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(Positive Psychology Series: Part 5/6) M for Meaning

In our endeavour to become more self-aware of our mental health and take care of ourselves, Positive Psychology can work hand in hand with the process of diagnosis and treatment to help make us more resilient and happy people. 

Positive Psychology is all about focussing on the positive things within our control and our strengths so that we can build a life of meaning and purpose. This is a wonderfully empowering idea. It asks, “What’s already great about you that you can improve on to make you a happier person?” We walk you through the PERMA model of Positive Psychology, an abbrieviation for 5 components we can take ownership of and pay attention to towards happiness.

Image by Nathan Lemon, from Unsplash.

M is for Meaning. When we consider what our life means, we often think about belonging to something or serving a purpose that is greater than ourselves. Having meaning or a purpose in life helps us to focus on what is really important in the face of adversity.

This meaning is different for everyone. For some of us, it is pursued through a profession; for others, a social or political cause, religion or a creative endeavour. Volunteer work and community activities are also wonderful ways for us to feel purposeful and by extension, happy.

Here are some ways to build meaning!

Image by Joel Muniz, from Unsplash.

Getting involved in a cause or organisation that resonates with us

Is there an issue you would like to champion, or a community that you would like to be an active part of? Start by showing interest, whether it’s sharing posts you relate to on social media, spending quality time with people who care about the same things you do or reaching out to other like-minded people.

Image by Elle Hughes, from Unsplash.

Trying new and creative activities

This is a great way to uncover the things we have a connection with. As we get out of our comfort zone, we’ll get a better understanding of what we find meaning in so that we can cultivate it in our lives.

Thinking about how we can use our passions to help others

While being engaged in what brings us joy and that taps on our strengths, we can build meaning by extending engagement towards a good cause. In doing so, we’ll not only be able to deepen our engagement and/or hone our craft but also derive purpose and self-confidence.

The meaning of our life evolves as we do and understanding it at our own pace and alongside the members of our community is a meaningful and rewarding journey. We hope that in the pursuit of meaning you’ll find intrinsic happiness!

Thank you to Alexandra, our contributor in the psychology field, for your expertise!

To find out more about Positive Psychology, read the other parts of our Positive Psychology series:


Sherrie is the resident writer, programmer, marketing wizard and snack curator of Co.'s community team. Her favourite things about being at Co. include sharing calories with community members, meeting new friends in the Duxton neighbourhood (and sharing more calories) and getting lost in Littered with Books across the street.

Alexandra is a vibrant Mental Wellbeing Psychologist who graduated with BSc (Hons) in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Master’s in Counselling (Distinction) from Monash University. She has more than 10 years of experience, including extensive training in various positive psychology, mental resilience and counseling techniques. Alexandra’s diverse work is driven by her firm belief that humans have far more that can bring them together than should bring them apart.


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