More about purpose!
Thank you for all your feedback! I was glad to share such surprising research -- especially since I know many of you are especially interested in cognitive health.
This research seems to show that living with a sense of purpose is good for the health of your brain.
It's part of a research review published in Ageing Research Reviews -- a summary of studies that investigated positive psychological factors that influence brain health.
The authors concluded: “Having purpose in life was significantly associated with a reduced risk of dementia”.
So, what can this mean? What is ‘purpose in life’? Seems important, doesn't it? Here's research showing that people who live with 'purpose in life' are less likely to develop cognitive decline.
'Purpose in life' is defined in this research as:
- Your possession of goals and a sense of direction;
- Your feeling that there is meaning to present and past life;
- Holding beliefs that give your life purpose, that give you aims and objectives for living.
In many of these research studies, 'Purpose in Life' was measured by asking research participants to fill out a questionnaire called the 'Psychological Well-Being Scale’.
Participants first answered the questions of the Psychological Well-Being Scale. Then investigators interpreted their answers. They calculated a measurement of each participant's 'Purpose in Life', based on their answers.
Investigators then compared each participant's measured 'Purpose in Life' to their health records -- especially records of their cognitive health in later years. They discovered that participants who showed greater 'Purpose in Life' early in the study, were more likely to still be cognitively healthy years later.
Would you like to consider your own feelings of purpose in your life?
Here's a list of those questions used to measure 'Purpose in Life' in the Psychological Well-Being Scale.
(Hint: there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. You just feel what you feel right now!)
[the more you agree with each statement, the greater you measure for ‘Purpose in Life’)
- I have a sense of direction and purpose in life.
- I enjoy making plans for the future and working to make them a reality.
- Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them
[the more you agree with each statement, the less you measure for ‘Purpose in Life’]
- I live life one day at a time and don't really think about the future.
- My daily activities often seem trivial and unimportant to me.
- I don't have a good sense of what it is I'm trying to accomplish in life.
- I sometimes feel as if I've done all there is to do in life.
What do you notice? This research shows that, on average, people who score higher on 'Purpose in Life', develop less cognitive decline and dementia in later years. Experiencing the purpose in your life is somehow good for your cognitive health -- feel how your life matters!
To your natural happiness!
"Positive psychological constructs and association with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis" by Georgia Bell, et al. Published in Ageing Research Reviews, 2022.