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The Importance of Purpose, Meaning and Hope.

“Believe and watch the evidence grow!” Anon

April is stress awareness month, a key date in the well-being calendar. Stress is one of the biggest modern-day health concerns, often not taken seriously. In a survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation in 2018, they cited that 74% of UK adults felt overwhelmed or unable to cope over the last year. And, in a post-COVID world, this number is rising, with Statistica reporting 79% of their respondents in their research frequently experienced work-related stress in May 2022. To mark stress awareness month, we wanted to explore the importance of purpose, meaning and hope in your life not only to aid recovery from mental ill health but also to live a fulfilled life. CLICK HERE to understand what we mean by good mental health). Let's explore what we mean by each of these terms:

Having hope in our lives is critical to motivation. At a basic survival level, our brains are wired to imagine and hope for the future, if we lose hope to be able to predict this, it can lead to despair and depression. If we lose hope, we can work to re-create it by meeting our basic human needs of connecting with others, sleep, hydration and eating well. We can also create goals that we look forward to, helping provide us with a sense of purpose.

Discovering purpose in life is key to having a fulfilling life. When we talk about having a purpose, we generally mean the belief that your life matters and that you make a difference. In an article by Forbes, they shared that teams who felt a sense of purpose in the workplace are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and experience less loneliness. Having a clearly defined purpose is also powerful for organisations, the same article also cited that 52% of purpose-driven organisations experience 10% more growth.

For some, finding a purpose in life can be difficult; in this article from Better Up , they share some ways you can

look at to help you do just that:

1. Develop a growth mindset to help you embrace challenges as opportunities.

2. Create a personal vision, ensuring that all your future work and home decisions achieve the balance right for you.

3. Giving back to charity will help support your sense of meaning.

4. Practice gratitude.

5. Explore your passions and what you enjoy doing.

6. Be part of a community to help us feel connected to others.

7. Spend time with those who inspire you and give you energy.

8. Read to expand your mind, opinions and horizons.

9. Accept your limitations.

10. Take time for self-care.

Once you are clear on your purpose, your life becomes meaningful and that provides motivation to move forward. If you are struggling with mental well-being, anxiety, burnout or depression, whilst it can be tough, support is available to help you re-connect with your purpose and build a plan for the future.

Whereas stress can come and go in response to individual situations in the workplace, burnout can also be avoided and should not be accepted as something you experience when working in a high-pressure environment. Burnout includes feeling completely overwhelmed with a lack of purpose or direction and out of alignment with the company values. In our November blog article, we explore the differences between the two conditions and share some signs and ways to move forward. CLICK HERE to read more about this topic.

In Summary

We can all sometimes feel levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace, but having a clear sense of purpose and meaning in life can be a grounding force to help us manage in difficult times. In recognition of stress awareness month, a 30-day challenge has been set by the Stress Management Society to encourage you to do one thing per day that supports your mental or physical well-being. If you would like to participate and are unsure where to start, download our Stress Awareness calendar below.

Stress Awareness Monthly Calendar_April
Download PDF • 280KB

We also offer a number of different stress management workshops that can help organisations support their teams, if you would like to understand how we can help, please get in touch.





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