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How a Sense of Purpose Helps Us to Survive & Thrive: The Science Behind a Purpose Driven Life

How a Sense of Purpose Helps Us to Survive & Thrive: The Science Behind a Purpose Driven Life

Apr 3, 2021 | Disease, Disorders, and Illnesses, Good Living

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use or have used myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Cultivating a Sense of Purpose

Throughout my journey of healing, I’ve found that a sense of purpose is crucial for wellness. Over the years, I’ve discovered that sharing my experience to help others, developing my own line of herbal medicines, and launching a blog and books about herbs, diet, and lifestyle is my true calling in life. Additionally, connection is extremely important in cultivating a sense of purpose. This drive helps both the individual and species to survive, to accomplish large tasks together. We may think a sense of purpose stems from a special gift that sets us apart, which can certainly be the case. But oftentimes our purpose grows from a connection with one another and the world around us.

…Connection needs to be rekindled if we are to be truly healthy in mind, body, and spirit. This is one of the reasons why I am such a strong advocate for regularly spending time in nature, learning wilderness skills, and foraging wild foods. Cultivating a deep relationship with our communities is crucial as well. We can also connect with the natural world and support our wellbeing with healing botanicals.

The Transformative Power of Wild Places and Connection—My Journey

The Science Behind a Purpose Driven Life

Interestingly, science agrees that purpose is an important aspect of overall wellness. In one study, researchers found that for every one-point increase on a purpose in life scale, adults with heart disease reduced their risk of having a heart attack over a two-year period by 27 percent. Likewise, another study discovered the same one-point difference in purpose decreased the risk of stroke by an impressive 22 percent. And research in The Lancet found that having a sense of purpose increased longevity.

Discover Your Calling

According to Victor Strecher, author of Life on Purpose, “The dynamic process of aligning yourself with your life purpose requires energy and willpower: wind in your sails to move you forward, and a strong rudder to prevent being blown off course.”

We may wonder how to move from simply imagining our purpose to actually fulfilling it. In order to accomplish our goals, we need to make lifestyle choices that encourage vibrancy: eating and sleeping well, herbal support, exercise, and spending time in nature.

We can also encourage a sense of purpose by transforming our painful experiences into helping others who are traveling along a similar path. Many have found that sharing their story has led them to their calling. Others discovered that building community lights the fire of purpose. Most have found, myself included, that cultivating awe, gratitude, and altruism are key elements in a purpose driven life.

The Importance of Awe, Gratitude, and Altruism

When we experience awe, we feel connected to something much larger than ourselves, which helps to create an emotional foundation for developing a sense of purpose. This, in turn, leads to gratitude and generosity.

“It may seem counterintuitive to foster purpose by cultivating a grateful mindset, but it works,” writes psychologist Kendall Bronk. People who are grateful tend to “contribute to the world beyond themselves.”

One group of researchers found that people who exhibit altruistic behaviors, such as donating time or money, experience an overall greater sense of purpose in their lives. As an added benefit, generosity just plain feels good for both the giver and the one receiving.

Herbal Support

I know for myself that finding my calling would have been difficult, if not impossible, without herbal support to renew my energy and sharpen my mind. Cordyceps is crucial for calming inflammation, relieving brain-fog, and promoting sustained energy throughout the day. Lion’s Mane helps to support cognitive function and eases symptoms of autoimmunity. Lemon Balm soothes my nervous system and supports focus. And Reishi tackles fatigue while also addressing anxiety and depression. These botanicals are all included in my Healthy Brain Bundle.

I truly hope this post has inspired you to discover your own purpose and passion in life. Here’s to Surviving & Thriving!

Nicole Apelian

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Do it Yourself?

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies

Are you interested in making your own herbal remedies at home and learning about the many plants, lichens, and mushrooms you can find out your own back door? If so please pick up a copy of my book: "The Lost Book Of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine" today!

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