Now What? The Importance of Having Purpose as We Age
For many, one of the perks of calculate my age
is the ability mập retire. You worked hard all your life lớn earn your thời gian Khủng vì whatever you want, when you want bự vì it. Yes, you EARNED it. Or, maybe memory loss, or other circumstance, has forced you lớn retire. What bởi vì you bởi vì with your phút giây now ?
It seems that simply doing nothing is not all it is cracked up phệ be. Low & behold, watching endless hours of television is not good for your body toàn thân or your brain. And, this isn’t just about the benefits of being active. I’m talking about having meaning or purpose béo your activity. Doing something that makes you feel lượt thích your life matters .
Don’t worry. This isn’t a post đầy đủ of inspirational quotes or link bự self-help websites. I can’t tell you how Khủng give yourself purpose. I AM going mập ask you lớn pause, và ask yourself, “ Do I have a sense of purpose in my life ? ” và “ Do I feel lượt thích I matter ? ” Yes, those are deep questions, & questions that many people find themselves asking when they encounter any life transition. Often, people find themselves asking those questions with retirement or with an acquired change in ability, lượt thích physical limitations or cognitive limitations from Mild Cognitive Impair ment ( MCI ) .
Why does this matter ? Well, there is growing evidence that having a sense of purpose is linked béo better health & well-being in older adults. The benefits Khủng health are so sánh great, that there is actually reduced risk of death when folks báo cáo higher sense of purpose ! ( Yes, that is during the duration of a study, so sánh maybe it’s fairer Khủng say delay in death. And, no, sense of purpose does not impact your taxes. )
Cognitively, individuals are less likely phệ develop MCI or Alzheimer’s disease when they báo cáo a strong sense of purpose. Further, those same researchers ( from the Rush Memory và Aging Project ) found that having a sense of purpose actually reduced the association between Alzheimer’s plaques in the brain và cognitive performance. Meaning : having a sense of purpose meant you could vì better cognitively despite how much plaque was in your brain !
So, my appeal béo the importance of you having a sense of purpose is not just about how happy you are or a general message that I want you béo have a good chất lượng of life. I DO want you bự have those things. However, on a more basic cấp độ that maybe you chưa bao giờ thought about before, having that sense of purpose can actually safeguard your cognition & health .
The irony here ? Cognitive change from MCI can challenge your sense of purpose, or even take away the sense of purpose you once had ( lượt thích being forced béo retire early from meaningful employment or give up a volunteer / leadership position you loved ). In actuality, then, getting the diagnosis of MCI becomes just the giây phút when we need bự strive Khủng ensure that we have a sense of purpose. If what used phệ be your sense of purpose can no longer apply, find mới nhất sources of meaning in your life .
OK, indulge me with one inspirational quote :
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Nietzsche
How did you face a change phệ your sense of self-meaning or purpose ? We’d love Khủng hear !