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If you wake up with a sense of purpose and a goal or two on your mind, you’re in luck: According to research, you’re on track to age gracefully.
This conclusion comes out of a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry this week, which surveyed a group of adults over 50 in 2006, and then checked in with them again in 2010. In 2006, 4,500 of them had strong grip strength and walked quickly (signs of stability and healthy aging).
Four years later, 9.5 percent of study participants fell below this threshold. And typically, those who had lost their grip strength or ability to walk quickly went about their day aimlessly rather than having clear goals and intentions.
“These findings suggest that sense of purpose, a modifiable factor, may play an important role in maintaining physical function among older adults,” the study authors concluded.
This isn’t the first time purpose and overall health has been studied. Earlier this summer, one study found that cultivating purpose is correlated with reduced insomnia in older adults. So in the name of graceful aging and a good night’s sleep, it might be a good idea for all of us to set some intentions.
Looking to cultivate a sense of purpose? Here are 10 questions to ask yourself.