Creating meaning in life is a vital component of the foundation of sound mental and emotional health. Emotions can sometimes create an intense state of self-absorption that threatens to take you away from your true values. Take the time to mindfully tap into what is most important to you in life and begin to shift your thoughts and actions to be in line with those values. Notice the ways in which even distressing emotions can be painful reminders of what you truly value. For example, if you are experiencing a painful emotional experience of humiliation or anxiety in front of other people, and you also place great importance on your relationships with others, that painful emotional experience may simply be an uncomfortable reminder of how much you value those relationships. Allow yourself to sit with the discomfort that you may be experiencing – even welcome it – and it will soon pass.
Meaning: improve the moment by finding meaning in the moment/situation you’re in. This doesn’t mean justifying things that happen to you or that are done to you, nor does it mean excusing the pain of the moment or invalidating it. But it can mean finding a positive “spin” on the situation, such as “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” to use a common example of people using this aspect of IMPROVE. This makes you feel better about the problem.
Examples of using Meaning include: