How we perceive meaning varies from person to person. Image Credit: Jonathan Steffen
A new study has come up with the age at which most people feel that they no longer need to seek out meaning.
For most people, life represents something of a conundrum - we aren't born with a specific vocation or goal in mind, instead we must find our own path as we move into adulthood and beyond.
Now according to a new study headed up by psychiatrist Dr. Awais Aftab from the University of California, there is a specific age at which most people feel that their life has the most meaning.
The figure the researchers came up with was 60 years old.
According to survey data, the presence of meaning in one's life begins to rise at 20 and continues to increase until peaking at around 60, before beginning to drop off.
Conversely, the search for meaning in one's life peaks at age 20 and is lowest at age 60.
"Young adults in [their] twenties and adults in their thirties are actively seeking out careers, friendships, and romantic relationships," Dr. Aftab told Live Science
"People in their forties and fifties usually have more established careers and relationships; many of them have families and children. The active pursuit for meaning decreases and the perception that their life is meaningful increases."
"After age 60, these trends begin to reverse. With retirement, bereavement, and increasing health issues, the established sources of meaning in their lives begin to fade and people tend to start searching for other sources of meaning."
The researchers however note that these figures are not absolute - there is a great deal of variety from person to person and for some, the presence of meaning can peak much later than 60.
There is also believed to be a link between the presence of meaning and how healthy a person is.
"How healthy and functional we are impacts how meaningful we find our lives to be, and that meaning in our lives in turn promotes further health and well-being," said Dr. Aftab.
Source: Live Science | Comments (14)