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Having a sense of purpose provides several benefits. It gives meaning to the routine, vitality and well-being, in addition to protecting your heart. This was the conclusion that researchers found when examining 10 previous studies involving 136,000 people from the United States and Japan. Their average age was 67.

In the documents analyzed, they noticed that, in roughly seven years more than 14,500 of the volunteers died – 4,000 suffered a heart attack, stroke or other heart-related event. But the researchers found that people reporting a higher sense of purpose in life had roughly 20% lower risk of death. According to the study published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, those who said their life had meaning also had a lower risk for heart problems.

More research is needed to determine exactly how having a sense of purpose in life enhances health. The authors suggested that it may help shield the body from responses to stress. Another fact: this is a group of people that may be more satisfied and happier which leads, many times, to a healthier lifestyle.

“Notably, having a strong sense of life purpose has long been postulated to be an important dimension of life, providing people with a sense of vitality, motivation and resilience,” said the co-author of the study Alan Rozanski, from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York.

“The medical implications of living with a high or low sense of life purpose have only recently caught the attention of investigators,” Rozanski added. “The current findings are important because they may open up new potential interventions for helping people to promote their health and sense of well-being.” Click here for the original article.