Many people say they feel healthier when they have a sense of purpose in life. New research shows that having a sense of purpose in life actually nurtures better overall health. Wolters Kluwer Health reported via Newswise, there is an association between having a purpose in life and decreased mortality and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Randy Cohen and Dr. Alan Rozanski and colleagues at Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York have said there is a lower risk for mortality and cardiovascular events with a high sense of purpose in life. The findings in this study have suggested that strengthening a sense of purpose in life may lead to better health outcomes.
The study used a meta-analysis in order to evaluate the relationship which is seen between purpose in life and the risk of death or cardiovascular disease. In the analysis there were more than 136,000 participants from ten studies primarily from Japan or the United States. The Japanese studies assessed the concept of ikigai, which is translated as “a life worth living.” In the US studies a sense of purpose or meaning in a person’s life, or “usefulness to others,” was evaluated.
There was a lower risk of death for participants who had a high sense of purpose in life. There was also a lower risk of cardiovascular events in people with a high sense of purpose in life. Dr. Rozanski says it should be noted that having a strong sense of purpose in life has been postulated for a long time to be an important dimension of life. This seems to provide people with a sense of motivation, resilience and vitality.
This study has been published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. The researchers wanted to assess what the net impact of purpose in life is on all-cause mortality and on cardiovascular events.They concluded that having a high sense of purpose in life is associated with a decreased risk for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events. It’s clearly a good idea to nurture a sense of positive purpose in life for people.