Search for Meaning and Meaningfulness-Coherence, Purpose, Mattering

Psychology Today August 2020 pp5. “What Makes Life Meaningful?” “A sense that life has meaning doesn’t just offer philosophical benefit; it’s also tied to improved physical and mental health. What factors, apart from close relationships and personal accomplishments, foster a belief in a meaningful life? Three recent studies highlight some potential mechanisms of meaning.”

What really matters?

Coherence-the feeling that life makes sense

Purpose-having and working toward goals

Mattering-the sense that one’s life has value and makes a difference

According to Vlad Costin (University of Sussex) “argues that…mattering is most crucial.”


Costin suggests “believing in God, contributing to others, or leaving some form of legacy”

Golden Age

Meaningfulness may peak at age 60 and decline thereafter while the “The Search for Meaning” reaches a “low point at 60 before climbing.”

Life’s Meaning-Good for You

“Regardless of age, physical and mental well-being were both strongly correlated with a belief in life’s meaning.”

Moments can contribute to feeling meaningful but data suggest that having routines “build a coherent sense of self.”