Aging well is a priority for active adults but requires multiple contributions.
Eating well and getting the right nutrients is critical. As is making sure to receive the amount of sleep that you need to rest and heal.
Exercising most days and working on stretching, flexibility and balance can keep you strong and minimize falls. And don’t forget the benefits of friendship and social interaction for both your body and mind.
But there is another feature of healthy aging that you may have underestimated.
Living your purpose.
What is purpose? A simple definition is one of intention or what motivates you to take action. It brings meaning to your life but also creates a positive influence on the world.
Your sense of purpose is often uncovered when you explore what matters most to you. According to the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, it can also change over your lifetime. This was confirmed by researchers that followed people and their stated purpose through their teen years, adulthood, middle age and retirement.
It appears we don’t have only one true purpose but can discover meaning in different areas in our lives. We may also revisit and renew our sense of purpose, especially as we encounter challenges or milestones in life.
Some older people report that their sense of purpose is not as strong as it once was. There are a few common reasons, such as their central roles being redefined or other circumstances that may accompany aging. Other explanations include:
Studies have identified others who were able to maintain or even increase their sense of purpose as they grew older. Some learned new skills or overcame struggles. Instead of retirement age bringing a sense of loss, it was a time of introspection and a chance to reconnect with what was important.
A New York Times reporter followed a few older adults over the age of 85 and found that those who held on to their purpose seemed to thrive because they:
Here are a few ideas if you are looking for your purpose or ready to discover a new one:
Many people look back on their careers or other life experiences to help them revisit what they enjoyed most. Using special skills learned is often a gateway to make the world a better place or bring their own lives more meaning.
Take some time to think about your passions or the issues you feel strongly about. This is often a great starting point to launch or nurture your purpose and make a difference.
It’s a common human response to find it difficult to narrow choices to just one. But you can have more than one purpose so don’t limit yourself if your interests are expanded.
Challenges and changes can be hard and may at times be difficult to navigate. But they also offer great possibilities for growth. Use these times to help define your purpose.
People may spend time searching for their purpose and be frustrated when they come up empty. But purpose is created from your experiences and passions, and tweaked along the way.
A great way to define and discover a purpose in your life is to open up to new knowledge. Not only will it expand your mind but offer many opportunities to share with others.
You may decide to give your time and talents to an organization or group that represents your passions or interests. Volunteering is a great opportunity to refine your purpose.
You may find your passion is reaching out to others individually. Consider sharing your experiences or compassion to help those who are hurting or struggling with life.
If you are a member of a faith community, you can discover many opportunities to search for your purpose, including helping others or reflecting on your beliefs and life’s meaning.
One of the great advantages of independent living is how it promotes and inspires people to live and fulfill their best lives. You’ll find amenities, social events and daily activities that can assist and nurture meaning.
Combining this with the on-site opportunities to exercise, eat well, make new friends and socialize, it’s not surprising that many find community life promoting everything they need to create and experience a full, active and purposeful life.
We’ve designed our communities to support and encourage our residents to discover and live their purpose. We hope you’ll find these suggestions helpful if you could use help in finding or enhancing yours.
If you’re considering independent living, we invite you to visit an Ingleside community. We believe you’ll find it’s even easier to live an enriched life when you take advantage of all the benefits we offer, including:
For information on Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge senior living community, please call (703) 420-7105 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at King Farm senior living community, please call (240) 414-8557 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at Rock Creek senior living community, please call (202) 846-2651with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.