a story you tell yourself without being aware of it. This hidden tale tends to result in “the same old same old” repeatedly happening when you’re doing your best to change things. If you think that might be the case and you’d like help finding it, click here è Mindset Assessment