You know that there are health benefits to eating well and exercising, both of which are factors you can measure: You can log your calories in a food journal and track your steps on a fitness app. But in our fast-paced, high-pressure world, it's easy to lose sight of that third factor of living a healthy life — a sense of purpose.
Purpose is hard to measure, and it's different for everyone. Finding your sense of purpose can be a long journey filled with self-reflection and tough challenges. But discovering that purpose is a key aspect in achieving overall wellness.
The Health Benefits of Having a Life Purpose
Having a sense of purpose helps give your life meaning. A purpose helps you determine your values, set goals and tackle challenges — and all of this can benefit your health.
Consider this: According to a study from Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, having a sense of purpose may improve your heart health and lower your risk of stroke and heart attack.
A meta-analysis in Psychosomatic Medicine also shows a connection between a strong life purpose and a lower risk of cardiovascular events and death.
Research in Cerebrum corroborated these findings, and also found that young people who had a greater sense of purpose were less likely to be depressed than peers who weren't working toward a greater goal.