When it comes to things that give your life a purpose, there are no rules, no right and wrong answers and no single solution that would work for everybody. It’s something as individual as each of us and something that we hold on to even when we feel like everything else is falling apart. And while searching for purpose can be a successful venture, it’s not uncommon that the purpose finds us, and not the other way around. For some adults it’s something that sticks with them for as long as they live, while in others it changes over time. Again, there are no rules. However, one thing is clear. Having a purpose in life can have some significant benefits on your health. Here are some of those benefits and why having a life purpose is important for your well-being.
Why purpose matters
There are many aspects of our mental health and it encompasses a number of different components. One of those components, and an essential one, is the presence of a purpose, of something that pushes us forward and gives us a reason to do better and be better in life. Not only does it keep us hopeful and optimistic, but it also makes us more open to all sorts of new experiences and relationships.
Whether you derive it from your family, your spirituality or some environmental issue, having purpose can empower you to take action, even when the odds don’t appear to be on your side. When you have a goal, something to move forward and look forward to, it’s much easier to deal with the pressure of day-to-day stress and problems, whether they’re short-term or long-term. Knowing what your true passion is and the desire to fulfill it can inspire you to find out-of-the-box solutions to any of your problems. In fact, your problems will sometimes feel less significant and less burdening when compared to what you really care about.
Ways of finding purpose
Lacking purpose can lead to anxiety, depression and constant inner emptiness which can make you dislike your life and lose the will to live to the fullest. So, if you notice that there’s something missing, you have to find it in yourself. Although you might find some help or guidance from outside sources, like a counselor or a therapist, searching your mind for meaning is a journey you take on your own, since nobody but you can find what drives you. Think about what you’re enthusiastic about and what would make you a truly happy person.
If you’re a creative type and want to be in touch with that creativity every day, you can turn to institutions like The Masters Institute of Creative Education, where you can learn how to express yourself in a way that brings you joy, how to turn it into a calling and make a living from it. Furthermore, you can consider the people you love the most and who may make this life worth living for you, but you can also try to open your mind to things you might never have thought about. You shouldn’t dismiss any of your interests just because you haven’t tried them yet or nobody around you is interested in them. Basically, you should ask yourself what you want to be and do in life. You might surprise yourself with the answer.
The effect of purpose on your health
When it comes to your physical health, it can also benefit from your sense of purpose. First of all, engaging in activities which help you achieve your purpose and make you happy can help you battle stress. This is definitely a huge deal, since prolonged feeling of stress can lead to high blood sugar, insomnia, headaches, stomachache, fertility problems and cardiovascular issues. Second, when you look at life from a more positive viewpoint, your body is less likely to produce cortisol. This stress hormone may lead to lower brain function, weight gain and a weakened immune system. It can even cause damage to your skin and cause acne, easy bruising or thinning skin.
Finally, having a purpose might motivate you to take better care of your own well-being. That means a greater probability of you exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, while losing some bad habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking. This kind of active lifestyle can lower the chances of hypertension, heart attack and stroke, it can keep you healthier well into your old age and eventually add quality years to your life.
Some people find their life purpose in their twenties, while others only manage to do it in their seventies. However long it takes you, don’t give up and be patient enough to go through all the options life presents you with, until you find that one thing you’ll hold on to, believe in and be ready to fight for with all you’ve got.