“Find your purpose!”
The long-lived people of Okinawa, Japan, call it ikigai, which translates as “a reason to get up in the morning.” A landmark study found that having this sense of meaning reduced mortality in Japanese men and women.
An entirely different study examined nearly 7,000 older Americans and found that those with the lowest sense of life purpose were more than twice as likely to die within four years, compared with those who had the highest sense of life purpose.
People who feel a reason for being also have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and less inflammation.
The takeaway? Find something you care about and do it! Volunteer at your favorite charity, become involved in your community, learn a new skill, help out a friend or family member – the world (and you!) will be better for it.
Real Simple Magazine