There are many advantages to having goals in life – besides escaping the incessant nagging of parents and significant others. And now HealthDay reports on a new study that claims having a strong sense of purpose could translate into living longer.
The study, conducted by Dr. Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, examined 1,238 older adults, averaging around 78 years old. None of the participants had dementia when the study started. They were asked to rate their sense of purpose in life and their ability to derive or find meaning. As HealthDay notes,
“When comparing scores, Boyle found that those with a higher sense of purpose had about half the risk of dying during the follow-up period as did those with a lower sense of purpose. And that was true, she said, even after controlling for such factors as depressive symptoms, chronic medical conditions and disability.”
Of course, it’s impossible to derive a causal relationship between a sense of purpose and living longer, but in the meantime, it can’t hurt to set some small goals.
For example: Personal Goal #1: Finish blog. Check. See how easy it is? The study is published in Psychosomatic Medicine and is available here.