Living your life with a strong sense of purpose may lower your risk for early death, heart attack or stroke, new research suggests.
"Psychosocial conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic stress and social isolation have strong associations with heart disease and mortality," said lead author Dr. Randy Cohen, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City. Recently, however, his attention has focused on the impact that positive emotions have on overall health and well-being.
He believes that, "Purpose in life is considered a basic psychological need, and has been defined as a sense of meaning and direction in one's life, which gives the feeling that life is worth living.”
His research team reviewed 10 published studies and found that compared to people with a low sense of purpose, those who had a strong sense of purpose had a 23% reduced risk of death from any cause. The study also found that a strong purpose in life was also linked to a 19 % reduced risk for cardiovascular-related events such as heart attack or stroke, coronary artery stent placement or bypass surgery.
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