Enhance Your Wellbeing: Find Purpose
In every stage of life, finding or creating purpose can immensely uplift your wellbeing. Finding purpose is different for everyone, and it encapsulates a wide range of meaning-making. We may sometimes associate “purpose” with changing the world for the better or pursuing a career dedicated to helping others. While these are very noble and worthy causes, finding purpose can be just as valid, necessary, and valuable on a smaller scale. For example, your purpose could be choosing to be kind every day, taking care of the environment, advocating for people experiencing homelessness, giving support where and when you can… anything that you find meaning in can serve as your purpose. Explore your interests, discover what you love to do, and consider injustices or inequities in the world that bother you as a starting point. Finding purpose is often something to build on over time; it will not come to fruition within a short period of time. The mental health benefits of finding or creating purpose are vast, further outlined below in this article.
Reframe stressful situations
Finding purpose in life has been shown to lead to better emotional recovery as a response to negative or stressful situations. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827458/#:~:text=Having%20purpose%20in%20life%20may,purpose%20in%20life%20over%20time.) In this sense, having purpose in life can offer you some protection from negative occurrences or events.
Future health and longevity
Greater purpose is a strong predictor of higher quality health. Studies have found that purpose is correlated with a heightened ability to carry out day-to-day tasks, less mobile disability or restriction in the future, and better cognition overall. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827458/#:~:text=Having%20purpose%20in%20life%20may,purpose%20in%20life%20over%20time.)
As aforementioned, purpose can act as a buffer from negative events. However, beyond this, it also supports more rapid recovery, less worrying or grave thinking styles, and overall increases resilience. Having a positive vision for your future can uplift your outlook and drive toward everyday activities.
Relating and connecting to others
Purpose can help bring you closer to others in your community who share a similar passion or interest. You may find yourself as part of a larger, united community upon pursuing your purpose at a high level.
Health-boosting attitude and practices
One of the significant benefits of finding purpose is that those who find their larger sense of meaning tend to prioritize their wellbeing and take care of their health more because they are able to see how their life matters. Everyone’s life matters and is worthy; the challenge is finding your ultimate direction and aspiration that keeps you going. Knowing that you matter, you are worthy, and you are here for a reason, try to answer this question when discovering your purpose: What can you offer the world or your community?
Everyone has the ability to find their own purpose! Start out by exploring your interests, skills, and ideas to find where your purpose lies. Reflect on what gives your life meaning––even if it may seem “small,” it holds deep value. Those with a strong sense of purpose tend to fare better on many different measures of mental health; your purpose will fuel your wellbeing.