In our day to day lives, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture; food shopping, the school run, meal times and bedtimes, sometimes these things can become mundane rather than meaningful.
But in fact, we are surrounded by meaning all around us; nature, work, moments of play and love in the family home. In all the mundane we can lose focus.
So how do we regain the meaningfulness in our life?
Here’s a great exercise to try over your week, or this could be particularly good to try as a school holiday project with your children!
- Over the next week, take photographs of things that make your life feel meaningful or full of purpose. These can be people, places, objects, pets. If you are not able to take photos of these things—like if they’re not nearby—you can take photos of souvenirs, reminders, websites, or even other photos. Try to take at least nine photographs.
- At the end of the week: If you used a digital camera, upload your photos to a computer. If you used a non-digital camera, have your photos developed.
- Then, once you have collected all of your photos and items, take time to look at and reflect on each one. For each photo or item, write down a response to the following question: “What does this photo represent, and why is it meaningful?”
Why does it work?
Being able to recognise things that are meaningful around you can make them more real to you and remind you of what matters. It could inspire you to pursue an important personal goal, or give you a sense of purpose when dealing with stressful life events.
When others have tried it, they reported feeling like they had more meaning in their lives, greater life satisfaction, and more positive emotion than they had beforehand.
You can find this activity and more at https://ggia.berkeley.edu/