The key to happiness and health is to feel that your life has meaning. Although there have been a few studies so far, few people can assert that they can understand the meaning of life. However, new research suggests that there is an age at which people can understand and realize the meaning of life.
The UC San Diego psychiatric team surveyed 1,042 subjects aged 21 to 100 years. Research shows that people tend to know and realize the meaning of life around the age of 60. The respondents in their 60s and older had the lowest rate of finding the meaning of life and the largest number of those who felt the meaning of life.
The research team says that the meaning of life varies from person to person, but can be summarized in several points. Existing research suggests that factors such as identity, relationships with friends and family, achievement of long-term goals, social contribution, and altruistic behavior toward the world play an important role in the meaning of life.
As a result of the survey, it was found that people in their 20s and 30s were more likely to find the meaning of life and less felt the meaning of life. This is because people of all ages go through various stages of psychological development to pursue relationships and careers. However, when people reach their 40s and 50s, the opportunity to build careers or human relationships and to recognize the meaning of life without pursuing the meaning of life increases. Afterwards, when people reach their 60s, the proportion of people who feel the meaning of life without exploring the meaning of life reaches its peak. This can be seen as a result of improving physical and mental health.
However, after the peak of the age of 60, humans find the meaning of life again. After the age of 60, it is lost whether there is a sensory reason for discovering meaning in life, such as retirement, bereavement, or increasing health problems. So people are going to look for other reasons. Health issues in particular are a big point in this transition. In the survey, it is necessary to find a new goal for physical health and cognitive abilities based on self-evaluation according to changes in the age and body. Cultural activities, hobbies, and exercise help maintain physical and mental health throughout life.
This study shows that the meaning of life changes with age, so even if one realizes the meaning of life at one age, it does not apply to other age groups. Meanwhile, finding meaning in life is important physically and mentally, but it doesn’t necessarily take decades. Researchers say group therapy that focuses on the power of stories to understand life, or group therapy for anxiety relief, may work. It is also said that building trusting relationships or having a hobby is helpful. Related information can be found here.