(STUDY FINDS) -- SAN DIEGO — Famed psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl developed an approach to psychotherapy called logotherapy (logos is Greek for reason), in which patients are encouraged to find meaning and purpose in their lives as a means to attaining well-being. Frankl is perhaps best known for his harrowing descriptions of day-to-day life in nazi concentration camps, and his almost poetic explanation that even then, in the absolute worst living conditions imaginable, he and his fellow prisoners were able to hold on to their humanity through finding purpose in their torment. Now, a new study is further validating Frankl’s ideas. Researchers from UC San Diego say that not only is purpose in life integral to mental well-being, but it is also important in regards to physical health and cognitive functioning.
Age plays a role in this equation as well, with the research team finding that the presence of meaning in life often takes on an “inverted U-shaped relationship.” Essentially this means that most people search and strive for meaning in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, before becoming content with what it all meant around the age of 60. However, past that age, people tend to begin searching once more.