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Sense of Purpose in Life Helps Live Longer, Canadian Research Reveals

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | May 16, 2014 10:01 AM EST

If you want to live longer, you better have a purpose in your life. The claim is not a philosophical one because you want to live longer to fulfil that purpose. It is rather based on a study conducted by Canadian researchers.

According to the research, people belonging to any age group are likely to live longer if they have a sense of purpose in life. Associate psychology professor at Carleton University and lead researcher Patrick Hill worked with associate psychology professor at Carleton University researcher Nicholas Turiano. The study is majorly based on an on-going psychological research called "Midlife in the United States."

The research, which was performed for fourteen years, asked 6,000 people if they felt like having a sense of purpose in life. CTV News reported that those people were specifically asked to choose what best suited them:

  •  Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them
  •  I live life one day at a time and don't really think about the future
  •  I sometimes feel as I've done all there is to do in life

The researchers checked other variables which made an assessment of the participants on whether they had a positive relationship with other people. They also assessed how those people dealt with negative as well as positive emotions. After fourteen years, 569 people among the 6,000 choses ones passed away. It was only 9 per cent of the total number of people who participated in the research. According to the researchers, the people who died had fewer positive relations and lower purpose of life than those who survived.

A lower risk of death was predicted for people belonging to any age group. There were young as well as older and middle-aged people who participated in the research but the link surprisingly held true no matter what. Hill said in a statement that it was "pretty interesting" to "To show that purpose predicts longer lives for younger and older adults alike,"

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