Last we covered how having a positive mental attitude can play a defining role in keeping you young. According to this piece in the Sunday Times, having purpose is actually a sign of psychological strength, and is the key to a contented, longer life. The feeling of having no purpose can be isolating, demotivating and even depressing, and unfortunately maintaining a purpose in life can become more difficult in older age. Once we retire, our family flies the nest and our social lives inevitably change with age, keeping purpose at the centre of your life is vital for your wellbeing.
So how do position purpose at the centre of lives in older age, and how does this relate to physical and mental wellbeing? We’ve broken down what we think are the key factors to consider for finding your purpose.
Having a purpose in life doesn’t mean you have to take life seriously. Purpose can manifest in many different ways and sometimes, the sillier or more trivial the better! Don't underestimate whatever you're passionate about. As long as it brings about feelings of joy or fulfilment and contributes to a sense of purpose, keep doing what you're doing
While it’s useful to channel yourself into big projects and new journeys, finding purpose in the little things can be equally as rewarding. This can take shape in small, manageable fitness goals, like walking in the park every day, going to the gym once a week or even trying a new gentle activity.
If you have a pet, playing, caring for and entertaining them can contribute to a greater sense of purpose. Looking after another being on this planet is no small feat and older pet-owners often find great purpose in pampering their furry companions
Many people find purpose in hobbies and extra-curricular activities. Creativity has a big role to play in helping many people find their purpose. Whether it’s arts and crafts, music or dance, creative activities are scientifically proven to help individuals find purpose in life.
If being creative isn’t your thing, maybe you can find purpose in creating a new activity or routine with friends. This could be trying a new coffee shop each week, or trying to go to the cinema once a month.
If you were to take only one point away from reading this blog, it would be this one.
Community is more often than not, people’s greatest source of purpose. Sharing time, space and a common goal with other people in a productive way has huge benefits for your mental and psychological well-being. Finding like-minded people who share a common interest will help you re-centre yourself and find a sense of purpose. This could manifest in several ways. You could join a local book club, a walking club or a swim class.
In fact, gatherings that require physical activity are highly recommended, as physical movement in group settings is proven to develop our sense of purpose and create stronger connections between humans.
Lifedock is the UK’s leading instructor training provider of creative, fun and effective physical activity programmes. They are uniquely designed to bring safe and effective exercise for a range of special populations, including frail and elderly, young people, children, people with learning and physical disability and people with mental health conditions. Courses include Chair based Exercise Instructor, Drum Based Exercise Instructor and Tai Chi Instructor (Chi Me) . Click here for the full range of our courses.