Creative values are reached through acts of creating or producing something. Experiential values are actualized when a person experiences something through sight, touch, smell, or hearing.
Finally, attitudinal values are reserved for individuals who cannot, for one reason or another, have new experiences or create new things. Thus they find meaning through adopting a new attitude that allows "suffering with dignity".
Awakening to Significance: The Reward of Living a Meaningful Life
For all of these classes of values, it is because of one's sense of responsibility that one pursues these values and consequently experiences a meaningful life. It is through the realization that one is the sole being responsible for rendering life meaningful that values are actualized and life becomes meaningful. Terror management theory studies meaningfulness and its relationship to culture. A human's consciousness makes them aware of their own mortality.
The structure created through society and culture provides humans with a sense of order. Through the structured society we are able to create a symbolic immortality which can take various forms, e.
Culture's order reduces death anxiety as it allows the individual to live up to the societal standards and in living up to such ideals; one is given self-esteem which counterbalances the mortal anxiety. Hope theory operationalizes meaningfulness as having more to do with self-control that leads to higher self-esteem.
As one lives by societal standards of living, one exercises self-control and it is through this self-control that higher self-esteem is achieved. Meaning is found when one realizes that one is capable and able to effectively achieve their goals through successful management. Control is "a cognitive model whereby people strive to comprehend the contingencies in their lives so as to attain desired outcomes and avoid undesirable ones".
Narrative psychology proposes that people construct life stories as a way to understand life events and impose meaning on life, thus connecting [via explanation] the individual to the event. Furthermore, meaningfulness is actualized through positive functioning, satisfaction with life, the enjoyment of work, happiness, positive affect and hope. Meaningfulness can also be translated into physical health and a generalized well-being.
7 Ways to Make Your Life More Meaningful
Social exclusion results in a perceived loss of meaningfulness in life. Furthermore, the four needs for meaning sense of purpose, efficacy, value and sense of positive self-worth were found to be mediators in the perception of meaningfulness of life. When an individual thinks themself to be socially excluded, one's sense of purpose, efficacy, value, and self-worth are all indirectly diminished.
Recent systematic reviews addressing meaning in life found that higher meaning in life is associated to better physical health in general,   lower distress among cancer patients,  and higher subjective well-being in China. A study found an association between the discovery of meaning and a lower rate of AIDS -related mortality. When confronted with the stress of such a death those men, who were able to find meaning in the loss, were subject to less rapid declines in CD4 T cell levels.
Furthermore, the subjects who went through cognitive processing in response to the bereavement were more likely to find meaning in the death of the close friend.
How to Make your Life More Meaningful
Thus in experiencing a stressful life event if one is able to engage successfully in finding meaning there is a potential link to positive immunological benefits and health outcomes. A happy life and a meaningful life are strongly correlated attitudes. According to a research, living a meaningful life is one of the several enduring pathways to happiness.
Yet, the role a person adopts in the relationships makes an important difference. A meaningful life is associated with positive functioning: life satisfaction, enjoyment of work, happiness, general positive affect, hope and in general a higher level of well-being. Psychological adjustment in the event of a stressor has been linked with meanings finding whether in the form of benefit seeking or making sense of the loss.
Based on systematic reviews, there are various promising therapies and interventions that focus on increasing meaning or purpose in life. Many of these interventions been created for patients with advanced disease. While there are benefits to making meaning out of life, there is still not one definitive way in which one can establish such a meaning. Those who were successful in creating a meaningful life enjoyed benefits such as higher levels of positive affect, life satisfaction, etc. It is with a meaningful life that one is able to find connections to people, places, things and leave a mark on society; it renders a good life a meaningful one.
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