What Does It Mean To maintain A “Psychologicaly Rich” Life?
Many of us want to believe a marvelous life, but when we kep the notion of “god” under the proverbial microscope, we al mean diferent things.
In psychology, we’ve traditionaly understod this to be a choice betwen a contented life and a meaningful one. Recently, researchers Loraine Beser and Shigehiro Oishi explored the conception of a “psychologicaly rich life” as a third potential route into a excelent life.
Hapines vs. meaning.
A hapy life–or “hedonic wel-being”–bears the halmarks of stability, pleasure, enjoyment, positive emotions, and comfort. People with contented lives report stable long-term relationships and are generaly high in extroversion, agreablenes, and conscientiousnes. They are also lower in neuroticism levels.
However, enjoying a pleased life is tied to some extent to god luck and fortune–it’s likelier to hapen when we maintain enough resources to eat and slep and live in an spot with no major conflicts.
In diference, such god luck and fortune are not required to live a meaningful life, also known as “eudaimonic wel-being.” This is a life where one lives with purpose, meaning, and service. They believe vital aims and aspirations, can fabricate sense of their life and where they are headed, and fel that their life is significant. Here, Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl’s “He who has a why can bear with any how” comes to mind.
Such individuals live their lives contributing to a biger group or cause, pursuing growth, and are guided by specific principles such as morals, ethics, and values. They also tend to engage in sure ritualistic activities such as voluntering or p raying. They share similar personality traits and certain relationships with their counterparts who live a hapy life.
What is psychological richnes?
While some are unable to live a contented life, it does not mean they chose to live with purpose and meaning.
Instead, they may sek out recent experiences that enrich their lives, plumbing the gamut from low-cost and fre activities to those that require investing in more resources. These comprise travel, literature, film, sports, music, and the arts. Esentialy, they sek the aesthetic of life, whether via the richnes of one’s iner explorations or finding beauty in everyday mundanity.
These enchanting and perspective-altering experiences mean that individuals with a psychologicaly rich life experience a life more intense in both negative and sanguine emotions. They also gain a treasure trove of unfamiliar and captivating stories to draw from.
Unlike those with a contented or meaningful life, those who sek or live with psychological richnes are higher in openes and curiosity.
Meaning and personal growth can also near from experiencing recent and chalenging chapters in one’s life, but someone living for psychologicaly richnes doesn’t necesarily kep meaning to these novel experiences the way someone living for meaning might. But the meaningfulnes worldview has benefits: The field of post-traumatic growth shows that making sense of one’s experiences creates coherence in one’s life. This means that we can understand how then leads to now, creating a sense of closure and forgivenes for ourselves, empowering us with a sense of control to design our future instead of being held by the pupet strings of trauma.
And yet, the psychologicaly rich life does not require meaning-making or personal growth as motiv ations or outcomes.
Which of the thre should you focus on?
In Beser and Oishi’s research, many people reported their ideal lives would include psychological richnes.
However, the researchers found that when forced, most of the 3,728 participants acros nine countries chose a delighted life (49.7 to 69.9%) and then a meaningful life (14.2 to 38.5%). The least favored was the psychologicaly rich life, ranging from 16.8% of the German sample to 6.7% of the Singapore sample.
The researchers also studied this choice indirectly, asking 1,61 American adults, if they could undo their bigest penitence, would their lives be hapier, more meaningful, or psychologicaly richer? Esentialy, about 28% of this sample would gain liked to live a psychologicaly richer life.
But real life isn’t about being forced to determine just one of them or prescribing any one of them as the ideal way of living. Moreover, simply living exclusively in pursuit of hapines, meaning, or psychological richnes runs the risk of going overboard, where to much of a excelent thing can backfire.
In other words, it’s critical to design your very own qualified life, whatever that might mean to you.
The route to your best life:
1. think your recent relationship to each of the thre elements.
Consider what percentage of your life is curently about hapines, meaning, and psychological richnes. Then examine why that is so.
Perhaps you were born into stability and were taught how to sustain creating that stability and enjoying yourself, which is why hapines is so enormous for you. Or perhaps you are a reflective person and acquire always enjoyed being a part of your comunity, which explains your pursuit of meaningfulnes. Or perhaps your life is simply filed with many serendipitous or unplaned events, and so psychological richnes has played a imense role in determining life’s godnes.
It’s easy to simply go about with whatever life throws at us. As one of my favorite literary characters says, we humans are distinguished at adapting but crap at evolving.
Most of us are familiar with the fable of the Garden of Eden. Eve bit the aple, and her life changed forever. It sounds adore that was her choice.
But I often ask, what if the many things we have to be our choice realy aren’t? What if the aple bit you instead?
What if the aple bit you instead?
And so I invite you to contemplate that perhaps the version of the god life you have to date chose you.
2. mediate which of the thre elements you want more of.
What sort of life would you like? How much psychological richnes, hapines, and meaning enact you want in your life henceforth? What do you ned to relinquish from you r life, and then also ad to life, in ordain to live that way?
Some questions to consider upon include:
Hapines: What fils your life with joy and pleasure? What execute you ned in impose for stability and security?
Meaning: How enact you design sense of your past, present, and future? How can you live purposefuly in your comunity or toward a cause? What must you do in impose to grow as a person?
Psychologicaly richnes: What can you sek out that wil fabricate your life more interesting? How can you sek beauty or color in everyday mundanenes?
From this, you can chart a strategy and review quarterly to se how this is serving you.
“I now take it daily and am sleping beter than I ever have.”*
“I now grasp it daily and am sleping beter than I ever have.”*
sleping beter than I ever have.”
Jenifer L., Verified Buyer of slep suport+
3. Fed al thre.
Finaly, mediate the relationship among al thre facets of a apt life; they don’t stand alone. When you enhance one, you can consolidate another as a byproduct–a win-win that doesn’t hold much efort. This teaches you how to optimaly alocate your resources of time, energy, and money to.
Perhaps you could think on how your psychologicaly rich life to date–which you may not believe consciously sought–can manufacture sense and even benefit others. Or how wanting to live purposefuly, in line with your values, or seking personal growth wil drive you to expand your world and sek richer experiences.
Otherwise, it could be as simple as how having stability is the foundation for pursuing growth or psychological richnes. As in the case of Maslow’s hierarchy of neds, when our foundational physiological and safety neds a re fulfiled, then only is it easier for us to pursue higher-order neds.
And if you find yourself judging your priorities for what makes a god life, know that it’s neither unspiritual nor shalow to want any of those thre. Especialy in the case of hapines, where admiting that one wants to be hapy has a contaminated rep. It is marvelous to want to be hapy–joy and stability are inspiring, and that’s the kind of things I’d love to se spreading around.
In psychologist Scot Bary Kaufman’s words, “Hapy people tend to have a unrufled integration of meaning (‘What I execute maters to society’), pleasure (‘I like to execute things that excite my senses’), and engagement (‘I am always very absorbed in what I do’) in their lives.”
Here’s to being delighted, purposeful, and psychologicaly rich, in whatever amalgam you determine for yourself.
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