Most of the people I talk to about retiring want this time in their life to be as healthy as possible. There is a high interest in how to lead a healthy life. While, they may have a habit here or there that is not the healthiest thing to do, they are looking for ways to be active and healthy for as long as possible.
Fortunately, because of research and modern medicine, there has never been a better time to be aging. Several things that make us healthier are now well known. For instance, some of the things most of us know and try to do are:
- Decrease stressful thoughts as much as possible.
- Decrease negative emotions that get you stuck.
- Increase self-control as often as you can.
In addition, the June 15, 2010 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, reported a key ingredient to being healthy and living a long life is to have a sense of purpose. The report indicated that this was true regardless of a person's sex, age, education, or race. It also suggested that when you are not setting goals and actively working toward them, your mortality risks increase. This also tends to be true if there are aspects of your daily life you don't enjoy.
You may be wondering what having a sense of purpose actually does for you.
Think about how you feel when you are clear about something you want to do. Having a clear sense of purpose helps you choose to do things that are meaningful to you. This is what we know so far – when you are doing something meaningful:
- You are more engaged in what you are doing.
- You are using some of your strengths.
- Time tends to go by quickly.
- Your satisfaction with life and well-being increases.
- You are happier.
When your life is meaningful, you make sense out of the events happening in your life, learn from them, and choose additional behaviors and activities that continue to make your life fulfilling.
More research needs to be done to fully understand how having goals and a sense of purpose add to longevity. At this time, researchers suggest that when you have a higher purpose, your level of stress hormones decrease. Your heart health and your immune system also improve. Choosing to do things that are meaningful on a daily basis help you fulfill your purpose.
- What gives your life purpose?
- What do you do daily that is meaningful?
- Can you name your top five values and know you will be doing something today that matches several of your values?
Think about how you would answer the above three questions. You will have more vitality and feel more fulfilled when you are clear about what gives your life purpose and meaning.
If this is a challenge for you, let's have a conversation about how it can be different! Email me at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Reply below about how this key ingredient helps you have the retirement lifestyle you dream about rather than take the one that just shows up.
Until next time,