Research results that show that the key to happiness and health is to feel that “your life has meaning”


Many people take various actions and change their thinking in the hope of being happy, but there is still a lot of uncertainty at the core of what brings happiness to human beings.

In the meantime, research results have been published that “assessing one’s life as meaningful” has a positive effect on happiness and health, and Lisa A Williams, a social psychologist at the University of New South Wales, summarizes how to find meaning in life.

Leading a meaningful life at older ages and its relationship with social engagement, prosperity, health, biology, and time use | PNAS

Having a sense of meaning in life is good for you — so how do you get one?

Conclusion: Acting on the meaning of life rather than pursuing ultimate happiness may ultimately enrich your life.

Andrew Steptoe, Professor of Psychology at University College London, and Daisy Fancourt, Senior Fellow He asked 7,304 men and women over the age of 50 in the UK about their relationship with society, financial situation, health and physical activity. In addition, they also asked “How valuable is the things I have done in my life?” and asked them to evaluate their own lives on a scale of 0 ~ 10. Similar surveys were conducted two and four years after the initial survey to track social well-being and health status. As a result of the survey, those who appreciated the value of their own life compared with those who rated their life lowly, and it was said that a positive influence was seen in various aspects. For example, from social aspects such as “low risk of divorce”, “low risk of being lonely”, “high probability of engaging in friends and social and cultural activities”, to “low risk of chronic diseases and depression”, “low obesity rate and high physical activity”, “many behaviors that contribute to health, such as exercising and consuming more fruits and vegetables”, etc. It seems that people who feel that life is meaningful live happier and healthier lives.

Specifically, those who rated their lives as meaningful walked 18% faster and had 13% higher levels of vitamin D in their blood than those who did not. In addition, among the 11 grades, 47.1% of those who rated their life as “0 ~ 2” had a rate of meeting with friends in one week, while those who rated “9 or 10” had a 73% chance of meeting with friends. In addition, he said that he was blessed with people who felt that life was meaningful from an economic point of view. In addition, those who rated their life poorly at the time of the initial survey had twice the risk of developing symptoms of depression by the time of the survey four years later and were 30% more likely to develop chronic pain compared to those who rated their life highly. The researchers also considered other factors that affect happiness and health, but it was nevertheless found that “feeling that one’s life has meaning” is related to a happy life.


How to easily find meaning in life


●Imagine your happy future.

●Writing a Letter of Gratitude.

●Thinking back on the events that made your happy.

Williams says the following three elements are important when it comes to the meaning of life.

three elements

1: Have a purpose :life goal and have a path in life.
2: Importance:
To feel that one’s life is valuable and important.
3: Be consistent :
your life to think in terms of predictability and repetition of routines.

 when it comes to how to find meaning in your life, Williams recommends “frequent contact with friends, belonging to social groups, volunteering, etc.” based on the results of Steptoe and colleagues’ research.

In addition, spending money for others and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables also have a positive impact on health, leading to a sense of happiness and life meaning.
At first glance, “feeling happiness” and “finding meaning in life” seem to be the same thing, but past research According to him, there is a subtle difference between the two. For example, satisfying life’s basic desires increases happiness, but it does not increase the meaning of life. On the other hand, finding links between the past, present, and future enhances the meaning of life, but it has nothing to do with happiness. For example, the emphasis on social connections is important for both happiness and the meaning of life, but sometimes it is necessary to suppress one’s own desires and engage in child-rearing or to spend money on the education of children. In this case, the temporary feeling of happiness may decrease, but in the future you may be able to feel the meaning of life more greatly. Rather than pursuing ultimate happiness, Williams said, acting on the meaning of life can ultimately enrich one’s life.