Your Health

7 Ways Your Personality Traits Could Dictate Your Health

Everyone has their own personality traits – that’s what makes a person an individual. However, have you ever stopped to think about how the way you act and your general behavior could impact your long-term health?

There are a wide range of personalities out there, each with their own advantages and challenges in life. However, here’s a look at seven personality types and how they can impact your well-being down the road…

1. Extroverts

An article from USNews.com explains that those who are outgoing (and more involved in their community) can reap health benefits. The source points to an analysis of 148 studies published in an online journal called PLoS Medicine that found adults enrolled in a study “with many close friendships” were 50-percent more likely to survive until the end of their study period than those with few friendships.

The source also points to a 2009 study that shows “social support” can mean “improved coping skills, healthy behavior, and adherence to medical regimens.” It also points out that bonding with others has benefits for the immune system and reduces stress (assuming you like the people around you).

2. Neurotics

This is a type characterized by people who are easily stressed out or are worrisome. MedicalDaily.com explains that researchers believe neuroticism can lead to increased release of the stress hormone cortisol, “which can wreak havoc on the immune system and organs, including the brain.”

Those who are classified as neurotic have higher anxiety, worry more, and are more susceptible to mood swings and depression, which in turn can leave them more wide open to developing illnesses, add the source.

3. Conscientious Types

Those who are “conscientious” may also be neurotic, as they are always thinking about their next move, what task needs to be completed, and they can be perfectionists. However, ScienceDaily says this is actually a good personality trait when it comes to health – and even the health of a spouse.

The article explains those who are conscientious tend to be more organized and responsible, and have more impulse control than some other types. This actually can lead to a longer life, says the source, as these individuals usually pay more attention to their exercise and diet habits. Also, apparently researchers have discovered that women paired with “highly conscientious men who were also highly neurotic” benefit health wise, but the same cannot be said for men with women partners in that personality category.

4. Type A

You’ve all met a Type A – perhaps it was a boss, a friend, or a family member that likes to call the shots and is driven by competitiveness and the desire to succeed. However, what this boils down to is an impulsive trait, meaning the person may be willing to take more risks and act without thinking – “neither of which is likely to improve health,” notes US News.

Impulsiveness is not exclusive to Type A people, explains the US News article. Other types may see an opportunity and try it because it looks like fun, where a more conscientious type may consider it and give it a pass because of perceived risks.

5. Type B

You don’t hear about these people as much, because they’re probably not making as much noise or trying to command a room. However, Refinery29.com says being a Type B is nothing to worry about – in fact, it could be better for your health than being a Type A in the long run.

It says that Type A was originally coined as meaning more susceptible to having a heart attack, whereas being a Type B “simply means your ticker isn’t as vulnerable to complications,” notes the source. That’s probably not all true now, but Type B’s tend to be more relaxed and often have an easier time getting creativity flowing.

6. Introverts

Introverts can be the center of attention at times, it’s just that they can’t be in the spotlight for very long before needing to recharge. Unlike their extrovert counterparts, introverts need alone time to feel refreshed.

However, Health.com explains introverts tend to be more at risk of depression, because they tend to be more self-reflective. “We also tend to be more realistic: We look at the whole picture, rather than just picking up on happy stimuli,” it adds from an introvert’s point of view. Introverts may also avoid exercising in groups, it adds. In fact, some introverts have trouble making friends and become isolated, which is a risk factor for poor health and earlier death, says the source.

7. Type D

Apparently there’s a Type D (we’re not sure what happened to Type C), but Harvard Medical School explains this type of person suffers “from a high degree of emotional distress, but they consciously suppress their feelings.”

The source says early studies have suggested that Type D’s with heart disease are at greater risk of dying and have lower quality of life (presumably compared to other personality types with heart disease). The university explains that Type D’s have very active immune systems, which can lead to inflammation and damage to blood vessels, and a higher risk of blood clots.

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