Sadness is almost an epidemic these days, and it’s destroying lives. Sadness leads to addiction, overdoses, suicides, and more, and even just being sad and feeling aimless can take you too soon. People who feel a sense of purpose in life have a 15% lower rate of premature death — just from feeling they have something to live for. Even if you are struggling you can work to cultivate a strong sense of purpose and possibly even turn your life around.
Stress and trauma lead to fear of failure, a decreased ability to weather uncertainty, a disruption in your life’s path, and eventually longer term depression, anxiety, and problems sleeping, Over time these stressors can literally eat away at your body, causing long-term damage. But even if you have been through serious trauma it’s possible to work through it and turn yourself around.
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Reframing is a technique that can help you look at your past as a source of strength rather than weakness. If you lived through trauma you can look back and realize how strong you were to make it through to the other side, which can help you to realize that you can overcome just about anything that comes your way.
When you begin to frame problems as opportunities to learn and overcome, you can start yourself on a new path. Problems at work become learning opportunities you can conquer, giving you a sense of purpose in your work. Problems in your relationships can become an opportunity to grow and do better, which can give you a sense of purpose in your family.
Cultivating relationships in your family, a career, and hobbies can keep you connected to others at multiple points so you never have to be alone in your time of need. Feeling that connectedness is what keeps you going when times get tough. Hobbies keep your mind, and sometimes even your body, active so that you always have something to look forward to.
Religion and spirituality are another way to connect with others and also to yourself on a deeper level. Belief and serving your community, even if it is through community service and not necessarily through religion, frames your place as a part of that community rather than a community of one.
It’s time to take a mental inventory and see where your sense of purpose may be lacking. Learn more about living a purpose-driven life from the infographic below.