Currently viewing the tag: "life expectancy"

illuminatedtree-570x356 (Copy) You have heard me talk about it over and over—tune into your dharma, find your purpose, connect all your endeavors to your life’s mission. I preach it because I am certain of its universality—knowing and carrying out your life’s purpose will bring you the greatest fulfillment, while serving humanity and the universal dharma at the same time. If you thought my discourse has been purely spiritual mumbo-jumbo, well think again, because a recent study suggests that having a purpose in life actually increases longevity. That’s right—living to fulfill a mission gives more life. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

The study, published in Psychological Science, looked at data from over 6000 participants collected in the longitudinal Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) sample, and found that people who self-reported “purpose” to their lives lived longer than their counterparts during the 14 years after the baseline assessment, even when controlling for other markers of psychological and affective well-being.

Said lead study author Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada:

master-class-maya-angelou-2-600x411 (Copy)“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” says Hill. “So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”

Wow! Moreover, longevity benefits were not dependent on age, how long participants lived during the follow-up period, or whether they had retired from the workforce. Simply put: having a life’s purpose “appears to buffer against mortality risk across the adult years.”

But even so, researchers were surprised by the results: “These findings suggest that there’s something unique about finding a purpose that seems to be leading to greater longevity,” said Hill.

The longevity benefits of purpose in life held even after other indicators of psychological well-being, such as positive relations and positive emotions, were taken into account.

Mandela at 90Well I am not surprised; as I said, it makes sense. When living ‘on purpose,’ we have a reason to get up and go every morning, afternoon, and evening. This must have an effect on our physiology—rarely do body and mind act independently. Just think of stories we hear of people exhibiting super-human strength to save a loved one who’s in danger; or even the somewhat-known statistics showing that many people die shortly following retirement. Once the purpose goes, so often does the will to live.

Purpose gives meaning, and meaning drives us to carry on, so again, to me, these new results are not surprising in the slightest. I will keep pushing people to find their purpose in life—we all have one, on display or latent, I believe we all have a reason for existing in this lifetime. So find it and live it…and you might find that life gives you just the right time to accomplish your mission. If you need help tapping into your purpose—contact me; I have fool-proof methods for uncovering your dharma. And if you are fully attuned to your life’s purpose now—great, keep moving in the direction of its accomplishment, and you will find your fulfillment complete as well.

We keep hearing about the obesity epidemic, but are chubby people really less healthy? Not according to Japanese researchers who have found that slightly chubby people live longer than their thinner counterparts.

The study was conducted by a health ministry team at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. They looked at 50,000 people between the ages of 40 and 79 for over twelve years in the northern Japanese prefecture of Miyagi. What they found was counter to the common wisdom: People who are slightly overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people. Even more startling is that very skinny people had shorter life span than even the obese–by five years!

“We had expected thin people would show the shortest life expectancy but didn’t expect the difference to be this large,” said Shinichi Kuriyama, an associate professor at Tohoku University. The prevailing thought among the researcher was that thinner people would have lower life spans because of underlying illness or smoking. The results remained unchanged, however, when eliminating those factors. The researchers believe the differences are due to thinner people being more susceptible to illness and having weaker blood vessels.

I don’t know about those conclusions but I will say that I’ve always endorsed a “natural” body type and diet. What I mean by this is that I see far too many people pushing their limits to become thin, with the belief that thin is more beautiful and more healthy. I’ve told many a washboard ab desiring client that “zero body fat just ain’t that healthy.” When fantasizing about that Men’s Health cover-boy physique, just know that those young studs are practically starving themselves for that shoot; but you can’t be that way year round. A little spare tire never hurt anybody, but maintaining zero body fat can–and here’s the study to prove it.

Saying that, I know that many of you reading this won’t take heed. You’ll still strive for zero body fat, and that’s cool–no biggie. Just know which contract you are signing because in the end nothing comes without a price.

Campos note: Before taking these results as a license to party, the scientists did conclude that the healthiest people were at their “normal” body weight. Going to town on the Ben & Jerry’s to plump-up a little is ill-advised. More important is that underweight people probably need to add a bit more weight. Again the take home lesson here is that too thin is not always in. Healthy and au natural is certainly better.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Nick Campos - All Rights Reserved.