Having a sense of purpose in life helps us live longer, and the earlier we discover it, the sooner the protective effects occur.
Researchers looked at data from over 6,000 participants, focusing on their self reported purpose in life. Over the 14 year follow up period 569 people died and all of those who died had reported less purpose in life and fewer positive relationships with others than did survivors.
Greater purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk right across the lifespan, even when taking into account other markers for psychological and emotional well being.
(Reported in Human Givens Magazine Volume 21, No 1 2014 from a report in Psychological Science, 2014, doi:10.1177/09567976145311799)
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