Sense of Purpose in Life May Boost Health
Maintaining a sense of purpose is important as we age, a time when people often lose their deep connections to building careers and raising children.
National Institute on Aging
Loneliness and Social Isolation — Tips for Staying Connected1
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) stresses the importance of senior adults staying active and socially connected. “People who engage in meaningful, productive activities they enjoy with others feel a sense of purpose and tend to live longer,” according to the NIA.
Volunteering and getting involved in the community, for example, can provide individuals with a sense of mission and purpose in life. Studies suggest that such activities have been linked to better health, mood, wellbeing, and cognitive function, it adds.
Pharmacists are ideally situated to discuss life factors with older clients and offer advice on how they might boost a sense of purpose in their senior years.
NIA suggests various ways to achieve this. This includes advice to:
- Restart an old hobby or take a class to learn something new.
- Schedule time each day to stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbors.
- Send letters or cards to keep up friendships.
- Use communication technologies, such as video chats, to keep engaged and connected.
- Consider adopting a pet if able to offer proper care.
- Join a group exercise program.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors.
- Find and join a faith-based organization.
- Join a cause and get involved in your community.
Bottom line: Having a stronger sense of purpose in life is associated with many healthful benefits, including an active lifestyle that includes more physical activity. Find your purpose today.