Those with a greater sense of purpose and meaning have a decreased risk of dementia and mortality.
To demonstrate this fact, a study from 2010 on 951 community-dwelling older persons showed that those with a greater reported sense of purpose were 2.4 times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease than those with a lower reported sense of purpose (1). Further, a 2014 study of 6,000 individuals and spanning over 14 years showed that a greater sense of purpose decreased the chance of dying of any cause by 15%, regardless of age (2).
How can we live with purpose, add meaning to our lives and those around us, and be true to ourselves? By recognizing positive events, feeling gratitude, and choosing to benefit others we can achieve these desires.
Having a purpose does not mean knowing the reason you’re here. It means knowing with certainty that you are here for a reason. This reason can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or showing kindness. Knowing that every human can contribute positivity to the world at each moment can help us find purpose.