Sense of purpose may add years to life
Having a sense of purpose may help people live longer, regardless of what the purpose is, concludes new research published in Psychological Science.
The study looked at the physical and mental health of more than 7,000 U.S. adults aged 20 to 75 years. The researchers gauged their sense of purpose based on whether they agreed or disagreed with three different statements; Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them; I live life one day at a time and don’t really think about the future; I sometimes feel as I’ve done all there is to do in life.
When followed up 14 years later, researchers found that purposeful people had outlived the others, even when things such as negative mood were taken into account. The added years to life did not seem to depend on a person’s age, or whether they had retired from work.
The researchers postulated that people with a purpose take better care of their health and try to stay physically fit.