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The Benefits of Setting Goals for Your Health
Scientists say that there is a well-established rule: knowing what you want is good for your health.
Leo Tolstoy’s Philosophy
“Set a goal for your life, a goal for a certain period, a goal for a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, and now, and emphasize sacrificing the least important goals to achieve high goals.” So many years ago the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy philosophized. He did not expect that his sayings would have great practical meaning in the future, since perseverance has a beneficial effect on the whole organism, at the very least, and people who strive for something live longer.
The Benefits of Having a Personal Point of Reference
There is a growing body of scientific research showing that having your own point of reference is actually beneficial. Scientists highlight many benefits from it even for improving the physical and mental condition.
A Study on Goals and Longevity
And added to the list of rewards a study conducted by epidemiologists and psychologists at the School of Public Health at Boston and Harvard Universities, which involved more than 13,000 people over the age of 50. From the data collected, it became clear how long these people lived, what health problems they suffered, and the extent to which they pursued their personal and social goals.
Scientists have obtained striking results that the risk of death (from all causes) in people who had a goal in life was more than two times lower than in those who did not think about it (15.2% vs. 36.5%).
“The beneficial effects of achieving the desired goal are evident regardless of gender or race,” said study lead author Dr. Koichiro Chiba, assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University.
Goals and Alcohol Consumption
While another modest study conducted by neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania, published in the specialized journal Addiction, showed that the more a person pursues a desired goal, the less they are attracted to a bottle of wine.
The researchers showed student volunteers photographs of alcoholic drinks and merry binge drinking. Using MRI, the reaction of the brain was recorded. And most of the time, the brain was freaking out, especially in the area related to reward and passion. Thus, the students confirmed their belonging to a social group prone to “bad excesses”.
In connection with the MRI, the students talked every day for a month about the meaning of their lives, whether they were thirsty, whether they were aware of it, and how much they ended up drinking.
As a result, it turns out that many of those who were drawn to alcohol found the strength to cope with the temptation. But with the condition that they set a goal for life. As for the cadets, “without a rudder and sails” they are still drunk.
In conclusion, setting goals has been shown to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Whether it’s pursuing a personal or social goal, having a point of reference has been linked to increased longevity and decreased risk of death. Additionally, pursuing a desired goal has been shown to decrease attraction to certain vices, like alcohol, in some cases. So don’t be afraid to set goals, and go after what you want in life.
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda