Finding meaning in life could improve your health

Finding meaning in life could improve your health

From the Here's health news you can use while coping amid crisis series
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A man takes morning exercise on Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, England, on March 29, 2020. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

Do you feel you have a purpose in your life, or perhaps think you will never find one? The answer could influence your overall well-being, says a recent study in the January/February 2020 issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Researchers asked 1,042 adults, average age 65, to fill out questionnaires about meaning in their lives, and compared their responses with data on their physical and mental well-being. Respondents who believed they had meaning in their life had better physical and mental health scores and higher cognitive function compared with those who didn't.

The differences in health between the two groups may be related to the respondents' outlooks. More meaning in one's life would likely make you feel more content and thus less stressed, suggest the researchers.

Yet, if you feel you don't have meaning in your life, or that your search for it is unsuccessful, you are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Additional research will be needed to determine whether finding purpose in life, even if a man does not feel it now, will lead to better health.


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