Happiness & Meaning in Life
So today I encountered a really interesting article on happiness and meaning in life. The article focused on a study related to suicide, what researchers found out was that it wasn’t unhappiness that caused society, but lack of meaning in life. I thought this was quite interesting.
The study also did an experiment by taking two groups of people. Asking one group to do meaningful things, help others, be kind etc… And the other group they asked to do things that made them happy. The participants were in their twenties and did things like party, play video games and eat ice cream. Both groups saw gains in meaningfulness and happiness respectively, but the meaningful group had longer lasting benefits. This was the one part of the article I had a problem with. As someone who studies and regular writes on happiness the researchers made a mistake. We know that the types of activities that bring on long-term happiness are experiential. Taking a trip, participating in a project, being out in nature. The activities in the experiment were things that provided temporary endorphin rushes, so I think they aren’t giving enough weight to the benefits of being happier.
None the less, I thought it was impressive that a week of doing even small meaningful things could have such a positive impact on living a more meaningful life. Those things are worth doing and the article is worth reading and is linked below.
- Belong to a group: I’ll be at lunch with Andy and the guys. Where will you be?
- Give your work purpose: You’re not emptying trash cans. You’re helping get a man on the moon.
- Craft your story: End it with redemption, not contamination, and become the superhero of your life.
- Transcendence: Nature is big. Your problems are small.
I hope you enjoyed the piece and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane