“We know from a number of studies that people who find more purpose in later life have a long life span,” says Levy. Take this study, for example, which shows that people with a sense of meaning in life have better overall physical health.
Of course, purpose can mean different things to different people–there isn’t one specific way to find purpose. However, Levy says implementing positive age beliefs can help. It makes sense: If you believe older individuals do contribute to society, you might engage with your community more and feel a sense of belonging (and making quality connections is huge for longevity).
In terms of how you seek out your purpose, though, that’s up to you to decide. “[It depends on] what you enjoy and what draws on your strengths,” Levy notes. “It could be anything from writing poetry to joining an activist group to coming up with a new form of exercise. So there’s a lot of different ways that you can add [purpose] to your life.”