Many of us spend years of our lives trying to figure out What It All Means and What Is My Purpose In Life.
It starts in childhood, when every second person you come into contact with demands to know what you “want to do when you grow up”. It doesn’t stop there. Even when you do grow up and you have a half-baked idea of what you were put on this earth to do, there’s always this little voice inside that continues to agonise over it. Just look at every single character in Girls.
It’s stressful business, but apparently reaching that level of ‘eudaimonic wellbeing’ (a sense of purpose and meaning in life) is as good for your physical health as it is for your direction in life. Not to add to the pressure or anything.
According to a study recently presented at the American Heart Association’s EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions, having a strong sense of purpose in life can decrease your risk of stroke and heart disease, and prolong your life.
Researchers from Mount Cinai Medical Centre looked at the findings of ten previous studies, which incorporated more than 137,000 participants. As Science Daily reports, the team concluded that a strong sense of meaning and direction in life, and feeling that life was worth living, was associated with a 23 per cent lower risk of death from any cause and a 19 per cent lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or need for a coronary artery bypass surgery.
"As part of our overall health, each of us needs to ask ourselves the critical question of 'do I have a sense of purpose in my life?' If not, you need to work towards the important goal of obtaining one for your overall wellbeing," lead study author, preventive cardiologist Randy Cohen, said.