To live a meaningful life. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But what does it mean exactly? To the clergy and philosophers who live and study this admirable way of existence, a meaningful life is one anchored in a sense of purpose that goes beyond everyday trials and triumphs. Someone living a meaningful life might question why we’re here and what his or her role is in the larger world. This involves living with intention in the present moment (also known as mindfulness), positive thinking and often prayer.
So why are you reading about living a meaningful life on a wellness Web site? Quite simply, it can improve your health. Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness activities can lower blood pressure, mitigate chronic pain and symptoms of depression, and improve sleep. Spiritual practice can also support other good habits by increasing self-worth and self-control.
No single spiritual path has a corner on the health-improvement market. Reported advantages such as stress management, alterations in brain and immune function, and even weight regulation have come from such varied pursuits as Buddhist meditation, yogic practices (from the Hindu tradition) and Christian prayer. However you answer the big questions about why we’re here and where we’re going, simply being someone who asks such questions may well help you enjoy greater vitality — and perhaps even longevity — right here on earth.