Motivation, Strong Sense of Purpose in Life Protects Heart

Going beyond physical attributes that cause heart attack, new research has thrown light on optimism as the new signal to lead a good hearty life.

Not mere living but living with a purpose brings down the risk of heart disease and stroke, says a new study based on analysis of defined purpose with meaning and direction, especially rekindling the feeling that life is worth living.

Photo of Randy E. Cohen, MD

Randy E. Cohen, MD

“Refining your sense of purpose could protect your heart, health and potentially saves your life,” said Randy Cohen, a preventive cardiologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt in New York.

While, it is not new that a person with a happy life lives longer, the new study for the first time focuses on the connection between purpose in life to psychological health and well-being, giving new role to motivators in our society.

However, mere hope and purpose is not all the reason as it associated with merely 23 percent reduction in death from all causes and a 19 percent reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, or the need for coronary artery bypass surgery. The rest sill depends on other factors, caution cardiologists.

“Our study shows there is a strong relationship between having a sense of purpose in life and protection from dying or having a cardiovascular event. As part of our overall health, each of us needs to ask ourselves the critical question of ‘do I have a sense of purpose in my life?’ If not, you need to work toward the important goal of obtaining one for your overall well-being,” Cohen said.

The research team studied 10 previous analyses and a data of more than 137,000 people to analyse the impact of sense of purpose on death rates and risk of heart attacks or strokes and found that those with a low sense of purpose are more prone to die early or experience heart-related diseases or cardiovascular incidents.

The paper has been presented at the American Heart Association’s EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions in Baltimore.

In another survey, researchers found that it takes three months for a broken heart, especially among the adults to heal after failure in love affairs or relationships, highlighting the need to be motivated and inspired always to live with a purpose.

In this survey, researchers studied 155 young adults who had experienced failed relationships and found that 71 percent of them agreed with positive statements such as “I have learned a lot about myself”, “I have grown as a person”, and “I am more goal-oriented”.

“The findings indicate that growth and positive emotions may be a larger part of the relationship dissolution of experience than previously thought,” the researchers wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.


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