Student Wellness
Student Wellness

Meaning and Purpose

A happy group of friends in the park having fun with arms on the air

Finding your meaning and purpose is personal, individualized and connects to the emotional and spiritual dimensions of well-being. As you dig deep within your spirit to consider meaning and purpose in your life, the following ideas may be a helpful starting place.

Prescription for Spiritual Health

  • Take time for self-renewal.
  • Practice sacred rituals.
  • Practice acceptance and non-judgment.
  • Keep the faith, pray; don’t abandon beliefs in crisis.
  • Embrace mystery. Allow yourself to believe things that can’t be explained.
  • Embrace the shadow, your dark side. Recognize and acknowledge it.
  • Forgive.
  • Put compassion into action.
  • Live your joy.

Improving your Spiritual Well-being

  1. Be quiet. Spiritual truths often come in the form of a still small voice that is difficult to hear above the chaos and confusion of a frantic lifestyle. Set aside time for solitude and meditation.
  2. Be open to the spiritual. Spiritual experiences often come in unexpected forms and packages. They surprise us. Foster a nonjudgmental attitude so you’re open to the spiritual dimension in any life event – from hoeing the garden, to witnessing an accident, from watching a swim meet to reading the morning paper.
  3. Be inquisitive and curious. An attitude of active searching increases your options and your potential for spiritual centering. Don’t shut doors before you check out what is behind them. For example, the laying on of hands may be a powerful centering experience. A silent retreat might renew your enthusiasm. Meditation or yoga may very well allow you to experience tranquility and peace.
  4. Be receptive to pain and grief. Pain helps us focus on the widest questions of our being. It’s a deepener. A life without pain leads to a sparse, shallow existence. Allow yourself to feel your pain fully, then ask, “What is it trying to teach me?”
  5. Be playful. Play is a pleasurable, freeing experience. It breeds spontaneous enthusiasm and celebration. When you make music, dance, laugh, sing – however you play – listen for sounds of the spirit.


Iowa State University Campus Religious and Spiritual Organizations

Find Meaning In the Small Things

How to Put Meaning Back Into Your Life