Finding your purpose in retirement

The Team at Five Good Friends have explored why having a meaning and purpose in life is vital. It can help you feel happier, reduce stress, and give you a greater sense of well-being.

Science has also found that having a sense of purpose can help you to live a longer and healthier life. As discovered in the National Geographic Blue Zones study, Okinawa in Japan is home to one of the longest living communities in the world. One of the reasons for their longevity is that older Okinawans possess a strong sense of purpose. The Japanese word for meaning and purpose is ‘Ikigai’ which can be translated as ‘purpose in life’ or ‘life worth living’. Okinawans can readily articulate the reason they get up in the morning. Their purpose-imbued lives ensure they have clear roles of responsibility and feel needed, well into their 100s.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits associated with a strong sense of meaning in life, including resilience, longevity, better mental health outcomes and a greater sense of wellbeing. Research also shows that having a purpose in life can reduce your mortality risk. People who believe their life has meaning have lower levels of inflammation and lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Friendship in a retirement village

How can you find your purpose?

It’s important that you continue to find meaning in life as you age. A good place to start is by reflecting on your core values. Consider values such as adventure, compassion, community, contribution, creativity, education, family, fitness, fun, growth, health, kindness, knowledge, and spirituality.

Once you have established your values, consider programs or activities that align with them. Activities help keep your mind working well, and it’s never too late to learn something new.  Examples may include volunteering, looking after grandchildren, starting a meditation program, writing your life story, or taking a course at the University of the Third Age (U3A).

If you need ideas, you can also find endless inspiration in the stories and activities on display in the Teman Magazine.

How a sense of purpose can help in difficult times

Having a sense of purpose can anchor you and give you something to hold on to when life is challenging. You don’t have control over other people and the world around you, but you do have control over your response, and can take control of your actions every day.

Reach out for support

The mission of our partners at Five Good Friends is to help people live vibrant lives in their own homes, connected to the friends and communities they love. By focusing on these fundamentals, they aim to ensure members can achieve their goals and live the life they desire.

Even if you just need a helping hand with transport to your classes or meet ups, someone to accompany you on a walk or to share a cuppa and a chat with, they can identify the type of support person that will be best suited to you and match you carefully. Their Helpers can assist you to stay connected to your community and maintain active interests that bring purpose to your day.

Five Good Friends are also specialists in assisting you through the My Aged Care journey.

You can learn more about Five Good Friends by calling 1300 787 581 or visiting www.fivegoodfriends.com.au

Life’s good, and it’s even better here

Did you know we have Teman retirement villages across Australia? We are located in Cooranbong, Gillieston Heights, Cessnock, and Orange in New South Wales. Brisbane, Rockhampton, and Gladstone in Queensland. Perth and Ravenswood near Mandurah in Western Australia. If you’d like to know more about living in a Teman community, the benefits of a lifestyle village, or to preview our fantastic facilities, simply complete the form below and we’ll email you an information pack.