Having a strong sense of purpose in your life reduces the risk of heart disease by 19 percent.
The research, which was presented at the American Heart Association’s EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions earlier this year, was a review of 10 prior studies and included data from over 137,000 people. In the new analysis, purpose in life was defined as a sense of meaning and direction, and a feeling that life is worth living.
Dr. Randy Cohen, the study’s lead author, said the findings suggest “psychological health and well-being are important components of physical health.”
“As part of our overall health,” Cohen said, “each of us needs to ask ourselves the critical question of ‘Do I have a sense of purpose in my life?’ Developing and refining your sense of purpose could protect your heart health and potentially save your life.”