Finding Meaning at Thanksgiving

November 26, 2013 by  

At different points, most of us seek work, hobbies, relationships or interests that are meaningful and therefore provide additional meaning to our lives. After losses thanksgiving cook(deaths, heartbreaks, unemployment or illness), we may have to search for meaning all over again or learn to find it in different places than before.
A 2013 study found that when social relationships provide an all important sense of belonging, people feel life has more meaning.
The study – Subjects – group # 1 – closed their eyes and thought about two people or groups to which they really belonged (family, sorority, church, team, marriage, etc).  Then, they were asked about how much meaning life had. Another group of subjects – group # 2 – thought about the value of other people and a third group – group # 3 – thought about the help that other people had provided for them. All good thoughts.  When the groups were compared, group # 1 felt the highest levels of meaning in life.
Conclusion: belonging to a group provided people with more meaning then getting in touch with the value of others or the help they could provide. More than attachment (which is also critical), belonging to a group makes you feel like you fit in and that increases your sense of meaning in life.
So, sort of applicable for the holiday season, especially if you stretch it, is the idea that meaning is found in various ways–sometimes through family, religion and the sense of self. But, certainly, one way to find meaning in life is by seeking out one or more places where we belong and where things make sense. A good idea to keep in mind while we sit at the Thanksgiving table.
I”m making challah stuffing for the turkey to celebrate “Thanksgivicah”, the unusual occasion of Thanksgiving and Chanukah occurring together.  Happy Thanksgiving. LE
source for the study Lambert et al., 2013.
A novel of love and obsession, Object of Obsession
Object of Obsession

3 Essential Traits That Keep Us Healthy

July 8, 2013 by  

The 3 essential traits that are linked to good health are:


A sense of Personal control, and

The ability to find Meaning in one’s life experiences

These 3 traits are valuable psychological resources. They also allow us to cope more effectively with adversity and provide a buffer when experiencing illness (although no one quite understands how it works). These are traits to cultivate because they actually help us to adjust to new, maybe unpleasant, experiences and they seem to even protect our health.

Source: Psychological resources, positive illusions, and health. S. Taylor et al. American Psychologist V.55 #1: 99-109, 2000.

Reading keeps you healthy; purchasing my book keeps me healthy.

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