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Meaning & Purpose

We've talked before about how good mood and feelings of wellbeing come from doing things that are enjoyable or meaningful for us or give us a sense of purpose. But what does meaning and purpose mean?

Meaning comes from doing things that we find important - things that are aligned with our values. Things like: taking care of friends and family, intimate relationships, hobbies, our job, spirituality, community. Imagine a newscaster was doing a biographical story on your life. What would you want them to say about you? These things are probably the things that give you a sense of meaning. What gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.

Depression and motivation. Remember: Action comes first and causes positive emotions. Motivation comes after. At first this is hard so we start small and work our way up to bigger things to break the cycle of depression.

We also get feelings of happiness and wellbeing from finding a sense of purpose or mastery. This means things we are good at or that give us a sense of accomplishment. What gives you a sense of Creativity, a feelings of competence (being good at something; getting better at something? A feeling of responsibility that you enjoy? A feeling of enjoyable social contact with coworkers, friends etc? Where do you get a sense of purpose?

If we set goals for doing things we want to do and make a plan - we are much more likely to be successful. While there are a lot of things about lockdown that are hard.Try to come up with a list of plans of things you want to achieve. Then choose one and make a plan for the next week. Let us know what your plan is and CRUCIALLY - how you're going to do it. Is it achievable? What steps will you take? What will you do if there is some kind of barrier (e.g. in your plan write: If it’s raining I will go out with a raincoat and umbrella).

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