There have been a lot of anecdotal assertions that having a sense of purpose has an impact the length of life but actual data has not always been part of the same conversation. It makes intuitive sense that if you have something to live for you would live longer compared to someone who is just doing their best to survive their life. Recently researchers from the University of Rochester (NY, USA) and University of Carleton in Ottawa, (QC, Canada) extrapolated data from a study called Midlife In The United States, or MIDUS, MIDUS is a “National Longitudinal Study of Health and Well-being”.
Researchers, Hill and Turiano, looked a few key questions in the MIDUS report to extrapolate data and draw their primary conclusion. Study participants had to respond to statements like “many people seem to wander aimlessly through life but I am not one of them”. There were also other questions that gauged “positive and negative” emotions.
The study found 14 years after people answered these questions, those who were categorized as having a life’s purpose were said to have a 15% higher survival rate. The researchers took into consideration many correlating factors and found that it didn’t matter what decade in life they found their purpose. Interestingly, “Hill’s analysis controlled for other factors know to affect longevity, things like age, gender and emotional well-being. A sense of purpose trumped all that.”
The biological mechanism for this wasn’t included in this study but it was presumed that having and focusing on a sense of purpose reduced the harmful effects of stress which contributed to lengthening their lives.
This dovetails beautifully with the Reorganizational Healing model. In Reorganizational Healing we know that having a sense of purpose occurs most often in Awaken as we discover our gifts and then is delivered to the world in an integrated season of transform and awaken.
In discover we may seek a sense of purpose because we believe it will deliver us from the pain, fear, worry or disconnection we are experiencing from living in discover. Having and living from your purpose provides a inexhaustible well spring of energy richness from which we can constantly draw when we choose to focus on it.
MIDUS Study HERE
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