Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


MetLife Mature Market Institute: Meaning, Purpose and Cognitive Health for a Lifelong Good Life

Increased longevi­ty has gen­er­at­ed many ques­tions and much inter­est in healthy aging and retire­ment lifestyles over the recent decades. As Amer­i­cans become edu­cat­ed regard­ing lifestyle choic­es that con­tribute to both phys­i­cal and men­tal health, the def­i­n­i­tion of healthy aging has expand­ed to include brain health.

The notion of retire­ment as a time of with­draw­al from soci­ety, to be spent on rest and repose reflect­ed the think­ing of a pre­vi­ous era when peo­ple expect­ed short­er life spans. It is now known that the human brain ben­e­fits from envi­ron­ments rich in nov­el and com­plex stim­uli, and that by active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in soci­ety and tak­ing on per­son­al­ly rel­e­vant roles, peo­ple find mean­ing and pur­pose, which gives them a rea­son to get up in the morn­ing and pur­sue new chal­lenges.

This year, the MetLife Mature Mar­ket Insti­tute pub­lished a research study titled Dis­cov­er­ing What Mat­ters: Bal­anc­ing Mon­ey, Med­i­cine and Mean­ing. The study explored how peo­ple rebal­ance their pri­or­i­ties over time and jug­gle var­i­ous com­pet­ing aspects of life includ­ing mon­ey, med­i­cine (a metaphor for health) and mean­ing, in order to live the Good Life.  Hav­ing pur­pose was found to be a dif­fer­en­tia­tor of those liv­ing the Good Life.

The study polled over 1,000 indi­vid­u­als from ages 45 to 74 and found that as peo­ple age, their focus shifts from activ­i­ties relat­ed to the pur­suit of mon­ey to activ­i­ties that are relat­ed to hav­ing pur­pose and mean­ing, such as spend­ing time with friends and fam­i­ly, and health-relat­ed activ­i­ties, such as tak­ing care of their cognitive/brain health.

The study rein­forces the impor­tance of find­ing mean­ing and pur­pose, as well as rec­om­men­da­tions on brain health to con­tin­ue to seek out new chal­lenges. Of those who felt their lives had pur­pose, 84 per­cent report­ed that they are liv­ing the Good Life com­pared to 33 per­cent of those who are not liv­ing the Good Life. Sim­i­lar­ly, con­tent­ment was a dif­fer­en­tia­tor between those whose lives have pur­pose and those whose lives do not have as much pur­pose. Of those whose lives have pur­pose, 66 per­cent are com­plete­ly con­tent with their lives, com­pared to 26 per­cent of those whose lives do not have much pur­pose.

As indi­vid­u­als age, mean­ing­ful inter­ac­tions and pur­pose­ful activ­i­ty become even more val­ued and cru­cial to cog­ni­tive health- and cog­ni­tive health itself becomes more of a pri­or­i­ty.

You can find the full sur­vey results here: Dis­cov­er­ing What Mat­ters (opens 1MB PDF doc­u­ment).

MetLife Mature Market Institute Fay RaddingFay Radding is a Senior Geron­tol­o­gist at MetLife Mature Mar­ket Insti­tute. Since 1997, the MetLife Mature Mar­ket Insti­tute has pub­lished research, sur­veys and con­sumer pub­li­ca­tions ded­i­cat­ed to expand­ing the knowl­edge and aware­ness of choic­es avail­able to the pub­lic. In 2007, the MetLife Mature Mar­ket Insti­tute pub­lished the guide Ten Tips for Main­tain­ing a Healthy Brain, which high­light­ed the impor­tance of main­tain­ing a sense of pur­pose through­out the lifes­pan.

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Health & Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Follow us and Engage via…

RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives