According to an Archives of General Psychiatry study published in 2010, there is a connection between having a sense of purpose in life and avoiding a growing epidemic in our society…that of dementia as we age.
Researchers collected data on over 900 dementia free older adults to study the connection between having a purpose in life and brain health during the aging process.
For the record, the researchers defined life purpose as having goals and objectives in life that give one’s life both meaning and direction.
Even after taking into account other factors that could affect brain health during aging, the researchers found that those with a strong sense of purpose compared to those who did not claim to have a sense of purpose in life, those with purpose were:
- 52% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
- 2.5 times more likely to remain free of dementia in their old age
- Almost a third less likely to develop brain function that is below normal for the age category
Three suggestions to help you develop a stronger sense of life purpose include:
- Pick a purpose. Pick something you really care about even if money were not part of the equation.
- Pick your own level of commitment and be comfortable with your choice.
- Create community around the things or causes that have meaning for you.
(Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010;67:304–10)
Even everyday hobbies can help you develop or strengthen a sense of purpose. Let me help just a little bit more. When money ceases to be the reason why you do or don’t do something, then purpose can more fully shine through. What do you suppose your SOUL purpose might be? What talents and skills do you have that are unique that, when shared, could make a positive contribution to another person, group, business or community? Look in that direction!
Nutritional Highlights of Healthy Kid Food Choices
Blueberries are antioxidant superstars, protecting the body from free radical damage that can lead to premature aging, heart disease, and cancer.
They’re packed with vitamin C for immune health and fiber that can help keep kids regular. Berries of all kinds may help combat allergies, as well.