The next wave of lifespan-extending research doesn’t focus on food or exercise, but instead takes a more philosophical approach. Turns out, if you can answer the question “Why am I here?” you’ll live longer.
A new study published in Psychological Science claims that those who believe they have a purpose in life will live longer. Researchers pored over data from a large-scale aging study called “Midlife in the United States” and found that of the 6,000 participants, those who said they had a purpose lived an average of 15% longer than those who didn’t – a significant enough number to add a few extra years.
According to lead researcher Patrick Hill, who spoke with NPR, people’s sense of purpose can vary widely.
“Hill says it could be as simple as making sure one’s family is happy,” the article says. “It could be bigger, like contributing to social change. It could be more self-focused, like doing well on the job. Or it could be about creativity.”
Plus, it doesn’t matter when you find that sense of purpose. It could happen when you’re just starting college or deep into your retirement years. “It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s,” NPR says.
What does matter is having a sense of direction. So tap into your inner-philosopher and nab a few extra years.