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Finding meaningfulness in the everyday

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For quite a long time now, many have pondered the big questions like 'why are we here'. 'what's it all about' 'what is the answer to life, the universe and everything!' In Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, the supercomputer Deep Thought, after 7.5 million years of computation comes up with the answer; which he does warn those who have been waiting patiently that they may not like, but hey they have been waiting for generations to hear this, so insist he gets on with it, so he tells them. The answer turns out to be………..42…..you can imagine they were a wee bitty disappointed, to say the least!

"Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?" "I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Now that's a wee bit fun, and for anyone who hasn't read Hitchhikers guide, and the other books in the series, well, that may be a treat waiting for you as yet unexplored. However, there is something around meaning in life and mental health. 

Some interesting research around the links between meaningless and depression, lower levels of wellbeing even suicide. Remember these wee pieces are for wellbeing promotion if you need more formal support to speak to your GP about services near you, if you are thinking of suicide, please speak to someone. 

The Samaritans phone number is 116 123. You do matter.

What is interesting in some of this research is that often people cite the most important source of meaning in their lives as relationships, especially with family. When we consider how much our relationships are being affected by restrictions due to social distancing, as a result of COVID19, the changes in how we celebrate, support each other when they world feels harsh, we can perhaps see why at the moment many of us may be struggling. Add to that, being furloughed for a long period of time, changes in routine, uncertainty about the future, then the big questions around 'what's it all about' and 'when is this going to be over and we can get back to some kind of normal'  is only natural.

For the sake of our own health, the health of our loved ones and for our communities, cities and countries, we need to find a way to cope with what is happening just now, which doesn't overwhelm us and leave us feeling hopeless and helpless, we need among all this change, to find meaning in the everyday

One thing the current situation may have given us is time to begin to understand ourselves better, reflect on what really matters to us, what we believe about life, the universe and everything, and, are those attitudes and beliefs helpful? If we believe we aren't good enough, or, our wellbeing doesn't matter, then the choices we make for ourselves may not be the ones which offer us the greatest chance for contentment and wellbeing.

Too often we attribute meaning to win a talent show, making lots of money, winning awards, being told by others how amazing we are, travelling the world, generally doing stuff and having experiences. However, when money is tight and opportunities are few and not everyone will get an award, be told by others they are amazing, climb Everest etc, maybe we need to explore meaning elsewhere.

We often hear talk of Mindfulness, about being in the moment, and there is value to that. Kindfulness to self, others and the planet and there is value to that. Perhaps it's also time we considered Meaningfulness. The title of this piece is around finding meaning in the everyday. Yes, all the other things are super, travelling, doing well at work, being acknowledged for who we are, or, what we do, however, they are often things outside of ourselves, feedback from others, or changing our circumstances. They are also usually now and then as opposed to every single day. Finding meaning every day helps us celebrate life and value ourselves for the unique and special human beings we are, every day..

We may not be happy with our circumstances and want them to change and there are many tools on our site can help pursue those dreams. These wee tips on meaningfulness don't replace hopes, dreams and aspirations as they matter too, they just offer some ideas in every day which make getting out of bed worthwhile and things which are within our grasp to do.

Having a sense of purpose, meaningfulness in our lives can help us feel more positive about life, the universe and everything, enable us to cope better with the challenges life throws and helps us hold onto a sense of health and wellbeing, especially when situations are challenging and may overwhelm.

Finding meaning in every day can sustain us when the more exciting things are perhaps out of reach. When it comes down to it, sometimes the simple things in life, turn out to be the most valuable of all……………..and hey I think you are amazing! Every one of us is a totally unique individual, capable of so much, a simple smile, act of kindness, positive vibe sent out to the world can change someone else's day and in turn change ours. There is meaning in all we do, just sometimes we need to look for it and find some peace and contentment within our lives, every day..

"Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace." – Thich Nhat Hanh

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