A study was just published in the journal Psychological Science demonstrating that "purposeful individuals lived longer than their counterparts." There have been other studies backing up the belief that having a purpose in life, as opposed to wading through daily activities without any overarching clear goal or feeling that one is on a meaningful path, is important for healthy aging. In fact, purpose or meaning has been correlated with many positive health outcomes, such as protection against dementia.
As a physician, I see that patients who want to accomplish something, a trip to France or a triathlon, are more likely to persevere through an illness and recover faster than those who don't have a specific goal. It should be astonishing that the mind can have such impact on our body's immune system...
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