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New research shows that breaking out of your routine to form deeper relationships can deepen your search for meaning in life.
Happiness is often considered the ultimate life goal, but a recent Journal of Positive Psychology study suggests you might want to seek something different. Researchers found that happiness was connected to fleeting, shallow emotions, whereas meaningful experiences, even if they caused stress or were hard work, were associated with strong personal relationships, better self-expression, and making a positive difference in others’ lives—all linked with greater personal fulfillment. A simple way to seek more meaning is to engage in activities that reflect your identity and give you a sense of purpose in your community, such as teaching donation-based yoga or art classes, volunteering, or cooking for family. That surge of happiness that follows? Bonus.