This is the age people find the most meaning in their lives, study shows

This is the age people find the most meaning in their lives, study shows

The magical age that people find meaning in their lives is 60, according to a new study. (Photo: Getty Images)

Searching for meaning in your life? It may take longer than you think to find it.

Michael F. Steger, PhD, director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose and professor of counseling psychology and applied social and health psychology at Colorado State University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Steger, who was not involved with this study, researches meaning and developed the Meaning in Life Questionnaire.’ data-reactid=”24″>The researchers found a U-shaped curve, showing that people at age 60 reported the highest presence of meaning and lowest in searching for meaning — in other words, they had found their purpose. “The most common pattern is that as our levels of meaning in life are higher, we tend to search for meaning less,” Michael F. Steger, PhD, director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose and professor of counseling psychology and applied social and health psychology at Colorado State University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Steger, who was not involved with this study, researches meaning and developed the Meaning in Life Questionnaire.

Trying to find meaning in your life isn’t just some deep philosophical quest — it’s something that can affect both your physical and mental health.

Jeste continued: “After age 60, things begin to change. People retire from their job and start to lose their identity. They start to develop health issues and some of their friends and family begin to pass away. They start searching for the meaning in life again because the meaning they once had has changed.”

Age 60 appears to be the sweet spot in between.

That said, Steger disagrees that people only find meaning once they are 60 years old — and that’s good news if you haven’t hit (or have surpassed) that milestone. “Rather, it’s that our capability to build meaningful lives and to experience our existence as meaningful continues to grow across the lifespan,” he says. “This is an important difference. There’s quite a lot of research out there showing that the average person across the globe thinks life is at least a little bit meaningful, whether they are 16 or 60.”

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