Finding meaning in our lives is an essential part of increasing our mental wellbeing and Happiness. It is one of the five categories outlined in the PERMA theory. To read about the other categories, you can start with the first one here.
I don’t quite want to go down the road of ‘what is the meaning of life’ but knowing and more importantly feeling like what we do in our lives has a greater purpose or meaning, is essential for our mental wellbeing. This can be found in raising your kids, finding your work fulfilling, giving back through charity work or engaging in local community causes. As teachers, many of us get a sense of meaning from our work because it is not just a job. It’s not just about bringing in the money for most of us, there is something else. A desire to support, nurture, and educate young people so that they can grow up to be healthy, happy adults. This for many gives a sense of meaning.
But what is it for you? Maybe you have more than one thing in your life. Maybe you have never thought about it. My challenge to you is to articulate, perhaps write down why you teach. This will in your own words highlight some of the meaning you have in your life.
Just acknowledging these things that are already there can help increase our happiness. It is all too easy to notice the gaps in our lives and the problems we have. But when we focus on why we do things, we may find there is more meaning and purpose behind them than we thought and this can help us keep going when things get tough.
Clare Martin is a the founder of the Positive Teacher Network who specialises in helping teachers to find the ultimate Work Life Balance and supports them with many of the difficulties teachers face today.
The Positive Teacher Network provides practical tips and strategies to busy, tired teachers to help them improve their lives allowing them to focus on being great teachers.