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People with life purpose, make healthier choices and take less effort

on 07 June 2019
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The answer to life's ripples

Is life without a purpose actually a life? Well, in terms of how life is defined, heart beating, brain functioning etc. if you are reading this blog, you are alive. However, in terms of your life's quality, well, that's way more than a beating heart or functioning brain, it's defined by your purpose . . . 

While this research is encouraging, and motivating, at least for some of us, it would be useful if the researchers had identified the brain regions they are observing. I'm guessing though, that it would be an area like the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and areas it connects with, e.g. the prefrontal areas of the frontal lobes (dorsal ACC) and the amygdala and its buddies (ventral ACC). The ACC deals in varying ways with cognition dorsal ACC) and emotion (ventral ACC). So, these areas and many others are really what make us both human and inhuman. Inhuman because inhumanity is mostly a consequence of our primordial fear system, the need to keep us safe and secure. And, to the degree, that life is going according to plan, then we have much better cognitive and emotional stability. However, it's when things go awry that the inhumanity in us begins to show. This research indicates that knowing one's life's purpose could help to keep us on track but that needs a plan! 

However, how does one get a plan? Well, fitting in nicely with this research, knowing, or at least deciding, one's purpose must be an integral part of the process. But how does one develop purpose? Well, maybe it's as simple as asking yourself this question, "what do I want to achieve within my lifetime and how will people remember me?" An integral part of that question can be discovered, by knowing who you are! So, who are you? I have noticed that very often, that when you ask someone, "how are you," they will mostly tell you how they feel, OK but . . . etc. Be it a bad back, sore, knee, a headache etc, or, perhaps, a disappointing appraisal. But these things are not who you are, they are merely things that you are experiencing. The point I am making here, is, that if who you are, is described by how you feel or what you are experiencing, then you are likely to never be the same person twice? As both a Christian and spiritual being, I believe in something beyond the physical realm, i.e. something that exists beyond this physical realm and that defines who I am, and that "me" aspect is constant. So, when asked, "how are you," I reply, "I am very well!" Which is way better than what I may be experiencing and definitely way better than, "not too bad!" No matter how you cut it, "not too bad<" is bad.

So, if you want to have a healthy and happy life, then get a purpose! Here at the Trasn4mational Therapy Centre, Singapore, I'm in the Purpose supply chain business. You want purpose, then make an appointment for a free consultation (see below)!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here or to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here


The Research:

Ever wonder how some people seem to meet their fitness goals with ease and love eating healthy foods while others constantly struggle to do either? According to a new study from the Communication Neuroscience Lab at the Annenberg School, people with stronger life purpose are more likely to accept messages promoting health behaviour change than those with a weaker sense of purpose. And this might be because they experience less decisional conflict while considering health advice. "Purpose in life has been robustly associated with health in previous studies," says postdoctoral fellow Yoona Kang, lead author of the study, "but the mechanism through which life purpose may promote healthy living has been unclear."

For this study, published in Health Psychology, Kang and her co-authors chose to test out a theory: that making health decisions might take less effort for those with a higher sense of purpose in life. According to Kang, health decisions, even those as simple and mundane as choosing between the elevator and the stairs, involve some amount of decisional conflict. But what if some people experience less conflict than others when considering these options, perhaps because they have a stronger guiding purpose that helps resolve the conflicts?
To test this idea, the researchers recruited sedentary people who needed to exercise more. (To be selected for the study, participants had to be overweight or obese and had to have engaged in fewer than 200 minutes of physical activity in the seven days prior to the screening.) Participants completed a survey about their life purpose by indicating the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with statements like "I have a sense of direction and purpose in my life" or "I don't have a good sense of what it is I'm trying to accomplish in life." Next, they were shown health messages promoting physical activity. Their responses to the messages were monitored by an fMRI scanner, focusing on brain regions that tend to be active when people aren't sure what to choose or when they feel conflicted.

Those participants who reported a stronger sense of life purpose were more likely to agree with the health messages and to have less activity in brain regions associated with conflict-processing. In fact, the researchers were able to predict how likely it was that a person would agree with health messages based on the degree of brain activity in these regions.
"We conduct studies both to understand how different kinds of health messaging can help transform people's behaviours and why some people might be more susceptible than others," says Emily Falk, director of the Communication Neuroscience Lab. "This study does a nice job starting to unpack reasons why people who have a higher sense of purpose in life might be more able to take advantage of this messaging when they encounter it."

Building on this study, Kang's next research project will examine the interactions between genes, brain activity, and life purpose. Funded by the Mind and Life PEACE Grant, she will test whether having certain genes may predict greater synchronization between neural regions associated with reward sensitivity and social sensitivity and whether activity in these neural regions may, in turn, predict the strength of life purpose.


Story Source:
Materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
1. Yoona Kang, Victor J. Strecher, Eric Kim, Emily B. Falk. Purpose in life and conflict-related neural responses during health decision-making.. Health Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/hea0000729

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "For people with strong life purpose, making healthier choices may take less effort." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190514143248.htm>.