Living with a sense of purpose is good for your heart and may lower your risk for early death, heart attack, and stroke according to an article in the U.S. News and World Report. The article discussed preliminary findings of a research team at the American Heart Association who looked into 10 studies on the link between positive emotions and overall health. While the research hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, the early news is quite positive – those with a strong sense of purpose had reduced risk of death and cardiovascular disease.
Compared to people with a low sense of purpose, those with a high sense of purpose had a 23 percent reduce risk of death from any cause. Those with a strong sense of purpose had a 19 percent reduced risk for cardiovascular reasons, such as heart attack and stroke.
Dr. Randy Cohen, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City who authored the study, said the findings suggest that “psychological health and well-being are important components of physical health.” He didn’t go as far to say that there was a direct cause-and-effect relationship between them.
Having a sense of purpose involves contributing to society and individuals as opposed to having fun, which is fleeting. It also builds connections with others to create meaningful relationships.
Looking for ways to contribute? Look through the following links and find an organization where you can help fulfill your sense of purpose. It just may be the thing your heart needs.