Health

Having a purpose in life will make you less likely to die from any cause

One of the recurring questions throughout history and in any culture is: why have we come? Or what is the same: what is our goal in life? Many people claim that their goal in life is achieve happiness, have love, be successful in different fields, have a fortune or have a positive impact on the lives of others. Or all together. However, there is no correct or definitive answer, since each one has his vital purpose, if he has it. In addition, over time it can vary, disappear when going through difficult times and then return.

But if you have to choose – figuratively speaking – between having a goal in life or not having it, it is better to choose the first option. Having a reason to live helps to make decisions, influences the personality and gives meaning to everything that is done. And also can make you live longer. In this sense, a new study from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) has discovered that all those who have a vital purpose may have a lower risk of death from any cause.

“Having a purpose in life is known to improve many health outcomes on average,” said Dr. Koichiro Shiba, assistant professor of epidemiology at BUSPH and lead author of the study, whose results have been published in the journal preventive medicine.

Everyone has their own life purpose: there is no one that is right

Everyone has their own life purpose: there is no one that is right

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more than twice the difference

To reach these conclusions, Dr. Shiba’s team drew on data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative program of US adults age 50 and older. In this way, assessed the self-reported purpose of more than 13,000 people based on the Ryff Psychological Well-Being Scalea theory-based instrument that specifically focuses on measuring multiple facets of psychological well-being such as acceptance, pursuit of life goals, or personal growth.

The results were clear: the people who were most aware of the importance of having a purpose in life had a 15.2% mortality risk; those who made the least sense got a 36.5% risk of dying from any cause. The race of the people did not matter, but a very slightly greater association was observed in women than in men.

“In another study I led, we found that the effect of purpose in reducing all-cause mortality may differ by socioeconomic status. In this study, we expanded upon previous evidence and found that the beneficial effect of purpose persisted regardless of gender , race and ethnicity”, Dr. Shiba congratulated himself.

However, this percentage was increasing as factors were added such as social or economic status, demographic characteristics as well as mental and physical state.

According to Dr. Shiba, the results observed in this study may help to guide future measures and other efforts to improve people’s health and well-being.

How do you know if you have a purpose in life?

If you think you have found your life purpose, but you are not entirely convinced, it is completely normal. There are signs you can pay attention to to find out if you are really on the right track.

  • you feel that you are complete
  • Do you think that what you do fills you up?
  • Other things matter more to you than money
  • Work does not take away your energy, but you like it
  • You no longer doubt your capabilities
  • You are not afraid of change
  • You do not seek the approval of others
  • You know you have a lot to offer others
  • Frustration is a thing of the past
  • You’ve stopped caring about what your purpose is


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