A number of clients we’ve been helping recently have come to us because they are feeling stressed. This is not unusual but we’ve noticed, after talking to them, that there has been a common cause underpinning the reason why they came to us and that’s because they have lost their sense of meaning and purpose without even realising it.
As we say on our “What is Human Givens?” page “All humans, regardless of their background or culture, have evolved innate physical and emotional needs” and one of those needs is meaning and purpose.
Some people are highly motivated to make a lot of money, others are more interested in helping people. Some care passionately about protecting endangered species, or the environment, or helping to raise money for a worthy charity. Some people just like making things. It matters much more that each person has their own sense of meaning and purpose than the details about what that purpose actually is – although it is important that this sense of purpose focusses their attention away from their own concerns and towards something which is seen as more important. At the most basic level you can say that human beings need a reason to get out of bed each morning.
If, as human beings, we lose meaning and purpose then some of our innate needs are not being met which is why we feel out of sorts, stressed or depressed.
One important time of our lives when we are susceptible to losing our sense of meaning and purpose is when we retire – when we lose the thing that kept us active and gave us meaning in the past – but they are many times in our lives when we find ourselves asking “What’s it all about?” or “Why am I here?”
The key to helping people who have lost their sense of meaning and purpose is to help them reconnect with something they cared about in the past and to help them find something to be enthusiastic about in the future.
(If you ever have the chance to read Viktor Frankl’s excellent Man’s Search for Meaning you will see what we mean – he found a method that involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about and then immersively imagining that outcome).
We help our clients identify something that gives them meaning and purpose and we show them techniques that amplify this reason in a way that satisfies their innate needs and thus reducing stress and improving their mental and social well being.
What do you care about? What are the things that you want to achieve during your lifetime?
Please call us if you would like more information about how we can help you.